The article aims to highlight the association between α1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) and asthma.
AATD is a common and yet underrecognized autosomal disorder associated with an increased risk of developing liver and lung diseases. A link between α1-antitrypsin and asthma has been suggested, especially with severe forms of this disease. Many studies have shown an increased prevalence of asthma in the α1-antitrypsin-deficient population. The biological mechanism underlying these two conditions and being able to bind them has not yet been well investigated. As α1-antitrypsin is the primary inhibitor of the serine proteinase and it is an essential anti-inflammatory protein with pronounced immunomodulatory activities, it can be hypothesized that the link between AATD and asthma might be represented by the elastase/antielastase imbalance and the proinflammatory effect that occurs because of the reduction of this protein.
The study concluded that there is a strong need for further research to understand better the molecular mechanisms binding AATD and asthma as it is a common and yet underrecognized autosomal disorder. It is also recommendable to screen for AATD, late-onset asthma patients, and those with not fully reversible airway obstruction.