Endothelial caveolin-1 loss is an important feature of pulmonary hypertension (PH); the rescue of caveolin-1 abrogates experimental PH. Recent studies in human PH suggest that the endothelial caveolin-1 loss is followed by an enhanced expression of caveolin-1 in smooth muscle cells (SMC) with subsequent neointima formation. In order to evaluate caveolin-1 expression in infants with PH, we examined the available clinical histories, hemodynamic data, and the expression of caveolin-1, PECAM-1, vWF, and smooth muscle α-actin in the lung biopsy/autopsy specimens obtained from infants with congenital heart disease (CHD, n = 8) and lung disease (n = 9). In CHD group, PH associated with increased pulmonary blood flow exhibited loss of endothelial caveolin-1 and PECAM-1 in pulmonary arteries; additional vWF loss was associated with enhanced expression of caveolin-1 in SMC. In the absence of PH, increased or decreased pulmonary blood flow did not disrupt endothelial caveolin-1, PECAM-1, or vWF; nor was there any enhanced expression of caveolin-1 in SMC. In Lung Disease + PH group, caveolin-1, PECAM-1, and vWF were well preserved in seven infants, and importantly, SMC in these arteries did not exhibit enhanced caveolin-1 expression. Two infants with associated inflammatory disease exhibited loss of endothelial caveolin-1 and PECAM-1; additional loss of vWF was accompanied by enhanced expression of caveolin-1 in SMC. Thus, associated flow-induced shear stress or inflammation, but not elevated pulmonary artery pressure alone, disrupts endothelial caveolin-1. Subsequent vWF loss, indicative of extensive endothelial damage is associated with enhanced expression of caveolin-1 in SMC, which may worsen the disease.
congenital heart defect; endothelial cells; lung disease; smooth muscle cells
Senescence of pulmonary artery-smooth muscle cells (PA-SMCs) caused by telomere shortening or oxidative stress may contribute to pulmonary hypertension (PH) associated with chronic lung diseases.
To investigate whether cell senescence contributes to pulmonary vessel remodeling and PH in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods and results
In 124 patients with COPD, investigated by right heart catheterization, we found a negative correlation between leukocyte telomere length and PH severity. In-depth investigations of lung vessels and derived cultured PA-SMCs showed greater severity of remodeling and increases in senescent p16- and p21-positive PA-SMCs and proliferating Ki67-stained cells in 14 patients with COPD compared to 13 age- and sex-matched control smokers. Cultured PA-SMCs from COPD patients displayed accelerated senescence, with fewer cell-population doublings, an increased percentage of beta-galactosidase-positive cells, shorter telomeres, and higher p16 protein levels at an early cell passage, compared to PA-SMCs from controls. Both in situ and in vitro PA-SMC senescence criteria correlated closely with the degree of pulmonary vessel wall hypertrophy. Because senescent PA-SMCs stained for p16 and p21 were virtually confined to the media near the Ki67-positive cells, which predominated in the neointima and hypertrophied media, we evaluated whether senescent cells affected normal PA-SMC functions. We found that senescent PA-SMCs stimulated the growth and migration of normal target PA-SMCs through the production and release of paracrine soluble and insoluble factors.
PA-SMC senescence is an important contributor to the process of pulmonary vascular remodeling that underlies PH in chronic lung disease.
Aged; Cell Aging; physiology; Cells, Cultured; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Muscle, Smooth, Vascular; pathology; physiopathology; Myocytes, Smooth Muscle; pathology; physiology; Pulmonary Artery; pathology; physiopathology; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; etiology; pathology; physiopathology; pulmonary hypertension; senescence; smooth muscle cells; remodeling
De novo lymphatic vessel formation has recently been observed in lungs of patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the distribution of lymphatic vessel changes among the anatomical compartments of diseased lungs is unknown. Furthermore, information regarding the nature of lymphatic vessel alterations across different stages of COPD is missing. This study performs a detailed morphometric characterization of lymphatic vessels in major peripheral lung compartments of patients with different severities of COPD and investigates the lymphatic expression of molecules involved in immune cell trafficking.
Peripheral lung resection samples obtained from patients with mild (GOLD stage I), moderate-severe (GOLD stage II-III), and very severe (GOLD stage IV) COPD were investigated for podoplanin-immunopositive lymphatic vessels in distinct peripheral lung compartments: bronchioles, pulmonary blood vessels and alveolar walls. Control subjects with normal lung function were divided into never smokers and smokers. Lymphatics were analysed by multiple morphological parameters, as well as for their expression of CCL21 and the chemokine scavenger receptor D6.
The number of lymphatics increased by 133% in the alveolar parenchyma in patients with advanced COPD compared with never-smoking controls (p < 0.05). In patchy fibrotic lesions the number of alveolar lymphatics increased 20-fold from non-fibrotic parenchyma in the same COPD patients. The absolute number of lymphatics per bronchiole and artery was increased in advanced COPD, but numbers were not different after normalization to tissue area. Increased numbers of CCL21- and D6-positive lymphatics were observed in the alveolar parenchyma in advanced COPD compared with controls (p < 0.01). Lymphatic vessels also displayed increased mean levels of immunoreactivity for CCL21 in the wall of bronchioles (p < 0.01) and bronchiole-associated arteries (p < 0.05), as well as the alveolar parenchyma (p < 0.001) in patients with advanced COPD compared with never-smoking controls. A similar increase in lymphatic D6 immunoreactivity was observed in bronchioles (p < 0.05) and alveolar parenchyma (p < 0.01).
This study shows that severe stages of COPD is associated with increased numbers of alveolar lymphatic vessels and a change in lymphatic vessel phenotype in major peripheral lung compartments. This novel histopathological feature is suggested to have important implications for distal lung immune cell traffic in advanced COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Alveolar; Lymphatic vessel; CCL21; D6; Immunohistochemistry; Inflammation
The development of pulmonary hypertension is a poor prognostic sign in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affecting both mortality and quality of life. Although pulmonary hypertension in COPD is traditionally viewed as a result of emphysematous destruction of the vascular bed and/or hypoxia, recent studies indicate that neither of these factors correlates very well with pulmonary artery pressures. New human and animal experimental data are beginning to show that pulmonary hypertension in this setting is probably a result of the direct effect of tobacco smoke on the intrapulmonary vessels with abnormal production of mediators that control vasoconstriction, vasodilatation, and vascular cell proliferation, ultimately leading to aberrant vascular remodelling and aberrant vascular physiology. These changes are in many ways similar to those seen in other forms of pulmonary hypertension and suggest that the treatments used for primary pulmonary hypertension may be beneficial in patients with COPD.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship of caveolin-1 expression with prognosis in patients with transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract (TCC-UUT). Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of TCC-UUT from 98 patients, who had undergone radical nephroureterectomy, were stained immunohistochemically using antibodies against caveolin-1. The expression pattern of caveolin-1 was compared with the clinicopathological variables. The caveolin-1 expression was significantly correlated with T stage (p<0.001) and grade (p=0.036). The survival rate of patients with caveolin-1 positive tumors was significantly lower than that of patients with caveolin-1 negative tumors (p<0.0001). The univariate analyses identified T stage, grade, and caveolin-1 expression as significant prognostic factors for cancer-specific survival, whereas the multivariate analyses indicated that T stage and caveolin-1 expression were independent prognostic factors. These results show that the increased expression of caveolin-1 is associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis in TCC-UUT, suggesting that caveolin-1 may play an important role in the progression of TCC-UUT.
Caveolin 1; Prognosis; Carcinoma, Transitional Cell; Upper Urinary Tract
The goal was to determine the clinical utility of Doppler echocardiography in predicting the presence and severity of pulmonary hypertension in patients with chronic lung disease who subsequently underwent cardiac catheterization.
A retrospective review of data for all patients <2 years of age with a diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or lung hypoplasia who underwent echocardiography and subsequently underwent cardiac catheterization for evaluation of pulmonary hypertension was performed. The accuracy of echocardiography in diagnosing pulmonary hypertension, on the basis of estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure, was compared with the detection of pulmonary hypertension with the standard method of cardiac catheterization.
Thirty-one linked measurements for 25 children were analyzed. Systolic pulmonary artery pressure could be estimated in 61% of studies, but there was poor correlation between echocardiography and cardiac catheterization measures of systolic pulmonary artery pressure in these infants. Compared with cardiac catheterization measurements, echocardiographic estimates of systolic pulmonary artery pressure diagnosed correctly the presence or absence of pulmonary hypertension in 79% of the studies in which systolic pulmonary artery pressure was estimated but determined the severity of pulmonary hypertension (severe pulmonary hypertension was defined as pulmonary/systemic pressure ratio of ≥0.67) correctly in only 47% of those studies. Seven (58%) of 12 children without estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure demonstrated pulmonary hypertension during subsequent cardiac catheterization. In the absence of estimated systolic pulmonary artery pressure, qualitative echocardiographic findings, either alone or in combination, had worse predictive value for the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.
As used in clinical practice, echocardiography often identifies pulmonary hypertension in young children with chronic lung disease; however, estimates of systolic pulmonary artery pressure were not obtained consistently and were not reliable for determining the severity of pulmonary hypertension.
chronic lung disease; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; pulmonary hypertension; echocardiography; cardiac catheterization
In this perspective, we review published data which support the concept that many or most chronic and progressive lung diseases also involve the lung vessels and that microvascular abnormalities and endothelial cell death contribute to the pathobiology of emphysema. Lung vessel maintenance depends on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor signaling and both are compromised in the emphysematous lung tissue. Although hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction has been considered as an important factor contributing to the vascular remodeling in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (COPD/emphysema, it is now clear that inhaled cigarette smoke can damage the lung vessels independent of the lung vascular tone. We propose that a “sick lung circulation” rather than the right heart afterload may better explain the cardiac abnormalities in COPD patients which are usually summarized with the term “cor pulmonale.” The mechanisms and causes of pulmonary hypertension are likely complex and include vessel loss, in situ thrombosis, and endothelial cell dysfunction. Assessment of the functional importance of pulmonary hypertension in COPD requires hemodynamic measurements during exercise.
cor pulmonale; exercise; lung endothelial cells; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular remodeling
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has considerable effects on cardiac functions, including those of the right ventricle, left ventricle, and pulmonary blood vessels. Most of the increased mortality associated with COPD is due to cardiac involvement. Echocardiography provides a rapid, noninvasive, portable, and accurate method to evaluate the cardiac changes.
To assess the cardiac changes secondary to COPD by echocardiography and to find out the correlation between echocardiographic findings and severity of COPD, if there is any.
Materials and Methods:
A total 40 of patients of COPD were selected and staged by pulmonary function test (PFT) and evaluated byechocardiography.
On echocardiographic evaluation of COPD, 50% cases had normal echocardiographic parameters. Measurable tricuspid regurgitation (TR) was observed in 27/40 cases (67.5%). Pulmonary hypertension (PH), which is defined as systolic pulmonary arterial pressure (sPAP)> 30 mmHg was observed in 17/27 (63%) cases in which prevalence of mild, moderate, and severe PH were 10/17 (58.82%), 4/17 (23.53%), and 3/17 (17.65%), respectively. The frequencies of PH in mild, moderate, severe, and very severe COPD were 16.67%, 54.55%, 60.00%, and 83.33%, respectively. Right atrial pressure was 10 mmHg in 82.5% cases and 15 mmHg in 17.5% cases. Cor pulmonale was observed in 7/17 (41.17%) cases; 7.50% cases had left ventricle (LV) systolic dysfunction and 47.5% cases had evidence of LV diastolic dysfunction defined as A ≥ E (peak mitral flow velocity of the early rapid filling wave (E), peak velocity of the late filling wave caused by atrial contraction (A) on mitral valve tracing) Left ventricle hypertrophy was found in 22.5% cases.
Prevalence of PH has a linear relationship with severity of COPD and severe PH is almost associated with cor pulmonale. Echocardiography helps in early detection of cardiac complications in COPD cases giving time for early interventions.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cor pulmonale; echocardiography; pulmonary hypertension
Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with accelerated loss of lung function and death. Identification of patients at risk for these events, particularly those requiring hospitalization, is of major importance. Severe pulmonary hypertension is an important complication of advanced COPD and predicts acute exacerbations, though pulmonary vascular abnormalities also occur early in the course of the disease. We hypothesized that a computed tomographic (CT) metric of pulmonary vascular disease (pulmonary artery enlargement, as determined by a ratio of the diameter of the pulmonary artery to the diameter of the aorta [PA:A ratio] of >1) would be associated with severe COPD exacerbations.
We conducted a multicenter, observational trial that enrolled current and former smokers with COPD. We determined the association between a PA:A ratio of more than 1 and a history at enrollment of severe exacerbations requiring hospitalization and then examined the usefulness of the ratio as a predictor of these events in a longitudinal follow-up of this cohort, as well as in an external validation cohort. We used logistic-regression and zero-inflated negative binomial regression analyses and adjusted for known risk factors for exacerbation.
Multivariate logistic-regression analysis showed a significant association between a PA:A ratio of more than 1 and a history of severe exacerbations at the time of enrollment in the trial (odds ratio, 4.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.43 to 6.65; P<0.001). A PA:A ratio of more than 1 was also independently associated with an increased risk of future severe exacerbations in both the trial cohort (odds ratio, 3.44; 95% CI, 2.78 to 4.25; P<0.001) and the external validation cohort (odds ratio, 2.80; 95% CI, 2.11 to 3.71; P<0.001). In both cohorts, among all the variables analyzed, a PA:A ratio of more than 1 had the strongest association with severe exacerbations.
Pulmonary artery enlargement (a PA:A ratio of >1), as detected by CT, was associated with severe exacerbations of COPD. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00608764 and NCT00292552.)
Recent evidence suggests that activation of RhoA/Rho-kinase accounts for systemic and pulmonary endothelial dysfunction in smokers with normal lung function. However, its role in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the regulation of RhoA/Rho-kinase pathway and pulmonary endothelial dysfunction in patients with COPD. Pulmonary arteries were obtained from nonsmokers (control subjects) and patients with nonhypoxemic and hypoxemic COPD (n = 6–7/group). Endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxations were evaluated by acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside, respectively. Gene and protein expressions of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were measured by RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Nitrate, cGMP, and endothelin-1 (ET-1) concentrations, as well as Rho-kinase activity were measured by ELISA. Protein expressions of total RhoA and GTP-RhoA were measured by Western blot and pull-down assay, respectively. Endothelium-dependent relaxation, and nitrate and cGMP levels were significantly reduced in pulmonary arteries of COPD patients as compared with control subjects. Conversely, activity of RhoA/Rho-kinase was increased in pulmonary arteries of COPD patients as compared with control subjects. In patients with COPD, pulmonary endothelial dysfunction was related to the downregulation of eNOS activity and upregulation of RhoA/Rho-kinase activity.
COPD; endothelial dysfunction; eNOS; RhoA; Rho-kinases
Recent data implicate oxidative stress as a mediator of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and of the associated pathological changes to the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricle (RV). Increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS), altered redox state, and elevated oxidant stress have been demonstrated in the lungs and RV of several animal models of PH, including chronic hypoxia, monocrotaline toxicity, caveolin-1 knock-out mouse, and the transgenic Ren2 rat which overexpresses the mouse renin gene. Generation of ROS in these models is derived mostly from the activities of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidases, xanthine oxidase, and uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase. As disease progresses circulating monocytes and bone marrow-derived monocytic progenitor cells are attracted to and accumulate in the pulmonary vasculature. Once established, these inflammatory cells generate ROS and secrete mitogenic and fibrogenic cytokines that induce cell proliferation and fibrosis in the vascular wall resulting in progressive vascular remodeling. Deficiencies in antioxidant enzymes also contribute to pulmonary hypertensive states. Current therapies were developed to improve endothelial function, reduce pulmonary artery pressure, and slow the progression of vascular remodeling in the pulmonary vasculature by targeting deficiencies in either NO (PDE-type 5 inhibition) or PGI2 (prostacyclin analogs), or excessive synthesis of ET-1 (ET receptor blockers) with the intent to improve patient clinical status and survival. New therapies may slow disease progression to some extent, but long term management has not been achieved and mortality is still high. Although little is known concerning the effects of current pulmonary arterial hypertension treatments on RV structure and function, interest in this area is increasing. Development of therapeutic strategies that simultaneously target pathology in the pulmonary vasculature and RV may be beneficial in reducing mortality associated with RV failure.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Rosuvastatin; Oxidative stress; Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase; Statins
Pulmonary hypertension is a frequent complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and associated with a worse survival and increased risk of hospitalization for exacerbation of COPD. However, little information exists regarding the potential role of systemic inflammation in pulmonary hypertension of COPD. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the degree of C-reactive protein (CRP) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels in COPD patient with and without pulmonary hypertension. The levels of CRP and ET-1 were investigated in 58 COPD patient with pulmonary hypertension and 50 patients without pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension was defined as a systolic pulmonary artery pressure (Ppa) ≥35 mmHg assessed by Doppler echocardiography. Plasma CRP and ET-1 levels were significantly higher in patients with pulmonary hypertension than in patients without hypertension. There were significant positive correlations between the plasma ET-1 level and CRP level in the whole study groups. For COPD patients, systolic Ppa correlated significantly with plasma CRP levels and plasma ET-1 levels. These findings support a possibility that CRP and ET-1 correlate to pulmonary hypertension in COPD patients.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Pulmonary Hypertension; C-Reactive Protein; Endothelin-1
The primary function of the mammalian lung is to facilitate diffusion of oxygen to venous blood and to ventilate carbon dioxide produced by catabolic reactions within cells. However, it is also responsible for a variety of other important functions, including host defense and production of vasoactive agents to regulate not only systemic blood pressure, but also water, electrolyte and acid-base balance. Caveolin-1 is highly expressed in the majority of cell types in the lung, including epithelial, endothelial, smooth muscle, connective tissue cells, and alveolar macrophages. Deletion of caveolin-1 in these cells results in major functional aberrations, suggesting that caveolin-1 may be crucial to lung homeostasis and development. Furthermore, generation of mutant mice that under-express caveolin-1 results in severe functional distortion with phenotypes covering practically the entire spectrum of known lung diseases, including pulmonary hypertension, fibrosis, increased endothelial permeability, and immune defects. In this Chapter, we outline the current state of knowledge regarding caveolin-1-dependent regulation of pulmonary cell functions and discuss recent research findings on the role of caveolin-1 in various pulmonary disease states, including obstructive and fibrotic pulmonary vascular and inflammatory diseases.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) occurs frequently and results in functional limitation in advanced COPD. Data regarding the functional consequence of PH in less severe COPD are limited. Whether echocardiographic evidence of right sided heart pathology is associated with functional outcomes in patients with non-severe COPD is unknown.
We evaluated pulmonary function, six minute walk distance, and echocardiography in 74 consecutive patients with non-severe COPD. We performed multivariable linear regression to evaluate the association between right heart echocardiographic parameters and six minute walk distance adjusting for lung function, age, sex, race, and BMI.
The mean six minute walk distance was 324±106 meters. All subjects had preserved left ventricular (LV) systolic function (LV ejection fraction 62.3%±6.1%). 54.1% had evidence of some degree of diastolic dysfunction. 17.6% of subjects had evidence of right ventricular enlargement and 36.5% had right atrial enlargement. In univariate analysis RV wall thickness (β = −68.6; p = 0.002), log right atrial area (β = −297.9; p = 0.004), LV mass index (β = −1.3; p = 0.03), E/E' ratio (β = −5.5; p = 0.02), and degree of diastolic dysfunction (β = −42.8; p = 0.006) were associated with six minute walk distance. After adjustment for co-variables, the associations between right atrial area (log right atrial area β = −349.8; p = 0.003) and right ventricular wall thickness (β = −43.8; p = 0.04) with lower six minute walk distance remained significant independent of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). LV mass index, E/E' ratio, and degree of diastolic dysfunction were not independent predictors of six minute walk distance.
In patients with non-severe COPD right sided cardiac structural changes are associated with lower six minute walk distance independent of lung function. These findings may indicate that echocardiographic evidence of pulmonary hypertension is present in patients with non-severe COPD and has important functional consequences.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive lung disease characterized by pulmonary vasoconstriction and vascular remodelling, leading to increased pulmonary vascular resistance and right heart failure. Loss of nitric oxide (NO) signalling and increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-derived oxidative stress are central to the pathogenesis of PAH, yet the mechanisms involved remain incompletely determined. In this study, we investigated the role activated CD47 plays in promoting PAH.
Methods and results
We report high-level expression of thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) and CD47 in the lungs of human subjects with PAH and increased expression of TSP1 and activated CD47 in experimental models of PAH, a finding matched in hypoxic human and murine pulmonary endothelial cells. In pulmonary endothelial cells CD47 constitutively associates with caveolin-1 (Cav-1). Conversely, in hypoxic animals and cell cultures activation of CD47 by TSP1 disrupts this constitutive interaction, promoting eNOS-dependent superoxide production, oxidative stress, and PAH. Hypoxic TSP1 null mice developed less right ventricular pressure and hypertrophy and markedly less arteriole muscularization compared with wild-type animals. Further, therapeutic blockade of CD47 activation in hypoxic pulmonary artery endothelial cells upregulated Cav-1, increased Cav-1CD47 co-association, decreased eNOS-derived superoxide, and protected animals from developing PAH.
Activated CD47 is upregulated in experimental and human PAH and promotes disease by limiting Cav-1 inhibition of dysregulated eNOS.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension; CD47; eNOS; Caveolin-1; Reactive oxygen species
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive, inflammatory lung disease that affects a large number of patients and has significant impact. One hallmark of the disease is the presence of bacteria in the lower airways. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the detailed structure of microbial communities found in the lungs of healthy individuals and patients with COPD. Nine COPD patients as compared and 9 healthy individuals underwent flexible bronchoscopy and BAL was performed. Bacterial nucleic acids were subjected to terminal restriction fragment (TRF) length polymorphism and clone library analysis. Overall, we identified 326 T-RFLP band, 159 in patients and 167 in healthy controls. The results of the TRF analysis correlated partly with the data obtained from clone sequencing. Although the results of the sequencing showed high diversity, the genera Prevotella, Sphingomonas, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Fusobacterium, Megasphaera, Veillonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus constituted the major part of the core microbiome found in both groups. A TRF band possibly representing Pseudomonas sp. monoinfection was associated with a reduction of the microbial diversity. Non-cultural methods reveal the complexity of the pulmonary microbiome in healthy individuals and in patients with COPD. Alterations of the microbiome in pulmonary diseases are correlated with disease.
Monocrotaline (MCT)-induced pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH) in rats is preceded by an inflammatory response, progressive endothelial cell membrane disruption, reduction in the expression of caveolin-1 and reciprocal activation of STAT3 (PY-STAT3). Superoxide and NF-κB have been implicated in PAH. To evaluate the role of caveolin-1, PY-STAT3 activation and superoxide in PAH, MCT-injected rats were treated daily with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC, starting on day 1, 3 and 14 × 2 wks) an inhibitor of inflammation and NF-κB activation. Hemodynamic data, the expression of inhibitory (I)-κBα, caveolin-1 and Tie2 (a membrane protein), activation of PY-STAT3 and NF-κB, and superoxide chemiluminescence were examined. Rats developed progressive PAH at 2 wks post-MCT. There were progressive reduction in the expression of caveolin-1, Tie2 and activation of PY-STAT3 in the lungs. Reduction in I-κBα expression was present at 2 and 4 wks post-MCT. Superoxide chemiluminescence and NF-κB activation were observed only at 2 wks post-MCT and both decreased by 4 wks post-MCT despite progressive PAH. PDTC (starting on day 1 and 3) rescued caveolin-1 and Tie2, reversed MCT-induced PY-STAT3 activation, and attenuated PAH. In addition, PDTC restored I-κBα expression and reduced superoxide chemiluminescence at 2 wks, but did not inhibit NF-κB activation despite attenuation of PAH. PDTC had no effect on established PAH. Increased superoxide chemiluminescence and NF-κB activation appear to be a transient phenomenon in the MCT model. Thus, the disruption of endothelial cell membrane integrity resulting in cav-1 loss and reciprocal activation of PY-STAT3 plays a key role in the MCT-induced PAH.
Caveolin-1; I-κBα; Inflammation; PY-STAT3; Tie2
Background. Although researchers have consistently demonstrated systemic inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), its origin is yet unknown. We aimed to compare the lung bronchial and parenchymal tissues as potential sources of major acute-phase reactants in COPD patients and resistant smokers.
Methods. Consecutive patients undergoing elective surgery for suspected primary lung cancer were considered for the study. Patients were categorized as COPD or resistant smokers according to their spirometric results. Lung parenchyma and bronchus sections distant from the primary lesion were obtained. C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA1, SAA2 and SAA4) gene expressions were evaluated by RT-PCR. Protein levels were evaluated in paraffin embedded lung tissues by immunohistochemistry and in serum samples by nephelometry.
Results. Our study included 85 patients with COPD and 87 resistant smokers. In bronchial and parenchymal tissues, both CRP and SAA were overexpressed in COPD patients. In the bronchus, CRP, SAA1, SAA2, and SA4 gene expressions in COPD patients were 1.89-fold, 4.36-fold, 3.65-fold, and 3.9-fold the control values, respectively. In the parenchyma, CRP, SAA1, and SAA2 gene expressions were 2.41-, 1.97-, and 1.76-fold the control values, respectively. Immunohistochemistry showed an over-stained pattern of these markers on endovascular cells of COPD patients. There was no correlation with serum protein concentration.
Conclusions. These results indicate an overexpression of CRP and SAA in both bronchial and parenchymal tissue in COPD, which differs between both locations, indicating tissue/cell type specificity. The endothelial cells might play a role in the production of theses markers.
COPD; C-reactive protein; Serum Amyloid A; gene expression; immunohistochemistry.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a common comorbidity in patients with chronic airway obstruction, and is associated with systemic inflammation and airway obstruction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictors of CVD in two different conditions causing chronic airway obstruction, asthma and COPD.
Lung function tests, clinical and echocardiographic data were assessed in 229 consecutive patients, 100 with asthma and 129 with COPD. CVD was classified into: pressure overload (PO) and volume overload (VO). Sub-analysis of patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD) and pulmonary hypertension (PH) was also performed.
CVD was found in 185 patients (81%: 51% COPD and 30% asthmatics) and consisted of PO in 42% and of VO in 38% patients. COPD patients, as compared to asthmatics, had older age, more severe airway obstruction, higher prevalence of males, of smokers, and of CVD (91% vs 68%), either PO (46% vs 38%) or VO (45% vs 30%). CVD was associated with older age and more severe airway obstruction both in asthma and COPD. In the overall patients the predictive factors of CVD were age, COPD, and male sex; those of PO were COPD, BMI, VC, FEV1 and MEF50 and those of VO were age, VC and MEF50. In asthma, the predictors of CVD were VC, FEV1, FEV1 /VC%, and PaO2, those of PO were VC, FEV1 and FEV1 /VC%, while for VO there was no predictor. In COPD the predictors of CVD were age, GOLD class and sex, those of VO age, VC and MEF50, and that of PO was BMI. Sub-analysis showed that IHD was predicted by COPD, age, BMI and FEV1, while PH (found only in 25 COPD patients), was predicted by VO (present in 80% of the patients) and FEV1. In subjects aged 65 years or more the prevalence of CVD, PO and VO was similar in asthmatic and COPD patients, but COPD patients had higher prevalence of males, smokers, IHD, PH, lower FEV1 and higher CRP.
The results of this study indicate that cardiovascular diseases are frequent in patients with chronic obstructive disorders, particularly in COPD patients. The strongest predictors of CVD are age and airway obstruction. COPD patients have higher prevalence of ischemic heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. In the elderly the prevalence of PO and VO in asthma and COPD patients is similar.
Airway obstruction; Asthma; Cardiovascular disease; COPD; Pressure overload; Volume overload
The cardiac manifestations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are numerous. Impairments of right ventricular dysfunction and pulmonary vascular disease are well known to complicate the clinical course of COPD and correlate inversely with survival. The pathogenesis of pulmonary vascular disease in COPD is likely multifactorial and related to alterations in gas exchange and vascular biology, as well as structural changes of the pulmonary vasculature and mechanical factors. Several modalities currently exist for the assessment of pulmonary vascular disease in COPD, but right heart catheterization remains the gold standard. Although no specific therapy other than oxygen has been generally accepted for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in this population, there has been renewed interest in specific pulmonary vasodilators. The coexistence of COPD and coronary artery disease occurs frequently. This association is likely related to shared risk factors as well as similar pathogenic mechanisms, such as systemic inflammation. Management strategies for the care of patients with COPD and coronary artery disease are similar to those without COPD, but care must be given to address their respiratory limitations. Arrhythmias occur frequently in patients with COPD, but are rarely fatal and can generally be treated medically. Use of β-blockers in the management of cardiac disease, while a theoretical concern in patients with increased airway resistance, is generally safe with the use of cardioselective agents.
emphysema; pulmonary hypertension; cor pulmonale; coronary artery disease
Plasma N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels are elevated in patients with secondary pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease with right ventricular overload. The aim of the present study was to investigate the use of plasma NT-proBNP levels as a prognostic marker of severe COPD with chronic respiratory failure and latent pulmonary hypertension.
Plasma NT-proBNP levels were measured in 61 patients with stable COPD. Plasma NT-proBNP levels, pulmonary function, PaO2, and PaCO2 levels and systolic pulmonary artery pressure were compared according to COPD severity. In addition, we examined correlations between plasma NT-proBNP levels and pulmonary function, PaO2, PaCO2, and systolic pulmonary artery pressure.
The levels of plasma NT-proBNP significantly increased in patients with stage IV and stage III COPD compared to individuals with stage II COPD according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve of plasma NT-proBNP for severe to very severe COPD (FEV1 < 50%) was 0.707 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.566–0.847, P = 0.008). Plasma NT-proBNP levels significantly correlated with %FEV1 (r = −0.557; P < 0.001), arterial blood gas parameters such as PaCO2 (r = 0.476; P < 0.001) and PaO2 (r = −0.347; P = 0.031), and systolic pulmonary artery pressure (r = 0.435; P = 0.001).
Plasma NT-proBNP levels increased significantly with disease severity, progression of chronic respiratory failure, and secondary pulmonary hypertension in patients with stable COPD. These results suggest that plasma NT-proBNP can be a useful prognostic marker to monitor COPD progression and identify cases of secondary pulmonary hypertension in patients with stable COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; NT-proBNP; Prognosis; Medicine & Public Health; Pneumology/Respiratory System
Surfactant Protein D (SP-D) is an important marker in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Serum SP-D levels increase while lung production of SP-D decreases in COPD. SP-D is a specific biomarker for monitoring COPD, assessment of exacerbation frequency and arrangement of treatment modalities. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the correlation between serum and induced sputum SP-D levels with severity and acute exacerbations of COPD.
20 healthy subjects, older than 40 years, with at least 10 pack/years smoking history (group 1), 20 stage I-II COPD patients (group 2) , and 20 stage III-IV COPD patients (group 3) were enrolled in the study. All subjects performed pulmonary function tests. Venous blood samples were taken to determine complete blood count, C-reactive protein(CRP) and serum SP-D levels. Induced sputum samples were obtained to determine SP-D level. COPD patients were followed up for acute exacerbations for 6 months.
Serum SP-D levels of group 3 were the highest and induced sputum SP-D levels of group 2 were the lowest among the three groups. SP-D levels of induced sputum decreased in patients with increasing number of cigarette pack/years (p = 0.03, r = −0.115), whereas serum SP-D levels increased in these patients (p = 0.0001, r = 0.6 ). Induced sputum SP-D levels in COPD patients receiving inhaled corticosteroid treatment were significantly higher than in patients who were not receiving inhaler corticosteroid treatment (p = 0.005). An inverse correlation between serum SP-D levels and FEV1 (%) was found and there was a positive correlation between the serum SP-D levels and exacerbations frequency in 6-month follow up period (p = 0.049 ,r = −0.252; p = 0.0001, r = 0.598 respectively).
Our study demonstrates the adverse effects of smoking on local SP-D levels since low levels of induced sputum SP-D were found in the group of current smokers, who were not receiving inhaled corticosteroid treatment. Relationship between serum SP-D and COPD exacerbations frequency suggests that serum SP-D level may be used as a lung-specific biomarker during the follow up and progression of COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Induced sputum; Surfactant protein-D
Abnormal apoptotic events in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) subvert cellular homeostasis and may play a primary role in its pathogenesis. However, studies in human subjects are limited.
p53 and bcl2 protein expression was measured by western blot on lung tissue specimens from 43 subjects (23 COPD smokers and 20 non-COPD smokers), using beta-actin as internal control. Additionally, p53 and bcl2 expression patterns were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lung tissue sections from the same individuals.
Western blot analysis showed statistically significant increased p53 protein levels in COPD smokers in comparison with non-COPD smokers (p = 0.038), while bcl2 protein levels were not statistically different between the two groups. Lung immunohistochemistry showed increased ratio of positive p53-stained type II pneumocytes/total type II pneumocytes in COPD smokers compared to non-COPD smokers (p = 0.01), whereas the p53 staining ratio in alveolar macrophages and in lymphocyte-like cells did not differ statistically between the two groups. On the other hand, bcl2 expression did not differ between the two groups in all three cell types.
The increased expression of pro-apoptotic p53 in type II pneumocytes of COPD patients not counterbalanced by the anti-apoptotic bcl2 could reflect increased apoptosis in the alveolar epithelium of COPD patients. Our results confirm previous experiments and support the hypothesis of a disturbance in the balance between the pro- and anti-apoptotic mediators in COPD.
Although the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not known precisely, approximately 10%–30% of patients with moderate to severe COPD have elevated pulmonary pressures. The vast majority of PH associated with COPD is mild to moderate and severe PH occurs in <5% of patients. When COPD is associated with PH, both mortality and morbidity are increased. There are no clinical or physical examination findings that accurately identify patients with underlying PH. Radiographic imaging findings are specific but not sensitive indicators of PH. Echocardiography is the principle noninvasive diagnostic test but may be technically limited in a significant proportion of patients with COPD. Right heart catheterization is required for accurate measurement of pulmonary pressures. The combined effects of inflammation, endothelial cell dysfunction, and angiogenesis appear to contribute to the development of PH associated with COPD. Systemic vasodilators have not been found to be effective therapy. Selective pulmonary vasodilators including inhaled nitric oxide and phosphodiesterase inhibitors are promising treatments for patients with COPD associated PH but further evaluation of these medications is needed prior to their routine use.
COPD; pulmonary hypertension
Background and objectives: Pulmonary hypertension is a hemodynamic and pathophysiological condition defined as an increase in mean pulmonary pressure more than or equal to 25 mm Hg. Evaluation of pulmonary hypertension severity and prognosis plays a central role in the management of these patients, between diagnosis and therapeutic decision making. The aim of our study was to identify the adverse prognostic factors in patients with pulmonary hypertension and their impact on mortality, quality of life, need for hospitalization and complications during hospitalization.
Material and methods: We performed a prospective study that included 553 patients diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases of Iasi between 1st November 2008 and 1st July 2011. We analyzed a series of demographic and clinical data, echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters, which correlated with mortality, WHO functional class, complications and need for hospitalization.
Outcomes: We identified as main negative prognostic factors: WHO functional class III and IV, the pulmonary artery systolic pressure value, right chambers dilation, TAPSE, pericardial effusion, cardiac index and right atrial pressure.
Conclusions: Pulmonary hypertension, despite the development of treatment methods, remains a serious disease, with progressive and inexorable evolution, but the prognosis of patients with pulmonary hypertension is very variable, depending on the etiology, functional class, clinical, echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters.
pulmonary hypertension; prognosis; mortality; echocardiography; right heart catheterization