Association of stem cell factor gene expression with severity and atopic state in patients with bronchial asthma

 
Safaa I. Tayel, Sally M. El-Hefnway, Eman M. Abd El Gayed and Gehan A. Abdelaal

Abstract

Background

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory and remodeling disorder of the airways, in which many cells, cellular elements, and cytokines play important roles. Stem cell factor (SCF) may contribute to the inflammatory changes occurring in asthma. We aimed to show the expression of SCF gene in patients with asthma as a means of diagnosis and its association with severity and atopic state in these patients.

Methods

This study was carried out on 80 subjects, 50 asthmatic patients and 30 age and gender matched healthy control persons. They were subjected to full history taking, general and local chest examination, spirometric measurements (pre and post broncodilators) using a spirometer, serum IgE, and real time PCR for assessment of SCF mRNA expression.

Results

This study showed significant difference between the studied groups regarding pulmonary function tests (P < 0.001). Asthmatic patients had significant higher SCF expression compared to control (P < 0.001), also atopic patients vs non atopic (P = 0.03) and severe asthmatic patients vs mild ones (P < 0.001). SCF expression at cut off point (0.528) is sufficient to discriminate asthmatic patients from control while at cut off point (1.84) for discrimination of atopic patients from non-atopic patients and at cut off point (1.395) for discrimination of severe asthmatic patients from mild ones. A significant negative correlation between SCF expression and inhaled steroid while significant positive correlation with serum IgE was found.

Conclusion

Measuring SCF mRNA expression can be used as an efficient marker for evaluation of atopy and detection of severity of bronchial asthma.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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