J Korean Med Sci.  2001 Aug;16(4):411-416. 10.3346/jkms.2001.16.4.411.

Relationship Between Sputum Inflammatory Markers and Osmotic Airway Hyperresponsiveness During Induction of Sputum in Asthmatic Patients

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seonam University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea. ischoi@chonnam.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine*, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju.
  • 3Chonnam National University Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Kwangju, Korea.


Hypertonic saline aerosols are being used increasingly for bronchial provocation testing and induction of sputum. The aims of this study were to assess the response to challenge with 3% hypertonic saline administered via a ultrasonic nebulizer in patients with asthma, and to evaluate relationship between % fall of FEV1 during induction of sputum (osmotic airway hyperresponsiveness; osmotic AHR) and biochemical markers of induced sputum. We investigated changes in FEV1 in response to inhaling ultrasonically nebulized 3% saline in 25 patients with asthma and 10 control subjects. FEV1 was measured before, during, and after induction of sputum. We used fluoroimmunoassay to detect eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), immunohistochemical staining to detect EG2+ (secretory form of ECP) eosinophils, and a sandwich ELISA to detect interleukin (IL)-5. Protein concentration was determined by using bicinchoninic acid protein assay reagent. Asthmatics, compared with controls, had significantly higher osmotic AHR. Moderate to severe asthmatics had significantly higher osmotic AHR compared to mild asthmatics. Osmotic AHR was significantly correlated with the proportion of eosinophils, the levels of ECP, EG2+ eosinophils, IL-5, and proteins. These data suggest that osmotic AHR is closely related to the clinical status and biochemical markers of sputum supernatant in asthmatic patients.


Sputum; Biological Markers; Asthma; Osmotic Airway Hyperresponsiveness

MeSH Terms

Biological Markers
Blood Proteins/analysis
Bronchial Hyperreactivity/*etiology
Forced Expiratory Volume
Middle Age
Osmotic Pressure
Vital Capacity
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