OBJECTIVES: Very little is known about the role of adipokines in atopic asthma in children. Studies about the potential role of novel proinflammatory adiopcytokine - visfatin are lacking.
DESIGN AND SETTING: In this cross-sectional study serum visfatin (VISF) levels were measured in 89 asthmatic out-patients (61 boys and 28 girls aged 7.0-17.0 years) and in 33 healthy children.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Among examined asthmatics 59 (19 girls and 40 boys) had normal weight and 30 (9 girls and 21 boys) were obese. Serum VISF was evaluated using standard ELISA tests and the results were analysed in relation to body weight, asthma severity, and gender were analysed.
RESULTS: The mean serum levels of visfatin were significantly (p<0.001) lower both in obese (2.13±0.07npg/ml) and non-obese asthmatic children (2.05±0.06 npg/ml) than in healthy children (2.57±0.07 pg/ml) regardless of gender. After stratifying by gender, there was a significant decrease (p<0.001) in visfatin levels in obese asthmatic girls (2.30±0.08 ng/ml) and asthmatic girls with normal weight girls (2.21±0,09 ng/ml) compared with girls from control group (2.69 ±0.06 ng/ml). In obese asthmatic boys and non-obese asthmatic boys also significantly lower (p<0.01) mean values of visfatin (2.03±0.06 ng/ml and 1.9±0.06 pg/ml respectively) were observed than in control boys (2.391±0.09 ng/ml). No relationships between examined adipokine levels and asthma severity, spirometric parameters, degree of allergic sensitization, BMI, were observed.
CONCLUSION: Visfatin is not potential biomarker in atopic asthma in children and further studies evaluating the possible role of this proinflammatory adipokine in childhood atopic asthma pathogenesis are needed.