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1.  Sustained Elevation of Systemic Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Exacerbation and Remission of Asthma 
ISRN Allergy  2013;2013:561831.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma. We aimed at investigating the biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage in patients with asthma in acute exacerbation and remission. We recruited 18 asthmatics admitted to hospital with acute exacerbation and 18 healthy nonsmoking controls matched for age. We evaluated plasma levels of 8-isoprostane, C-reactive protein (CRP) and total matrix metalloproteinase- (MMP-) 9 by ELISA, and MMP-9 activity by zymographic analysis. Plasma levels of 8-isoprostane and CRP were significantly elevated in acute exacerbation and decreased in remission but remained significantly higher compared to healthy controls. The activities of pro-MMP-9 were also significantly higher in acute exacerbation and decreased in remission but remained significantly higher compared to healthy controls in parallel to plasma levels of total MMP-9. These data suggest that overproduction of MMP-9 along with highly elevated levels of oxidative stress and inflammation is implicated in asthma exacerbation and that measurements of these biomarkers can be a valid index in its management.
doi:10.1155/2013/561831
PMCID: PMC3773380  PMID: 24073339
2.  MULTI-ETHNIC REFERENCE VALUES FOR SPIROMETRY FOR THE 3–95 YEAR AGE RANGE: THE GLOBAL LUNG FUNCTION 2012 EQUATIONS 
The European respiratory journal  2012;40(6):1324-1343.
Objective
Derive continuous prediction equations and their lower limits of normal for spirometric indices, which are applicable globally.
Material
Over 160,000 data points from 72 centres in 33 countries were shared with the European Respiratory Society Global Lung Function Initiative. Eliminating data that could not be used (mostly missing ethnic group, some outliers) left 97,759 records of healthy nonsmokers (55.3% females) aged 2.5–95 years.
Methods
Lung function data were collated, and prediction equations derived using the LMS (λ, µ, σ) method, which allows simultaneous modelling of the mean (mu), the coefficient of variation (sigma) and skewness (lambda) of a distribution family.
Results
After discarding 23,572 records, mostly because they could not be combined with other ethnic or geographic groups, reference equations were derived for healthy individuals from 3–95 years for Caucasians (N=57,395), African Americans (N=3,545), and North (N=4,992) and South East Asians (N=8,255). FEV1 and FVC between ethnic groups differed proportionally from that in Caucasians, such that FEV1/FVC remained virtually independent of ethnic group. For individuals not represented by these four groups, or of mixed ethnic origins, a composite equation taken as the average of the above equations is provided to facilitate interpretation until a more appropriate solution is developed.
Conclusion
Spirometric prediction equations for the 3–95 age range are now available that include appropriate age-dependent lower limits of normal. They can be applied globally to different ethnic groups. Additional data from the Indian subcontinent, Arab, Polynesian, Latin American countries, and Africa will further improve these equations in the future.
doi:10.1183/09031936.00080312
PMCID: PMC3786581  PMID: 22743675
3.  The Role of Circulating Serotonin in the Development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31617.
Background
Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor in the development of age-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The serotonin transporter (SERT) gene polymorphism has been reported to be associated with COPD, and the degree of cigarette smoking has been shown to be a significant mediator in this relationship. The interrelation between circulating serotonin (5-hydroxytyptamine, 5-HT), cigarette smoking and COPD is however largely unknown. The current study aimed at investigating the mediation effects of plasma 5-HT on cigarette smoking-induced COPD and the relation between plasma 5-HT levels and age.
Methods
The association between plasma 5-HT, age and COPD was analyzed in a total of 62 COPD patients (ever-smokers) and 117 control subjects (healthy non-smokers and ever-smokers). Plasma 5-HT levels were measured by enzyme-linked immuno assay (EIA).
Results
The elevated plasma 5-HT levels were significantly associated with increased odds for COPD (OR = 1.221, 95% CI = 1.123 to 1.319, p<0.0001). The effect remained significant after being adjusted for age and pack-years smoked (OR = 1.271, 95% CI = 1.134 to 1.408, p = 0.0003). Furthermore, plasma 5-HT was found to mediate the relation between pack-years smoked and COPD. A positive correlation (r = 0.303, p = 0.017) was found between plasma 5-HT levels and age in COPD, but not in the control subjects (r = −0.149, p = 0.108).
Conclusion
Our results suggest that cigarette smoke-induced COPD is partially mediated by the plasma levels of 5-HT, and that these become elevated with increased age in COPD. The elevated plasma 5-HT levels in COPD might contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031617
PMCID: PMC3272036  PMID: 22319639

Results 1-3 (3)