Bioenergetic Differences in the Airway Epithelium of Lean Versus Obese Asthmatics Are Driven by Nitric Oxide and Reflected in Circulating Platelets.
Asthma, characterized by airway obstruction and hyper-responsiveness, is more severe and less responsive to treatment in obese subjects. While alterations in mitochondrial function and redox signaling have been implicated in asthma pathogenesis, it is unclear whether these mechanisms differ in lean versus obese asthmatics. In addition, we previously demonstrated that circulating platelets from asthmatic individuals have altered bioenergetics; however, it is unknown whether platelet mitochondrial changes reflect those observed in airway epithelial cells. Herein we hypothesized that lean and obese asthmatics show differential bioenergetics and redox signaling in airway cells and that these alterations could be measured in platelets from the same individual.
Using freshly isolated bronchial airway epithelial cells and platelets from lean and obese asthmatics and healthy individuals, we show that both cell types from obese asthmatics have significantly increased glycolysis, basal and maximal respiration, and oxidative stress compared with lean asthmatics and healthy controls. This increased respiration was associated with enhanced arginine metabolism by arginase, which has previously been shown to drive respiration. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was also upregulated in cells from all asthmatics. However, due to nitric oxide synthase uncoupling in obese asthmatics, overall nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability was decreased, preventing NO-dependent inhibition in obese asthmatic cells that was observed in lean asthmatics.
Innovation and Conclusion:
These data demonstrate bioenergetic differences between lean and obese asthmatics that are, in part, due to differences in NO signaling. They also suggest that the platelet may serve as a useful surrogate to understand redox, oxidative stress and bioenergetic changes in the asthmatic airway.
Winnica, D; Corey, C; Mullett, S; Reynolds, M; Hill, G; Wendell, S; Que, L; Holguin, F; Shiva, S
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