Increased sputum lactate during oral glucose tolerance test in cystic fibrosis

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Blood glucose levels exceeding 8 mM are shown to increase glucose levels in airway surface in cystic fibrosis (CF). Moreover, high levels of endobronchial glucose are proposed to increase the growth of common CF bacteria and feed the neutrophil-driven inflammation. In the infected airways, glucose may be metabolized by glycolysis to lactate by both bacteria and neutrophils. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether increased blood glucose may fuel the glycolytic pathways of the lung inflammation by determining sputum glucose and lactate during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Sputum from 27 CF patients was collected during an OGTT. Sputum was collected at fasting and one and two hours following the intake of 75 g of glucose. Only participants able to expectorate more than one sputum sample were included. Glucose levels in venous blood and lactate and glucose content in sputum were analyzed using a regular blood gas analyzer. We collected 62 sputum samples: 20 at baseline, 22 after 1 h, and 20 after 2 h. Lactate and glucose were detectable in 30 (48.4%) and 43 (69.4%) sputum samples, respectively. The sputum lactate increased significantly at 2 h in the OGTT (p = 0.024), but sputum glucose was not changed. As expected, plasma glucose level significantly increased during the OGTT (p < 0.001). In CF patients, sputum lactate increased during an OGTT, while the sputum glucose did not reflect the increased plasma glucose. The increase in sputum lactate suggests that glucose spills over from plasma to sputum where glucose may enhance the inflammation by fueling the anaerobic metabolism in neutrophils or bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)535-539
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. APMIS published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Scandinavian Societies for Medical Microbiology and Pathology.

    Research areas

  • cystic fibrosis, lactate, OGTT, Sputum

ID: 308890857