Lymphocytes possess an independent cholinergic system. We assessed the expression of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in lymphocytes from 49 asthmatic children and 10 age matched controls using Western blot. We demonstrated that CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressed M2 and M4 muscarinic receptors which density were significantly increased in asthmatic children in comparison with controls. M2 and M4 receptor increase was strictly related with IgE and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measurements and with impairment in objective measurements of airway obstruction. Increased lymphocyte muscarinic cholinergic receptor expression may concur with lung cholinergic dysfunction and with inflammatory molecular framework in asthma.
Keywords: Asthma; Human; Muscarinic receptors; Western blot.
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