Induction of Airway BAFF during Upper Respiratory Infections in Patients with Asthma
Monday, March 7, 2016: 2:30 PM
Room 502A (Convention Center)
Sergio E. Chiarella, MD, , , , , , , ,
Rationale: Epithelial cells produce B–cell activating factor of the TNF family (BAFF) upon interferon stimulation. BAFF promotes B cell development and antibody production. We hypothesized that BAFF increases in airways during upper respiratory infections (URI) and may vary among patients with asthma(AS), allergic rhinitis(AR), and healthy controls(HC).

Methods: Nasal lavages and induced sputum supernatants were collected from AS, AR, and HC patients on days 2 (range 1-3) and 6 (5-7) during URI and at baseline >42 days later. BAFF was measured using ELISA kits.

Results: 70 subjects (mean+SD age 34.4+10.6 years, 71% females. 66% AS, 16% AR, and 18% HC) had URI caused mostly by HRV (44%) and CoV (13%). No virus was detected in 24% of URI. Compared to baseline, nasal BAFF increased on day 2 (mean+SE=113+13 vs 83+7pg/ml,p=0.015), but not on day 6 (97+6 vs 93+5 pg/ml,p=0.56) versus baseline in all subjects. The increase on day 2 was similar in AS subjects and controls (AR+HC) (31.2+16 vs 28.5+16,p=0.35). Nasal BAFF on day 2 in all subjects correlated inversely with cold symptom severity (r=-0.30,p=0.046). Sputum BAFF was detectable in only 29% of samples. With low power, we found no significance in the increases during URI (Day 2 x baseline: 43+27 vs. 5+3,p=0.18) in all subjects, or between AS vs controls on day 2: (35+19 vs 6+3,p=0.15). In AS subjects, nasal BAFF on day 2 was non-significantly inversely correlated to severity of chest symptoms (r=-0.29,p=0.22).

Conclusions: Nasal BAFF, a reflection of interferon response, increases during URI and correlates with less severe airway symptoms.