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Volume 39, Number 6, December 2006

Role of nerve growth factor in allergic and inflammatory lung diseases


Sawsan Mahmoud Sayed El-Banna, Wafaa Khairy Mohamed Mahdi, Basma Abd El-Moez Ali, Mira Maher Raouf
Departments of Pediatrics, and Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, El-Minia University, Egypt

Received: November 8, 2005    Revised: March 20, 2006    Accepted: March 27, 2006   

 

Corresponding author:

Dr. Wafaa Khairy Mohamed Mahdi, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, El-Minia University, El-Minia 61519, Egypt. E-mail: wafaamahdi@yahoo.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 



 

Background and purpose: 

Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotrophin that plays an important role in the development and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. We investigated the role of NGF receptors in allergic and inflammatory lung diseases.
 



 

Methods:

This study included 90 children who attended the outpatient pediatric clinic or who were admitted to the inpatient pediatric department of El-Minia University Hospital. The children were divided into 3 groups — Group I, asthmatic children who had sustained an acute attack; Group II, children with severe inflammatory lung disease such as bronchopneumonia; and Group III, 20 apparently healthy children who were age- and sex-matched to the diseased groups. Thorough clinical examination, chest X-ray, complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were carried out.
 



 

Results:

RT-PCR revealed only 3 asthmatic cases that showed positive NGF receptors on isolated eosinophils from the peripheral blood. However, all cases with bronchopneumonia had no detectable results. Moreover, there was a statistically significant difference between positive and negative cases for NGF receptors on isolated eosinophils by RT-PCR with regard to age (p<.001), frequency of recurrence of asthmatic attacks (p<0.005), positive history of other atopic diseases such as allergic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis (p<0.02). However, there was no statistically significant difference between positive and negative cases with respect to sex, type of feeding, and/or family history.

 



 

Conclusion:

There is a strong association between NGF receptors on isolated eosinophils and the severity of allergic lung diseases and bronchial asthma.

 



 

Key words:

Eosinophils, lung diseases, nerve growth factor, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction

 



 

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2006;39:444-451.