OBJECTIVE: To characterize nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase isoform 2 (NOX2), oxidative stress, and endothelial function in children with and without allergic rhinitis and to ascertain the effect of passive smoke exposure on these factors, because there is an established association between allergic rhinitis and increased cardiovascular risk in adults.
METHODS: We recruited 130 children-65 with persistent allergic rhinitis and 65 healthy controls. A cross-sectional study was performed to compare endothelial function by flow-mediated dilation, blood levels of isoprostanes, serum activity of soluble NOX2-dp (sNOX2-dp), and nitric oxide bioavailability, in these 2 groups of children. Serum cotinine levels were assessed to measure exposure to passive smoking.
RESULTS: Compared with healthy controls, children with persistent allergic rhinitis had significantly higher sNOX2-dp and isoprostanes levels, lower flow-mediated dilation, and reduced nitric oxide bioavailability. Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that flow-mediated dilation, isoprostanes, and cotinine were independently associated with sNOX2-dp levels. Of note, sNOX2-dp serum levels were significantly higher in children with allergic rhinitis exposed to smoke, as compared with unexposed children with allergic rhinitis.
CONCLUSION: NOX2 is activated in children with persistent allergic rhinitis and passive smoke exposure exacerbates this effect. We further demonstrate an association between higher sNOX2-dp and oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction.