Nasopharyngeal prostaglandin E2 in infant bronchiolitis

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    The mechanism by which severe bronchiolitis can result in the development of recurrent childhood wheeze is unclear. However, mucosal inflammation and immune activation may play a major role. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 has been highlighted as a possible therapeutic target for both the treatment of bronchiolitis and the prevention of subsequent airway hyperresponsiveness. The aim of this pilot study was to examine PGE2 in the airways of infants hospitalised with bronchiolitis. Nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) were collected from 18 infants within 12 hours of admission and assayed by enzyme immunoassays for PGE2, interleukin (IL)-10, and IL-12, as well as cyclooxygenase (COX) 1 and 2 activity. NPA PGE2 concentration correlated with length of illness preadmission, but was not related to disease severity, causal virus, or IL-10. NPA COX 1 and 2 activity and IL-12 were all below the level of detection. Neither NPA PGE2 nor disease severity was related to development of recurrent wheeze over 3 years following bronchiolitis. These data suggest that nasopharygeal PGE2 at hospital admission may be neither directly causal or diagnostic of severity of infant bronchiolitis, or prognostic of development of recurrent wheeze. However, large-cohort temporal examinations are required to adequately define this mediator as a therapeutic target for bronchiolitis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)600-605
    Number of pages6
    JournalExperimental Lung Research
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Funding for this study was provided by the Financial Markets Fund for Children, the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, and the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the infants and parents who participated in the study. The authors also thank Dr. Victoria Atkinson for performing the RDAI scoring and Ms. Malgosia Krupa for technical assistance. Address correspondence to Dani-Louise Dixon, Intensive and Critical Care Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia. E-mail:

    Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • Asthma
    • Cytokines
    • Nasopharygeal aspirate
    • Pulmonary inflammation
    • Respiratory syncytial virus


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