Oncostatin M, a unique member of the interleukin (IL)-6 cytokine family, is thought to be involved in airway remodeling. The expression of oncostatin M in the lower airways is unknown. The aim of this study was to measure the sputum expression of oncostatin M in patients with asthma with and without irreversible airflow obstruction. Induced sputum was collected from nonsmoking adults with stable asthma (n = 53), 31 with incomplete reversibility of airflow obstruction. Peripheral blood cells were isolated and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide in 10 participants with asthma and irreversible airflow obstruction. Oncostatin M protein levels were determined in supernatant, whereas RNA was extracted to determine Oncostatin M mRNA expression using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Oncostatin M mRNA expression and protein levels were significantly higher in the sputum of asthmatics with irreversible airflow obstruction. Sputum oncostatin M levels were highest in people with severe airflow obstruction and were localized to airway neutrophils and macrophages. Peripheral blood neutrophils released more oncostatin M when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide compared with unstimulated neutrophils. Sputum oncostatin M is increased in asthma with irreversible airflow obstruction and is present in airway neutrophils and macrophages. Oncostatin M may link airway inflammation to remodeling in asthma.
Experimental Lung Research Vol. 35, Issue 9, p. 781-794