Severe Asthma

Women depending on steroids to treat asthma, their body’s estrogen may not only be preventing the treatment from working effectively, but making the asthma worse, according to a recent Western study. They have assume estrogen would just affect how well the steroid works it didn’t.
Steroid is a biologically active organic compound with four rings arrange in a specific molecular configuration. Steroids have two principal biological functions: as important components of cell membranes which alter membrane fluidity; and as signaling molecules. Hundreds of steroids are found in plants, animals and fungi.

Steroids are suppressing inflammation

It makes them different and more aggressive, said Lauren Solomon, a postdoctoral scholar working with Pathology and Laboratory Medicine professor Lisa Cameron. The steroids are still suppressing inflammation. So the symptoms are being treated. But it’s not treating the actual white blood cells causing it. So when they get expose to another allergen, the asthma comes again and it’s worse.
Currently affecting about three million Canadians, Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway. While sufferers’ airways are inflame, to some degree, all the time, the more inflame the airway the more difficulty they have in breathing. When Solomon began working with Cameron, they notice women with severe asthma differ from their male counterparts.

Determine through blood samples, women had more of a specific T cell a type of white blood cell of key importance to the immune system than the men, making Solomon wonder if it was relate to “those pesky sex hormones. She began working with cell culture models from blood donors, adding estrogen and steroids.

Asthma were prescribe steroids

They find that while women with severe asthma were being prescribe steroids; so some getting the maximum allowable dose nothing was happening. In fact, things got worse in some instances. They can treat the cells for 24 hours with estrogen and steroids and the next day, when they activate them; so they produce way more mediators, meaning the next time they are expose to an antigen, it’s worse, they said.
Solomon is continuing her work by exploring specific RNA sequencing targets where she can enumerate the cells, allowing her to determine whose medication is not working and making them better candidates for newer therapies or medications. If they can get this information out there, if they can influence prescribing habits, there are alternative drugs that are already approve, they said. They can now say if it’s a woman going through menopause taking hormone replacement therapy, maybe check her estrogen levels.