The team found that a specific metabolite, called carnitines, had a reduced effect in patients with severe asthma.
Carnitines play an important role in cellular energy generation and immune responses.
Further analyzes showed lower carnitine metabolism in patients with severe asthma.
These new findings will help researchers work towards new, more effective therapies for asthmatics.
Dr. Reinke, from ECU’s Center for Integrative Metabolism and Computational Biology, says it’s important to improve asthma.
She said: “Asthma affects 2.7 million Australians and there are 417 asthma deaths in Australia in 2020.
“Severe asthma occurs when someone’s asthma is not controlled, despite being treated with high amounts of medication and/or multiple medications.
“To identify and develop new treatment options, we first need to better understand the underlying mechanisms of this disease.”
One way to do this is to examine the body’s chemical profile, or ‘metabolism’, which provides a snapshot of a person’s current physiological state and provides useful insights into disease processes.
“In this case, we were able to use the urine metabolites of asthmatics to identify underlying differences in energy metabolism that could be targets for interventions,” said Dr. Reinke. novel in asthma control.
Can urine tell us what’s going on in the lungs?
Dr Reinke said it can be difficult and invasive to directly investigate the lungs – but fortunately, they contain lots of blood vessels.
“Therefore, any biochemical changes in the lungs can enter the bloodstream, and then be excreted in the urine,” she said.
“These are preliminary results, but we will continue to investigate the metabolism of carnitine to evaluate its potential as a new asthma treatment target.”
‘Urological pattern of evidence that severe asthma reduces carnitine metabolism independent of oral corticosteroid treatment in the U-BIOPRED study’ published in the journal European Respiratory Journal.