Chronic airway inflammation is a cardinal feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a destructive cigarette smoke-induced lung disease. Although it is apparent that dendritic cells (DCs) are an important constituent of the chronic inflammatory cell influx found in airways of COPD patients, the functional roles of DCs in the pathogenesis of smoking-induced emphysema are unknown. We postulated that DCs activated by cigarette smoke constituents directly participate in the chronic inflammation that characterizes COPD airways. Concordant with this hypothesis, we observed that incubation of DCs with cigarette smoke extract (CSE), and chronic exposure of mice to cigarette smoke, both augmented the generation of neutrophilic chemokines by immature and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or CD40L-matured DCs. The generation of interleukin-8 (CXCL8/IL-8) by human DCs conditioned with CSE was suppressed by the anti-oxidant n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), implying the involvement of oxidant sensitive pathways as a primary mechanism involved in the enhanced CXCL8/IL-8 generation. Cigarette smoke extract and nicotine also augment the production of secreted prostaglandin E2 and intracellular cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) in maturing DCs. Whereas NAC suppressed production of CXCL8 by CSE-conditioned DCs, it augmented production of PGE2 and cellular COX-2 levels in maturing DCs. These studies indicate that the stimulation of DCs by cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress and nicotine promote the generation of pro-inflammatory responses that promote chronic inflammation in smokers. Certain pharmacologic strategies such as anti-oxidant therapy may be only partially effective in mitigating cigarette smoke-induced pro-inflammatory DC-mediated responses in smokers.
Smoking; dendritic cell; oxidative stress; neutrophil; chemokines; prostaglandins
Cigarette smoke is the leading risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an inflammatory condition characterised by neutrophilic inflammation and release of proinflammatory mediators such as interleukin-8 (IL-8). Human airway smooth muscle cells (HASMC) are a source of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. We investigated whether cigarette smoke could directly induce the release of chemokines from HASMC.
HASMC in primary culture were exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) with or without TNFα. Chemokines were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and gene expression by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Data were analysed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Bonferroni's t test
CSE (5, 10 and 15%) induced IL-8 release and expression without effect on eotaxin or RANTES release. At 20%, there was less IL-8 release. TNFα enhanced CSE-induced IL-8 release and expression. However, CSE (5–30%) inhibited TNFα-induced eotaxin and RANTES production. The effects of CSE on IL-8 release were inhibited by glutathione (GSH) and associated with the induction of the oxidant sensing protein, heme oxygenase-1.
Cigarette smoke may directly cause the release of IL-8 from HASMC, an effect enhanced by TNF-α which is overexpressed in COPD. Inhibition of eotaxin and RANTES by cigarette smoke is consistent with the predominant neutrophilic but not eosinophilic inflammation found in COPD.
The pulmonary innate immune system is heavily implicated in the perpetual airway inflammation and impaired host defense characterizing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The airways of patients suffering from COPD are infiltrated by various immune and inflammatory cells including macrophages, neutrophils, T lymphocytes, and dendritic cells. While the role of macrophages, neutrophils and T lymphocytes is well characterized, the contribution of dendritic cells to COPD pathogenesis is still the subject of emerging research. A paper by Botelho and colleagues in the current issue of Respiratory Research investigates the importance of dendritic cell recruitment in cigarette-smoke induced acute and chronic inflammation in mice. Dendritic cells of the healthy lung parenchyma and airways perform an important sentinel function and regulate immune homeostasis. During inflammatory responses the function and migration pattern of these cells is dramatically altered but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Botelho and colleagues demonstrate here the importance of IL-1R1/IL-1α related mechanisms including CCL20 production in cigarette-smoke induced recruitment of dendritic cells and T cell activation in the mouse lung.
COPD; Dendritic cells; IL-1R1; IL-1α; Cigarette smoke exposure; Mice
A major feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is airway remodelling, which includes an increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass. The mechanisms underlying ASM remodelling in COPD are currently unknown. We hypothesized that cigarette smoke (CS) and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major constituent of CS, organic dust and gram-negative bacteria, that may be involved in recurrent airway infections and exacerbations in COPD patients, would induce phenotype changes of ASM.
To this aim, using cultured bovine tracheal smooth muscle (BTSM) cells and tissue, we investigated the direct effects of CS extract (CSE) and LPS on ASM proliferation and contractility.
Both CSE and LPS induced a profound and concentration-dependent increase in DNA synthesis in BTSM cells. CSE and LPS also induced a significant increase in BTSM cell number, which was associated with increased cyclin D1 expression and dependent on activation of ERK 1/2 and p38 MAP kinase. Consistent with a shift to a more proliferative phenotype, prolonged treatment of BTSM strips with CSE or LPS significantly decreased maximal methacholine- and KCl-induced contraction.
Direct exposure of ASM to CSE or LPS causes the induction of a proliferative, hypocontractile ASM phenotype, which may be involved in airway remodelling in COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive condition characterized by chronic airway inflammation and airspace remodeling, leading to airflow limitation that is not completely reversible. Smoking is the leading risk factor for compromised lung function stemming from COPD pathogenesis. First- and second-hand cigarette smoke contain thousands of constituents, including several carcinogens and cytotoxic chemicals that orchestrate chronic lung inflammation and destructive alveolar remodeling. Receptors for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) are multi-ligand cell surface receptors primarily expressed by diverse lung cells. RAGE expression increases following cigarette smoke exposure and expression is elevated in the lungs of patients with COPD. RAGE is responsible in part for inducing pro-inflammatory signaling pathways that culminate in expression and secretion of several cytokines, chemokines, enzymes, and other mediators. In the current review, new transgenic mouse models that conditionally over-express RAGE in pulmonary epithelium are discussed. When RAGE is over-expressed throughout embryogenesis, apoptosis in the peripheral lung causes severe lung hypoplasia. Interestingly, apoptosis in RAGE transgenic mice occurs via conserved apoptotic pathways also known to function in advanced stages of COPD. RAGE over-expression in the adult lung models features of COPD including pronounced inflammation and loss of parenchymal tissue. Understanding the biological contributions of RAGE during cigarette smoke-induced inflammation may provide critically important insight into the pathology of COPD.
RAGE; COPD; tobacco; mouse model
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide and is a progressive and irreversible disorder. Cigarette smoking is associated with 80–90% of COPD cases; however, the genes involved in COPD-associated emphysema and chronic inflammation are poorly understood. It was recently demonstrated that early growth response gene 1 (Egr-1) is significantly upregulated in the lungs of smokers with COPD (Ning W and coworkers, Proc Natl Acad Sci 2004;101:14895–14900). We hypothesized that Egr-1 is activated in pulmonary epithelial cells during exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated that pulmonary adenocarcinoma cells (A-549) and primary epithelial cells lacking basal Egr-1 markedly induce Egr-1 expression after CSE exposure. To evaluate Egr-1–specific effects, we used antisense (αS) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) to knock down Egr-1 expression. Incorporation of Egr-1 αS ODN significantly decreased CSE-induced Egr-1 mRNA and protein, while sense ODN had no effect. Via Egr-1–mediated mechanisms, IL-1β and TNF-α were significantly upregulated in pulmonary epithelial cells exposed to CSE or transfected with Egr-1. To investigate the relationship between Egr-1 induction by smoking and susceptibility to emphysema, we determined Egr-1 expression in strains of mice with different susceptibilities for the development of smoking-induced emphysema. Egr-1 was markedly increased in the lungs of emphysema-susceptible AKR/J mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke, but only minimally increased in resistant NZWLac/J mice. In conclusion, Egr-1 is induced by cigarette smoke and functions in proinflammatory mechanisms that likely contribute to the development of COPD in the lungs of smokers.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Egr-1; gene expression; inflammation; pulmonary
The tachykinins, substance P and neurokinin A, present in sensory nerves and inflammatory cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells, are considered as pro-inflammatory agents. Inflammation of the airways and lung parenchyma plays a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and increased tachykinin levels are recovered from the airways of COPD patients. The aim of our study was to clarify the involvement of the tachykinin NK1 receptor, the preferential receptor for substance P, in cigarette smoke (CS)-induced pulmonary inflammation and emphysema in a mouse model of COPD.
Tachykinin NK1 receptor knockout (NK1-R-/-) mice and their wild type controls (all in a mixed 129/sv-C57BL/6 background) were subjected to sub acute (4 weeks) or chronic (24 weeks) exposure to air or CS. 24 hours after the last exposure, pulmonary inflammation and development of emphysema were evaluated.
Sub acute and chronic exposure to CS resulted in a substantial accumulation of inflammatory cells in the airways of both WT and NK1-R-/- mice. However, the CS-induced increase in macrophages and dendritic cells was significantly impaired in NK1-R-/- mice, compared to WT controls, and correlated with an attenuated release of MIP-3α/CCL20 and TGF-β1. Chronic exposure to CS resulted in development of pulmonary emphysema in WT mice. NK1-R-/- mice showed already enlarged airspaces upon air-exposure. Upon CS-exposure, the NK1-R-/- mice did not develop additional destruction of the lung parenchyma. Moreover, an impaired production of MMP-12 by alveolar macrophages upon CS-exposure was observed in these KO mice. In a pharmacological validation experiment using the NK1 receptor antagonist RP 67580, we confirmed the protective effect of absence of the NK1 receptor on CS-induced pulmonary inflammation.
These data suggest that the tachykinin NK1 receptor is involved in the accumulation of macrophages and dendritic cells in the airways upon CS-exposure and in the development of smoking-induced emphysema. As both inflammation of the airways and parenchymal destruction are important characteristics of COPD, these findings may have implications in the future treatment of this devastating disease.
Cigarette smoke-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-8 (IL-8) from inflammatory as well as structural cells in the airways, including airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells, may contribute to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Despite the wide use of pharmacological treatment aimed at increasing intracellular levels of the endogenous suppressor cyclic AMP (cAMP), little is known about its exact mechanism of action. We report here that next to the β2-agonist fenoterol, direct and specific activation of either exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) or protein kinase A (PKA) reduced cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-induced IL-8 mRNA expression and protein release by human ASM cells. CSE-induced IκBα-degradation and p65 nuclear translocation, processes that were primarily reversed by Epac activation. Further, CSE increased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, which was selectively reduced by PKA activation. CSE decreased Epac1 expression, but did not affect Epac2 and PKA expression. Importantly, Epac1 expression was also reduced in lung tissue from COPD patients. In conclusion, Epac and PKA decrease CSE-induced IL-8 release by human ASM cells via inhibition of NF-κB and ERK, respectively, pointing at these cAMP effectors as potential targets for anti-inflammatory therapy in COPD. However, cigarette smoke exposure may reduce anti-inflammatory effects of cAMP elevating agents via down-regulation of Epac1.
Exposure to cigarette smoke is considered a major risk factor for the development of lung diseases, since its causative role has been assessed in the induction and maintenance of an inflamed state in the airways. Lung fibroblasts can contribute to these processes, due to their ability to produce proinflammatory chemotactic molecules and extracellular matrix remodelling proteinases. Among proteolytic enzymes, gelatinases A and B have been studied for their role in tissue breakdown and mobilisation of matrix-derived signalling molecules. Multiple reports linked gelatinase deregulation and overexpression to the development of inflammatory chronic lung diseases such as COPD.
In this study we aimed to determine variations in the gelatinolytic pattern of human lung fibroblasts (HFL-1 cell line) exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). Gelatinolytic activity levels were determined by using gelatin zymography for the in-gel detection of the enzymes (proenzyme and activated forms), and the subsequent semi-quantitative densitometric evaluation of lytic bands. Expression of gelatinases was evaluated also by RT-PCR, zymography of the cell lysates and by western blotting.
CSE exposure at the doses used (1–10%) did not exert any significant cytotoxic effects on fibroblasts. Zymographic analysis showed that CSE exposure resulted in a linear decrease of the activity of gelatinase A. Control experiments allowed excluding a direct inhibitory effect of CSE on gelatinases. Zymography of cell lysates confirmed the expression of MMP-2 in all conditions. Semi-quantitative evaluation of mRNA expression allowed assessing a reduced transcription of the enzyme, as well as an increase in the expression of TIMP-2. Statistical analyses showed that the decrease of MMP-2 activity in conditioned media reached the statistical significance (p = 0.0031 for 24 h and p = 0.0012 for 48 h), while correlation analysis showed that this result was independent from CSE cytotoxicity (p = 0.7833 for both exposures).
Present work describes for the first time that, apart well characterized proinflammatory responses, human lung fibroblasts may react to CSE with a significant reduction of extracellular MMP-2 lytic activity. Therefore, fibroblasts may actively participate to the alteration of the proteolysis/antiproteolysis balance, which reflects the defective repair of the extracellular matrix. Such event should provide a further contribution to the maintenance of the inflamed state in the lungs.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is predicted to become the third leading cause of death in the world by 2020. It is characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. The airflow limitation is usually progressive and associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles and gases, most commonly cigarette smoke. Among smokers with COPD, even following withdrawal of cigarette smoke, inflammation persists and lung function continues to deteriorate. One possible explanation is that bacterial colonization of smoke-damaged airways, most commonly with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), perpetuates airway injury and inflammation. Furthermore, COPD has also been identified as an independent risk factor for lung cancer irrespective of concomitant cigarette smoke exposure. In this article, we review the role of NTHi in airway inflammation that may lead to COPD progression and lung cancer promotion.
COPD; NTHi; inflammation
Cigarette smoke is the major risk factor associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Recent studies propose a link between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and emphysema, demonstrated by increased ER stress markers under smoking conditions. Here, we investigate whether cigarette smoke-induced ER stress is cell specific and correlates with acute and chronic cigarette smoke exposure.
Gene and protein expression changes in human primary lung cell cultures following cigarette smoke extract (CSE) exposure were monitored by qPCR and Western blot analysis. Mice and guinea pigs were exposed to cigarette smoke and ER stress markers examined in whole lung homogenates. Inflammatory cells from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of 10 days smoke exposed mice were also examined.
Cigarette smoke induced a trend increase in the ER stress response through an activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) mediated induction of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) in primary small airway epithelial cells. Bronchial epithelial cells and macrophages responded similarly to CSE. Wild-type mice and guinea pigs exposed to acute levels of cigarette smoke exhibited increased levels of CHOP but not at significant levels. However, after long-term chronic cigarette smoke exposure, CHOP expression was reduced. Interestingly, inflammatory cells from smoke exposed mice had a significant increase in CHOP/ATF4 expression.
A trend increase in CHOP levels appear in multiple human lung cell types following acute cigarette smoke exposure in vitro. In vivo, inflammatory cells, predominately macrophages, demonstrate significant cigarette smoke-induced ER stress. Early induction of CHOP in cigarette smoke may play a pivotal role in early induction of lung disease, however in vivo long-term cigarette smoke exposure exhibited a reduction in the ER stress response.
COPD; ER stress; cigarette smoke; CHOP
Human rhinovirus (HRV) infections trigger acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. The human airway epithelial cell is the primary site of HRV infection and responds to infection with altered expression of multiple genes, the products of which could regulate the outcome to infection. Cigarette smoking aggravates asthma symptoms, and is also the predominant risk factor for the development and progression of COPD. We, therefore, examined whether cigarette smoke extract (CSE) modulates viral responses by altering HRV-induced epithelial gene expression. Primary cultures of human bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to medium alone, CSE alone, purified HRV-16 alone or to HRV-16+ CSE. After 24 h, supernatants were collected and total cellular RNA was isolated. Gene array analysis was performed to examine mRNA expression. Additional experiments, using real-time RT-PCR, ELISA and/or western blotting, validated altered expression of selected gene products. CSE and HRV-16 each induced groups of genes that were largely independent of each other. When compared to gene expression in response to CSE alone, cells treated with HRV+CSE showed no obvious differences in CSE-induced gene expression. By contrast, compared to gene induction in response to HRV-16 alone, cells exposed to HRV+CSE showed marked suppression of expression of a number of HRV-induced genes associated with various functions, including antiviral defenses, inflammation, viral signaling and airway remodeling. These changes were not associated with altered expression of type I or type III interferons. Thus, CSE alters epithelial responses to HRV infection in a manner that may negatively impact antiviral and host defense outcomes.
Rationale: Inflammation is now recognized as an integral part of the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In contrast to the sterile airways of normal lungs, bacterial pathogens are often isolated from the airways in stable COPD. This “colonization” of the tracheobronchial tree, currently believed to be innocuous, could serve as an inflammatory stimulus, independent of current tobacco smoke exposure.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that bacterial colonization is associated with airway inflammation in stable COPD.
Methods: Bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed in three groups of subjects: 26 ex-smokers with stable COPD (COPD), 20 ex-smokers without COPD (ex-smokers), and 15 healthy nonsmokers (nonsmokers). Quantitative bacterial cultures, cell counts, chemokine, cytokine, proteinase/antiproteinase, and endotoxin levels in the BAL fluid were compared.
Results: Potentially pathogenic bacteria were recovered at ⩾ 100 cfu/ml in 34.6% of COPD, 0% of ex-smokers, and in 6.7% of nonsmokers (p = 0.003). All values are expressed as median (interquartile range). Subjects with colonized COPD had significantly greater relative (12.0 [28.4] vs. 3.0 [7.8]%, p = 0.03) and absolute (4.98 [5.26] × 104/ml vs. 3.04 [2.82] × 104/ml, p = 0.02) neutrophil counts, interleukin 8 (33.8 [189.8] vs. 16.9 [20.1] pg/ml, p = 0.005), active matrix metalloproteinase-9 (2.16 [4.30] vs. 0.84 [0.99] U/ml, p = 0.03), and endotoxin (36.0 [72.6] vs. 3.55 [7.17] mEU/ml, p = 0.004) levels in the BAL than the subjects with noncolonized COPD. These inflammatory constituents of BAL were also significantly elevated in subjects with colonized COPD when compared with ex-smokers and nonsmokers.
Conclusions: Bacterial colonization is associated with neutrophilic airway lumen inflammation in ex-smokers with COPD and could contribute to progression of airway disease in COPD.
bacterial colonization; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; neutrophilic inflammation
Smoking effects on physiological and gross pathology in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are relatively well described. However, there is little known in COPD about the detailed interrelationships between lung function and inflammatory profiles in different airway compartments from the same individual and whether airway inflammation in these different compartments differs in ex- and current smokers with established COPD.
We compared sputum, bronchoalveolar (BAL), and airway wall inflammatory profiles in current versus ex-smokers and related this to smoking intensity and lung function in 17 current and 17 ex-smokers with mild to moderate COPD.
Current smokers had more sputum mast cells (% differential and absolute numbers), whereas ex-smokers had increased sputum neutrophils. In BAL, there was a significant increase in eosinophils in current smokers, but ex-smokers had significantly increased neutrophils, lymphocytes, and epithelial cells. There were no cell profile differences observed in airway biopsies between current and ex-smokers and there were no correlations between the individual inflammatory cell populations in any of the airway compartments. In current smokers only, smoking intensity was negatively correlated with lung function, and associated with a reduction in overall cellularity of both sputum and BAL.
Airway inflammation persists in ex-smokers with COPD, but differs from COPD current smokers. The impact of smoking appears to vary in different airway compartments and any direct relationships between cellularity and lung function tended to be negative, ie, worse lung function indicated the presence of fewer cells.
current smokers; ex-smokers; airway cellularity; sputum; BAL; endobronchial biopsies
Rationale: Abnormal inflammation and accelerated decline in lung function occur in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Human sirtuin (SIRT1), an antiaging and antiinflammatory protein, is a metabolic NAD+-dependent protein/histone deacetylase that regulates proinflammatory mediators by deacetylating histone and nonhistone proteins.
Objectives: To determine the expression of SIRT1 in lungs of smokers and patients with COPD, and to elucidate the regulation of SIRT1 in response to cigarette smoke in macrophages, and its impact on nuclear factor (NF)-κB regulation.
Methods: SIRT1 and NF-κB levels were assessed in lung samples of nonsmokers, smokers, and patients with COPD. Human monocyte–macrophage cells (MonoMac6) were treated with cigarette smoke extract (CSE) to determine the mechanism of CSE-mediated regulation of SIRT1 and its involvement in RelA/p65 regulation and IL-8 release.
Measurements and Main Results: Peripheral lungs of smokers and patients with COPD showed decreased levels of nuclear SIRT1, as compared with nonsmokers, associated with its post-translational modifications (formation of nitrotyrosine and aldehyde carbonyl adducts). Treatment of MonoMac6 cells with CSE showed decreased levels of SIRT1 associated with increased acetylation of RelA/p65 NF-κB. Mutation or knockdown of SIRT1 resulted in increased acetylation of nuclear RelA/p65 and IL-8 release, whereas overexpression of SIRT1 decreased IL-8 release in response to CSE treatment in MonoMac6 cells.
Conclusions: SIRT1 levels were reduced in macrophages and lungs of smokers and patients with COPD due to its post-translational modifications by cigarette smoke–derived reactive components, leading to increased acetylation of RelA/p65. Thus, SIRT1 plays a pivotal role in regulation of NF-κB–dependent proinflammatory mediators in lungs of smokers and patients with COPD.
reactive oxygen species; acetylation; nuclear factor-κB; inflammation; deacetylases
Recent studies have demonstrated that K-ras mutations in lung epithelial cells elicit inflammation that promotes carcinogenesis in mice (intrinsic inflammation). The finding that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory disease of the lung, have an increased risk of lung cancer after controlling for smoking suggests a further link between lung cancer and extrinsic inflammation. Besides exposure to cigarette smoke, it is thought that airway inflammation in COPD is caused by bacterial colonization, particularly with non-typeable Hemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Previously, we have shown that NTHi-induced COPD-like airway inflammation promotes lung cancer in an airway conditional K-ras-induced mouse model. To further test the role of inflammation in cancer promotion, we administered the natural anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin, 1% in diet before and during weekly NTHi exposure. This significantly reduced the number of visible lung tumors in the absence of NTHi exposure by 85% and in the presence of NTHi exposures by 53%. Mechanistically, curcumin markedly suppressed NTHi-induced increased levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant keratinocyte-derived chemokine by 80% and neutrophils by 87% in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In vitro studies of murine K-ras-induced lung adenocarcinoma cell lines (LKR-10 and LKR-13) indicated direct anti-tumoral effects of curcumin by reducing cell viability, colony formation and inducing apoptosis. We conclude that curcumin suppresses the progression of K-ras-induced lung cancer in mice by inhibiting intrinsic and extrinsic inflammation and by direct anti-tumoral effects. These findings suggest that curcumin could be used to protract the premalignant phase and inhibit lung cancer progression in high-risk COPD patients.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In addition to genetic abnormalities induced by cigarette smoke, several epidemiologic studies have found that smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory disease of the lungs, have an increased risk of lung cancer (1.3- to 4.9-fold) compared to smokers without COPD. This suggests a link between chronic airway inflammation and lung carcinogenesis, independent of tobacco smoke exposure. We studied this association by assaying the inflammatory impact of products of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, which colonizes the airways of patients with COPD, on lung cancer promotion in mice with an activated K-ras mutation in their airway epithelium. Two new mouse models of lung cancer were generated by crossing mice harboring the LSL–K-rasG12D allele with mice containing Cre recombinase inserted into the Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) locus, with or without the neomycin cassette excised (CCSPCre and CCSPCre-Neo, respectively). Lung lesions in CCSPCre-Neo/LSL–K-rasG12D and CCSPCre/LSL–K-rasG12D mice appeared at 4 and 1 month of age, respectively, and were classified as epithelial hyperplasia of the bronchioles, adenoma, and adenocarcinoma. Weekly exposure of CCSPCre/LSL–K-rasG12D mice to aerosolized nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae lysate from age 6–14 weeks resulted in neutrophil/macrophage/CD8 T-cell–associated COPD-like airway inflammation, a 3.2-fold increase in lung surface tumor number (156 ± 9 versus 45 ± 7), and an increase in total lung tumor burden. We conclude that COPD-like airway inflammation promotes lung carcinogenesis in a background of a G12D-activated K-ras allele in airway secretory cells.
K-ras; lung cancer; inflammation
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by an abnormal persistent inflammatory response to cigarette smoke. This noxious insult leads to emphysema and airway remodeling, manifested by squamous and mucous metaplasia of the epithelium, smooth muscle hypertrophy, and airway wall fibrosis. These pathologic abnormalities interact synergistically to cause progressive airflow obstruction. Although it has been accepted that the spectrum of COPD is vast, the reasons for the development of different phenotypes from the same exposure to cigarette smoke have not been determined. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly clear that airways disease and emphysema often coexist in many patients, even with a clear clinical phenotype of either emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Recent studies have focused on the nature of the inflammatory response to cigarette smoke, the inflammatory cell lines responsible for COPD pathogenesis, and new biomarkers for disease activity and progression. New cytokines are being discovered, and the complex interactions among them are being unraveled. The inflammatory biomarker that has received the most attention is C-reactive protein, but new ones that have caught our attention are interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-8, and IL-10. Further research should focus on how these new concepts in lung inflammation interact to cause the various aspects of COPD pathology.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pathology; airway inflammation; emphysema; inflammatory biomarkers
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex chronic inflammatory disease involving a wide variety of cells and inflammatory mediators. The most important etiological factor in the development of this disease is cigarette smoking. Much of the research into the mechanisms of COPD has been concerned with the induction of inflammation and the role of neutrophils and macrophages in the pathophysiology of the disease. The possible contribution of the epithelium to the development of COPD has only recently become apparent and remains unclear. In this article we review research into the effect of cigarette smoke on the pulmonary epithelium with particular emphasis on oxidative stress, proteolytic load, pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine profile and epithelial secretions. In addition, we have also reviewed how cigarette smoke may affect epithelial damage and repair processes.
epithelium; COPD; oxidants; proteases; cytokines; chemokines
The proliferation, migration, cytokine release, and contraction of airway smooth muscle cells are key events in the airway remodeling process that occur in lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstruction pulmonary disease, and cancer. These events can be modulated by a number of factors, including cigarette smoke extract (CSE). CSE-induced alterations in the viability, migration, and contractile abilities of normal human airway cells remain unclear. This study investigated the effect of CSE on cell viability, migration, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α secretion, and contraction in normal human bronchial smooth muscle cells (HBSMCs). Treatment of HBSMCs with 10% CSE induced cell death, and the death was accompanied by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). CSE-induced cell death was reduced by N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), an ROS scavenger. In addition, CSE reduced the migration ability of HBSMCs by 75%. The combination of NAC with CSE blocked the CSE-induced reduction of cell migration. However, CSE had no effect on TNF-α secretion and NF-κB activation. CSE induced an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in 64% of HBSMCs. CSE reduced the contractile ability of HBSMCs, and the ability was enhanced by NAC treatment. These results demonstrate that CSE treatment induces cell death and reduces migration and contraction by increasing ROS generation in normal HBSMCs. These results suggest that CSE may induce airway change through cell death and reduction in migration and contraction of normal HBSMCs.
Bronchiole; Cell migration; Cigarette smoke extract; Reactive oxygen species; Smooth muscle
Patients with bronchitis type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have raised vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in induced sputum. This has been associated with the pathogenesis of COPD through apoptotic and oxidative stress mechanisms. Since, chronic airway inflammation is an important pathological feature of COPD mainly initiated by cigarette smoking, aim of this study was to assess smoking as a potential cause of raised airway VEGF levels in bronchitis type COPD and to test the association between VEGF levels in induced sputum and airway inflammation in these patients.
14 current smokers with bronchitis type COPD, 17 asymptomatic current smokers with normal spirometry and 16 non-smokers were included in the study. VEGF, IL-8, and TNF-α levels in induced sputum were measured and the correlations between these markers, as well as between VEGF levels and pulmonary function were assessed.
The median concentrations of VEGF, IL-8, and TNF-α were significantly higher in induced sputum of COPD patients (1,070 pg/ml, 5.6 ng/ml and 50 pg/ml, respectively) compared to nonsmokers (260 pg/ml, 0.73 ng/ml, and 15.4 pg/ml, respectively, p < 0.05) and asymptomatic smokers (421 pg/ml, 1.27 ng/ml, p < 0.05, and 18.6 pg/ml, p > 0.05, respectively). Significant correlations were found between VEGF levels and pack years (r = 0.56, p = 0.046), IL-8 (r = 0.64, p = 0.026) and TNF-α (r = 0.62, p = 0.031) levels both in asymptomatic and COPD smokers (r = 0.66, p = 0.027, r = 0.67, p = 0.023, and r = 0.82, p = 0.002, respectively). No correlation was found between VEGF levels in sputum and pulmonary function parameters.
VEGF levels are raised in the airways of both asymptomatic and COPD smokers. The close correlation observed between VEGF levels in the airways and markers of airway inflammation in healthy smokers and in smokers with bronchitis type of COPD is suggestive of VEGF as a marker reflecting the inflammatory process that occurs in smoking subjects without alveolar destruction.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by chronic inflammation of the airways and progressive destruction of lung parenchyma, a process that in most cases is initiated by cigarette smoking. Several mechanisms are involved in the development of the disease: influx of inflammatory cells into the lung (leading to chronic inflammation of the airways), imbalance between proteolytic and anti-proteolytic activity (resulting in the destruction of healthy lung tissue) and oxidative stress. Recently, an increasing number of data suggest a fourth important mechanism involved in the development of COPD: apoptosis of structural cells in the lung might possibly be an important upstream event in the pathogenesis of COPD. There is an increase in apoptotic alveolar epithelial and endothelial cells in the lungs of COPD patients. Since this is not counterbalanced by an increase in proliferation of these structural cells, the net result is destruction of lung tissue and the development of emphysema. Data from animal models suggest a role for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in the induction of apoptosis of structural cells in the lung. Other mediators of apoptosis, such as caspase-3 and ceramide, could be interesting targets to prevent apoptosis and the development of emphysema.
In this review, recent data on the role of apoptosis in COPD from both animal models as well as from studies on human subjects will be discussed. The aim is to provide an up to date summary on the increasing knowledge on the role of apoptosis in COPD and pulmonary emphysema.
Cigarette smoking induces inflammatory responses in all smokers and is the major risk factor for lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this progressive disease, chronic inflammation in the lung contributes to lung tissue destruction leading to the formation of chemotactic collagen fragments such as N-acetylated Proline-Glycine-Proline (N-ac-PGP). The generation of this tripeptide is mediated by a multistep pathway involving matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) 8 and 9 and prolyl endopeptidase (PE). Here we investigated whether cigarette smoke extract (CSE) stimulates human PMNs to breakdown whole matrix collagen leading to the generation of the chemotactic collagen fragment N-ac-PGP.
Incubating PMNs with CSE led to the release of chemo-attractant CXCL8 and proteases MMP8 and MMP9. PMNs constitutively expressed PE activity as well as PE protein. Incubating CSE-primed PMNs with collagen resulted in collagen breakdown and in N-ac-PGP generation. Incubation of PMNs with the tripeptide N-ac-PGP resulted in the release of CXCL8, MMP8 and MMP9. Moreover, we tested whether PMNs from COPD patients are different from PMNs from healthy donors. Here we show that the intracellular basal PE activity of PMNs from COPD patients increased 25-fold compared to PMNs from healthy donors. Immunohistological staining of human lung tissue for PE showed that besides neutrophils, macrophages and epithelial cells express PE.
This study indicates that neutrophils activated by cigarette smoke extract can breakdown collagen into N-ac-PGP and that this collagen fragment itself can activate neutrophils, which may lead in vivo to a self-propagating cycle of neutrophil infiltration, chronic inflammation and lung emphysema. MMP-, PE- or PGP-inhibitors can serve as an attractive therapeutic target and may open new avenues towards effective treatment of COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and cigarette smoking is the major risk factor for COPD. Fibroblasts play an important role in repair and lung homeostasis. Recent studies have demonstrated a reduced growth rate for lung fibroblasts in patients with COPD. In this study we examined the effect of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on fibroblast proliferative capacity. We found that cigarette smoke stopped proliferation of lung fibroblasts and upregulated two pathways linked to cell senescence (a biological process associated with cell longevity and an inability to replicate), p53 and p16-retinoblastoma protein pathways. We compared a single exposure of CSE to multiple exposures over an extended time course. A single exposure to CSE led to cell growth inhibition at multiple phases of the cell cycle without killing the cells. The decrease in proliferation was accompanied by increased ATM, p53, and p21 activity. However, several important senescent markers were not present in the cells at an earlier time point. When we examined multiple exposures to CSE, we found that the cells had profound growth arrest, a flat and enlarged morphology, upregulated p16, and senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, which is consistent with a classic senescent phenotype. These observations suggest that while a single exposure to cigarette smoke inhibits normal fibroblast proliferation (required for lung repair), multiple exposures to cigarette smoke move cells into an irreversible state of senescence. This inability to repair lung injury may be an essential feature of emphysema.
β-galactosidase; cell cycle arrest; p16; p53; senescence
Cigarette smoke, the major risk factor for COPD, is known to activate matrix metalloproteinases in airway epithelium. We investigated whether metalloproteinases, particularly A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase (ADAM)17, contribute to increased pro-inflammatory epithelial responses with respect to the release of IL-8 and TGF-α, cytokines implicated in COPD pathogenesis.
We studied the effects of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and metalloproteinase inhibitors on TGF-α and IL-8 release in primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBECs) from COPD patients, healthy smokers and non-smokers.
We observed that TGF-α was mainly shed by ADAM17 in PBECs from all groups. Interestingly, IL-8 production occurred independently from ADAM17 and TGF-α shedding, but was significantly inhibited by broad-spectrum metalloproteinase inhibitor TAPI-2. CSE did not induce ADAM17-dependent TGF-α shedding, while it slightly augmented the production of IL-8. This was accompanied by reduced endogenous inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-3 levels, suggesting that CSE does not directly but rather indirectly alter activity of ADAM17 through the regulation of its endogenous inhibitor. Furthermore, whereas baseline TGF-α shedding was lower in COPD PBECs, the early release of IL-8 (likely due to its shedding) was higher in PBECs from COPD than healthy smokers. Importantly, this was accompanied by lower TIMP-2 levels in COPD PBECs, while baseline TIMP-3 levels were similar between groups.
Our data indicate that IL-8 secretion is regulated independently from ADAM17 activity and TGF-α shedding and that particularly its early release is differentially regulated in PBECs from COPD and healthy smokers. Since TIMP-2-sensitive metalloproteinases could potentially contribute to IL-8 release, these may be interesting targets to further investigate novel therapeutic strategies in COPD.
Cigarette smoke; ADAM17; IL-8; TGF-α; TIMP-2