Relationship between adipokines and childhood asthma

The prevalences of both asthma and obesity has increased in recent decades but little is known about the possible association between them.

The adipokines are a group of cytokines secreted by adipose tissue. One of the adipokines was called resistin (discovered in 2001) because of the observed insulin resistance in mice injected with the substance.

The researchers in a Korean study evaluated the roles of adipokines (leptin, adiponectin, and resistin) on childhood asthma. The study included 149 atopic asthmatic children, 37 non-atopic asthmatic children, and 54 healthy children.

Atopic asthmatics had lower resistin levels compared with non-atopic asthma and control groups, but leptin and adiponectin did not show any difference among the 3 groups. Authors concluded that resistin, contrary to expectations, may have a negative predictive effect for asthma and possibly a protective effect against asthma.

This is the "R" mnemonic from this study:

Resistin may
Risk of asthma

The study findings are in contrast to previous trials which reported a higher percentage of obese children having bronchial hyperreactivity compared with non-obese children.

Relationship between adipokines and manifestations of childhood asthma. Kyung W. Kim, Youn H. Shin, Kyung E. Lee, Eun S. Kim, Myung H. Sohn, Kyu-Earn Kim. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 01/2008.
Links via Wikipedia.
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.
Image: Role and regulation of adiponectin (APN) in metabolic versus autoimmune/chronic inflammatory disease. JACI, 02/2008.
Adiponectin and inflammation: Consensus and controversy. JACI, 02/2008.
Decreased response to inhaled steroids in overweight and obese asthmatic children. JACI, 2011.
Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of worse asthma control and exacerbations. JACI, 2011.

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