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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 1797512, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1797512
Research Article

Glycoprotein YKL-40 Levels in Plasma Are Associated with Fibrotic Changes on HRCT in Asbestos-Exposed Subjects

1The Immunopharmacology Research Group, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 100, 33014 Tampere, Finland
2Allergy Centre, Tampere University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, P.O. Box 100, 33014 Tampere, Finland
3Clinic of Occupational Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 486, 33101 Tampere, Finland
4Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, P.O. Box 486, 33101 Tampere, Finland
5Department of Radiology, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, 33521 Tampere, Finland
6Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, P.O. Box 100, 33014 Tampere, Finland
7Department of Respiratory Medicine, Seinäjoki Central Hospital, 60220 Seinäjoki, Finland

Correspondence should be addressed to Katriina Vuolteenaho; if.atu@ohaneetlouv.aniirtak

Received 2 December 2016; Revised 5 April 2017; Accepted 12 April 2017; Published 14 May 2017

Academic Editor: Dianne Cooper

Copyright © 2017 Tuija Väänänen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

YKL-40 is a chitinase-like glycoprotein produced by alternatively activated macrophages that are associated with wound healing and fibrosis. Asbestosis is a chronic asbestos-induced lung disease, in which injury of epithelial cells and activation of alveolar macrophages lead to enhanced collagen production and fibrosis. We studied if YKL-40 is related to inflammation, fibrosis, and/or lung function in subjects exposed to asbestosis. Venous blood samples were collected from 85 men with moderate or heavy occupational asbestos exposure and from 28 healthy, age-matched controls. Levels of plasma YKL-40, CRP, IL-6, adipsin, and MMP-9 were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Plasma YKL-40 levels were significantly higher in subjects with asbestosis () than in those with no fibrotic findings in HRCT following asbestos exposure () or in unexposed healthy controls. In asbestos-exposed subjects, plasma YKL-40 correlated negatively with lung function capacity parameters FVC (Pearson’s r −0.259, ) and FEV1 (Pearson’s r −0.240, ) and positively with CRP (Spearman’s rho 0.371, ), IL-6 (Spearman’s rho 0.314, ), adipsin (Spearman’s rho 0.459, ), and MMP-9 (Spearman’s rho 0.243, ). The present finding suggests YKL-40 as a biomarker associated with fibrosis and inflammation in asbestos-exposed subjects.