Angiopoietins 1 and 2 in sputum supernatant of optimally treated asthmatics: The effect of smoking

Vasiliki Petta, Petros Bakakos, Eleni Tseliou, Konstantinos Kostikas, Davina Camargo Madeira Simoes, Elissavet Konstantellou, Georgios Hillas, Nikolaos G. Koulouris, Spyros Papiris, Stelios Loukides*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) is an essential mediator of angiogenesis by establishing vascular integrity, whereas angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) acts as its natural inhibitor. Objective: We aimed to determine the levels of angiopoietins in sputum supernatants of patients with optimally treated asthma and to investigate whether smoking represents a significant covariate on the above possible processes. Methods: Eighty-seven patients with asthma (42 smokers) and 28 healthy subjects (14 smokers) were studied. All subjects underwent lung function tests, bronchial hyper-responsiveness assessment and sputum induction for cell count identification and measurement of Ang-1, Ang-2, vascular endothelial growth factor, TGF-β1, MMP-2, IL-13, Eosinophilic cationic protein and IL-8 in supernatants. Airway vascular permeability (AVP) index was also assessed. Results: Ang-1 (ng/mL) levels were significantly higher in patients with asthma compared to normal subjects. Smoking significantly increased Ang-1 levels [median, interquartile ranges 24 (13-37) in smoking asthmatics vs 10 (7-14) in nonsmoking asthmatics vs 5·3 (3·7-6·5) and 4·6 (3·8-5·7) in healthy smokers and nonsmokers, respectively, P < 0·001]. Similar results were observed for Ang-2 (pg/mL) [168 (132-203) vs 124 (82-152) vs 94 (78-113) vs 100 (96-108), respectively, P < 0·001]. Regression analysis in the whole study population showed a significant negative association for Ang-1, with AVP index, and MMP-2. Smoking was a significant covariate for both Ang-1 and Ang-2 in asthmatic patients. Conclusions: Ang-1 and Ang-2 levels are upregulated in patients with optimally treated asthma. Our data support a possible role for smoking in the angiogenetic process in asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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