Expression of epithelial markers in nocturnal asthma

Monica Kraft, Ilja Striz, George Georges, Takeshi Umino, Keichi Takigawa, Stephen Rennard, Richard J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Although the airway epithelium participates in inflammation and repair, the circadian expression of epithelial cell markers involved in these processes has not been investigated. Objective: We sought to determine whether expression of CD51 (vitronectin and fibronectin receptor), CD54 (intercellular adhesion molecule-1), HLA-DR (activation marker), CD29 (β1 integrin), CD49b (collagen receptor), and CD11b (complement receptor) exhibit a circadian rhythm in asthma. Methods: Eleven patients with nocturnal asthma (NA), 9 subjects with nonnocturnal asthma (NNA), and 10 control subjects underwent bronchoscopy at 4 PM and 4 AM in a random order 1 week apart, with brushing of the proximal and distal airways. The percentage of cells staining for a particular marker was determined. Results: At 4 PM, HLA-DR in the proximal airways and CD54 in the distal airways was significantly greater in control subjects as compared with asthmatic subjects (HLA-DR, control subjects: 10.0% [range, 5.0% to 21.0%]; NNA: 8.0% [range, 4.0% to 14.5%] NA: 3.5% [range, 2.0% to 6.0%], P = .01; CD54, control subjects: 17.0% [range, 8.0% to 25.0%], NNA: 8.0% [range, 5.3% to 11.5%], NA: 7.0% [range, 4.0% to 15.0%], P = .03). At 4 AM, CD51 in the distal airways was significantly greater in patients with NA as compared with patients with NNA and control subjects (control subjects, 23.0% [range, 13.8% to 30.5%]; NNA, 32.0% [range, 13.0% to 35.0%]; NA, 40.0% [range, 23.0% to 50.0%], P = .05). Expression of CD51 in the distal airways correlated with the degree of airway obstruction (r = -0.57, P = .001). Control subjects exhibited significant circadian variation in the expression of HLA-DR in the proximal airways and CD54 in the distal airways. Conclusion: The increased CD51 at night in patients with NA may he related to increased airway inflammation and repair processes in response to injury. The circadian changes in CD54 and HLA-DR in control subjects require further study to determine their significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-381
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Airway epithelium
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Noctural asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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