Cytokine profile and lung function in obese and asthmatic children

There may be the existence of common inflammatory biomarkers linking obesity and asthma in children. However, laboratory and clinical characteristics of children with obesity and asthma remain still poorly defined. 

A recent study investigated lung function and the cytokine profile in children with obesity and asthma. This prospective, cross-sectional pilot study compared the pulmonary function tests, biochemical parameters, and serum cytokines levels in three groups of 28 children each, matched for age and sex. 

It found-

  • Obese children have normal forced spirometry values except for an increased distal airway resistance in subjects with obesity and no asthma. 
  • Both groups, including obese children, have higher leptin and IL-10 levels and lower adiponectin and TNF-alpha levels than the children with no obesity and asthma. 
  • IL-33 and TGF-beta1 levels are higher in children with obesity and asthma vs. children with normal weight and asthma. 
  • IL-6 is undetectable in approximately 70% of obese children with no asthma, in 57% of obese asthmatic children, and in 100% of children with normal weight and asthma. 

This study explains that children with obesity and asthma have the most striking cytokine profile, suggesting a pro-inflammatory role of fat mass in asthma development.

Maffeis L, Agostoni CV, Marafon DP, et al., Cytokines Profile and Lung Function in Children with Obesity and Asthma: A Case Control Study. Children. 2022; 9(10):1462.

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