Oxidative stress is involved in asthma. This study assessed the carbonylation of sputum proteins in 23 uncontrolled adult asthmatic patients and 23 healthy controls. Carbonylated proteins (68 kDa and 53 kDa) were elevated in asthmatics when compared to controls and the 68-kDa carbonylated protein was significantly correlated with sputum eosinophilia. The kinetics of protein carbonylation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were then examined in a mouse ovalbumin-induced allergic inflammation model. It was found that the carbonylation of various BALF proteins did not uniformly occur after challenge. The appearance of the 53-kDa carbonylated protein was limited within 24 h, while carbonylation of 68-kDa protein peaked at 48 h and was associated with BALF eosinophilia. Thus, it was demonstrated that the 68-kDa and 53-kDa proteins, corresponding to albumin and β1-antitrypsin, respectively, were specifically carbonylated in allergic inflammation in humans and in mice and that eosinophils may play a role in mediating carbonylation of albumin.
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