Gender-Specific Dysregulation Of The Endocrine System Is A Novel Feature Of Asthma
Saturday, March 3, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Lyda Cuervo-Pardo, MD, Sergio E. Chiarella, MD, Mahboobeh Mahdavinia, MD PhD, Hiam Abdala-Valencia, PhD, Sergejs Berdnikovs, PhD
RATIONALE: Systemic drivers of asthma pathogenesis are poorly understood. Previously, we identified causal association between dysregulated energy metabolism, hormonal signaling, and epithelial barrier dysfunction in allergy. The aim of this study was to characterize the full extent of differences in systemic hormone levels of asthmatic patients when compared to healthy controls.

METHODS: Serum samples were collected from 39 asthmatic patients and 35 healthy controls. The entire endocrine system was profiled using magnetic bead multiplex assays. The results were stratified by gender and adjusted for the confounding effects of age and body mass index.

RESULTS: Thirteen out of 43 measured hormones were found to be dysregulated in asthma. In females, 11 hormones were significantly changed compared to healthy controls, which included pituitary hormones (growth hormone and agouti-related peptide), sex steroids (estradiol), adrenal hormones (cortisol), adipokines (lipocalin-2 and adipsin), thyroid hormones (thyroxine) and other hormones regulating energy metabolism (fibroblast growth factor 23, amylin, ghrelin, and glucagon-like peptide 1). Only four hormones were significantly changed in asthmatic males compared to healthy subjects (leptin, fibroblast growth factor 21, growth hormone, and glucagon-like peptide 1).

CONCLUSIONS: Profound dysregulation of the endocrine system is a previously unrecognized feature of asthma. Hormones regulate metabolism, development, homeostasis of the epithelial barrier, and the immune system. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of hormonal imbalance has a great potential to open new frontiers in our understanding of asthma pathogenesis. Importantly, females exhibit a more extensive endocrine dysfunction, which has significant implications for explaining gender bias in asthma.