Urinary Levels of Bombesin-Related Peptides in a Population Sample from Northern Italy: Potential Role in the Pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Bombesin-related peptides (BRP) are present in the lung and have various biological functions, including modulation of lung maturation. Many recent studies have suggested that BRP have a pathogenic role in airway wall remodeling in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The aim of this cross-sectional survey was to evaluate the distribution of urinary BRP excretion as a indirect marker of pulmonary BRP production and to assess the prevalence of smoking, chronic respiratory symptoms, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma in a population sample from northern Italy. Associations between urinary BRP excretion and several respiratory and nonrespiratory variables were also evaluated. The only variable tested that was significantly predictive of high urinary levels of BRP was the presence of respiratory symptoms. In contrast to previous studies, smoking per se was not significantly associated with urinary BRP levels.

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