Inflammatory related plasma proteins involved in acute preschool wheeze

Clin Transl Allergy. 2023 Nov;13(11):e12308. doi: 10.1002/clt2.12308.


Background: Preschool wheeze is a risk factor for asthma development. However, the molecular mechanism behind a wheezing episode is not well understood.

Objective: Our aims were to assess the association of plasma proteins with acute preschool wheeze and to study the proteins with differential expression at the acute phase at revisit after 3 months. Additionally, to investigate the relationship between protein expression and clinical parameters.

Method: We measured 92 inflammatory proteins in plasma and clinical parameters from 145 children during an episode of preschool wheeze (PW) and at the revisit after 3 months (PW-R, n = 113/145) and 101 healthy controls (HC) aged 6-48 months in the GEWAC cohort using the antibody-mediated proximity extension-based assay (Olink Proteomics, Uppsala).

Results: Of the 74 analysed proteins, 52 were differentially expressed between PW and HC. The expression profiles of the top 10 proteins, Oncostatin M (OSM), IL-10, IL-6, Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), AXIN1, CXCL10, SIRT2, TNFSF11, Tumour necrosis factor β (TNF-β) and CASP8, could almost entirely separate PW from HC. Five out of 10 proteins were associated with intake of oral corticosteroids (OCS) 24 h preceding blood sampling (OSM, CASP8, IL-10, TNF-β and CXCL10). No differences in protein expression were seen between PWs with or without OCS in comparison to HC. At the revisit after 3 months, differential protein expressions were still seen between PW-R and HC for three (IL-10, SIRT2 and FGF21) of the 10 proteins.

Conclusion: Our results contribute to unravelling potential immunopathological pathways shared between preschool wheeze and asthma.

Keywords: asthma; inflammation; olink; plasma proteins; preschool wheeze.