Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity and asthma: Study finds a link in the genes

Date:
July 18, 2013
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
Genes linked to chronic inflammation in asthma may be more active in people who are obese, according to new research that uncovers several biological ties between obesity and asthma.

Genes linked to chronic inflammation in asthma may be more active in people who are obese, according to new research that uncovers several biological ties between obesity and asthma.

"Our findings point the way to the management of asthma in the obese through simple weight reduction," said first author Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University at Buffalo.

The research appeared online June 26 in the journal Obesity and involved two related studies: A comparative study between obese people and people of normal weights; and an experiment that looked at how various biological indicators -- including the behavior of asthma-linked genes -- changed when morbidly obese patients received gastric bypass surgery.

In the comparative study, the scientists found that four genes associated with chronic inflammation in asthma were more active in obese and morbidly obese people, by more than 100 percent in some cases. The highest activity was found in the morbidly obese.

This increased gene expression matters because it can cause white blood cells called mononuclear cells to produce far greater amounts of inflammatory factors like interleukin 4, LIGHT and lymphotoxinβ receptor which contribute to allergic inflammation and other abnormalities in the bronchial passages in asthma.

The scientists also found higher concentrations of two asthma-related compounds in the plasma of obese and morbidly obese patients: MMP-9, which is associated with inflammation, and nitric oxide metabolites (NOM), which are an indicator of oxidative stress.

Following gastric bypass surgery in morbidly obese diabetic patients, MMP-9 and NOM levels dropped, along with the expression of six asthma-related genes including the key factors, interleukin 4, LIGHT, lymphotoxinβ and interleukin 33 in parallel with weight loss and improvements in the status of their diabetes.

"Ours is the first study to provide a mechanistic link between obesity and asthma through biological/immunological mechanisms," Dandona said. "There has been, until now, no biological, mechanistic explanation other than the fact that obesity may raise the diaphragm and thus reduce lung volumes."

Importantly, the research established a connection between Type 2 diabetes, obesity and asthma based on biological mechanisms. This is important because obesity and Type 2 diabetes are associated with a more than 100 percent increase in the prevalence of asthma, Dandona said.

The comparative study included:

• 22 patients of normal weights

• 23 obese patients (11 with Type 2 diabetes, and the rest without)

• and 15 morbidly obese patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The research team reported that obesity was associated with higher expression of asthma-linked genes and MMP-9 and NOM levels -- whether or not patients had Type 2 diabetes.

None of the research subjects had asthma, which is one of the strengths of the study, as it provides a level of assurance that the correlations the researchers saw were not a product of the disease itself.

The next step, Dandona said, is to conduct clinical studies examining how weight loss affects asthma in patients who are obese.

"We are embarking on this project now," he said.

Dandona is also the founder of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Center of Western New York, which is sponsored by the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Kaleida Health.

Dandona's partners on the study included colleagues from the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Kaleida Health; UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Sisters of Charity Hospital. His co-authors were: Husam Ghanim, PhD; Scott V. Monte, PharmD; Joseph A. Caruana, MD; Kelly Green; Sanaa Abuaysheh; Teekam Lohano, MD; Jerome Schentag, PharmD; Sandeep Dhindsa, MD; and Ajay Chaudhuri, MD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paresh Dandona, Husam Ghanim, Scott V. Monte, Joseph A. Caruana, Kelly Green, Sanaa Abuaysheh, Teekam Lohano, Jerome Schentag, Sandeep Dhindsa, Ajay Chaudhuri. Increase in the mediators of asthma in obesity and obesity with type 2 diabetes: Reduction with weight loss. Obesity, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/oby.20524

Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "Obesity and asthma: Study finds a link in the genes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130718130451.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2013, July 18). Obesity and asthma: Study finds a link in the genes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130718130451.htm
University at Buffalo. "Obesity and asthma: Study finds a link in the genes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130718130451.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins