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1.  Effect of gene environment interactions on lung function and cardiovascular disease in COPD 
The objective of this study was to determine if gene-environment interactions between cigarette smoking and interleukin-6 (IL6), interferon-γ (IFNG), interleukin-1β (IL1B), or interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN) single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with lung function decline and cardiovascular disease in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL6, IFNG, IL1B, and IL1RN were genotyped in the Lung Health Study and correlated with rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) over 5 years, baseline FEV1, serum protein levels, cardiovascular disease, and interactions with smoking.
The IL6 rs2069825 single nucleotide polymorphism was associated with the rate of decline of prebronchodilator FEV1 (P = 0.049), and was found to have a significant interaction (P = 0.004) with mean number of cigarettes smoked per day. There was also a significant interaction of IFNG rs2069727 with smoking on prebronchodilator (P = 0.008) and postbronchodilator (P =0.01) FEV1. The IL6 polymorphism was also associated with cardiovascular disease in heterozygous individuals (P = 0.044), and was found to have a significant interaction with smoking (P = 0.024). None of the genetic variants were associated with their respective serum protein levels.
The results suggest interactions of IL6 rs2069825 and IFNG rs2069727 single nucleotide polymorphisms with cigarette smoking on measures of lung function. The IL6 rs2069825 single nucleotide polymorphism also interacted with smoking to affect the risk of cardiovascular disease in COPD patients.
PMCID: PMC3144847  PMID: 21814463
gene-environment interactions; interleukin-6; forced expiratory volume in one second; cardiovascular disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
2.  Association of lung function decline with the heme oxygenase‐1 gene promoter microsatellite polymorphism in a general population sample. Results from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS), France 
Journal of Medical Genetics  2006;43(8):e43.
Inducible heme oxygenase (HO‐1) acts against oxidants that are thought to play a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), characterised by impaired lung function. A (GT)n repeat polymorphism in the HO‐1 gene promoter can modulate the gene transcription in response to oxidative stress. We hypothesised that this polymorphism could be associated with the level of lung function and decline in subjects exposed to oxidative agression (smokers). We genotyped 749 French subjects (20–44 years, 50% men, 40% never smokers) examined in both 1992 and 2000 as part of the ECRHS. Lung function was assessed by forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and FEV1/forced ventilatory capacity (FVC) ratio. We compared long (L) allele carriers ((GT)n ⩾33 repeats for one or two alleles) to non‐carriers. Cross sectionally, in 2000, L allele carriers showed lower FEV1/FVC than non‐carriers. During the 8 year period, the mean annual FEV1 and FEV1/FVC declines were −30.9 (31.1) ml/year and −1.8 (6.1) U/year, respectively. FEV1/FVC decline was steeper in L allele carriers than in non‐carriers (−2.6 (5.5) v −1.5 (6.4), p = 0.07). There was a strong interaction between the L allele and smoking. In 2000, the L allele was associated with lower FEV1 and FEV1/FVC in heavy smokers (⩾20 cigarettes/day) only (p for interaction = 0.07 and 0.002 respectively). Baseline heavy smokers carrying the L allele showed the steepest FEV1 decline (−62.0 (29.5 ml/year) and the steepest FEV1/FVC decline (−8.8 (5.4 U/year) (p for interaction = 0.009 and 0.0006).These results suggest that a long (L) HO‐1 gene promoter in heavy smokers is associated with susceptibility to develop airway obstruction.
PMCID: PMC2564599  PMID: 16882737
lung function; decline; polymorphism; heme oxygenase; smoking
3.  PLAUR polymorphisms and lung function in UK smokers 
BMC Medical Genetics  2009;10:112.
We have previously identified Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor (PLAUR) as an asthma susceptibility gene. In the current study we tested the hypothesis that PLAUR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) determine baseline lung function and contribute to the development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in smokers.
25 PLAUR SNPs were genotyped in COPD subjects and individuals with smoking history (n = 992). Linear regression was used to determine the effects of polymorphism on baseline lung function (FEV1, FEV1/FVC) in all smokers. Genotype frequencies were compared in spirometry defined smoking controls (n = 176) versus COPD cases (n = 599) and COPD severity (GOLD stratification) using logistic regression.
Five SNPs showed a significant association (p < 0.01) with baseline lung function; rs2302524(Lys220Arg) and rs2283628(intron 3) were associated with lower and higher FEV1 respectively. rs740587(-22346), rs11668247(-20040) and rs344779(-3666) in the 5'region were associated with increased FEV1/FVC ratio. rs740587 was also protective for COPD susceptibility and rs11668247 was protective for COPD severity although no allele dose relationship was apparent. Interestingly, several of these associations were driven by male smokers not females.
This study provides tentative evidence that the asthma associated gene PLAUR also influences baseline lung function in smokers. However the case-control analyses do not support the conclusion that PLAUR is a major COPD susceptibility gene in smokers. PLAUR is a key serine protease receptor involved in the generation of plasmin and has been implicated in airway remodelling.
PMCID: PMC2784766  PMID: 19878584
4.  MMP12, Lung Function, and COPD in High-Risk Populations 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;361(27):2599-2608.
Genetic variants influencing lung function in children and adults may ultimately lead to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), particularly in high-risk groups.
We tested for an association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12) and a measure of lung function (prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]) in more than 8300 subjects in seven cohorts that included children and adults. Within the Normative Aging Study (NAS), a cohort of initially healthy adult men, we tested for an association between SNPs that were associated with FEV1 and the time to the onset of COPD. We then examined the relationship between MMP12 SNPs and COPD in two cohorts of adults with COPD or at risk for COPD.
The minor allele (G) of a functional variant in the promoter region of MMP12 (rs2276109 [−82A→G]) was positively associated with FEV1 in a combined analysis of children with asthma and adult former and current smokers in all cohorts (P=2×10−6). This allele was also associated with a reduced risk of the onset of COPD in the NAS cohort (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46 to 0.92; P = 0.02) and with a reduced risk of COPD in a cohort of smokers (odds ratio, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.88; P = 0.005) and among participants in a family-based study of early-onset COPD (P = 0.006).
The minor allele of a SNP in MMP12 (rs2276109) is associated with a positive effect on lung function in children with asthma and in adults who smoke. This allele is also associated with a reduced risk of COPD in adult smokers.
PMCID: PMC2904064  PMID: 20018959
Human genetics  2011;131(7):1105-1114.
Two primary chitinases have been identified in humans – acid mammalian chitinase (AMCase) and chitotriosidase (CHIT1). Mammalian chitinases have been observed to affect the host’s immune response. The aim of this study was to test for association between genetic variation in the chitinases and phenotypes related to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Polymorphisms in the chitinase genes were selected based on previous associations with respiratory diseases. Polymorphisms that were associated with lung function level or rate of decline in the Lung Health Study (LHS) cohort were analyzed for association with COPD affection status in four other COPD case-control populations. Chitinase activity and protein levels were also related to genotypes. In the Caucasian LHS population, the baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was significantly different between the AA and GG genotypic groups of the AMCase rs3818822 polymorphism. Subjects with the GG genotype had higher AMCase protein and chitinase activity compared with AA homozygotes. For CHIT1 rs2494303, a significant association was observed between rate of decline in FEV1 and the different genotypes. In the African American LHS population, CHIT1 rs2494303 and AMCase G339T genotypes were associated with rate of decline in FEV1. Although a significant effect of chitinase gene alleles was found on lung function level and decline in the LHS, we were unable to replicate the associations with COPD affection status in the other COPD study groups.
PMCID: PMC3771523  PMID: 22200767
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; chitinase; polymorphism; lung function
6.  Effect of heme oxygenase-1 polymorphisms on lung function and gene expression 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:117.
Oxidative stress induced by smoking is considered to be important in the pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1) is an essential enzyme in heme catabolism that is induced by oxidative stress and may play a protective role as an antioxidant in the lung. We determined whether HMOX1 polymorphisms were associated with lung function in COPD patients and whether the variants had functional effects.
We genotyped five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HMOX1 gene in Caucasians who had the fastest (n = 278) and the slowest (n = 304) decline of FEV1 % predicted, selected from smokers in the NHLBI Lung Health Study. These SNPs were also studied in Caucasians with the lowest (n = 535) or the highest (n = 533) baseline lung function. Reporter genes were constructed containing three HMOX1 promoter polymorphisms and the effect of these polymorphisms on H2O2 and hemin-stimulated gene expression was determined. The effect of the HMOX1 rs2071749 SNP on gene expression in alveolar macrophages was investigated.
We found a nominal association (p = 0.015) between one intronic HMOX1 SNP (rs2071749) and lung function decline but this did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. This SNP was in perfect linkage disequilibrium with rs3761439, located in the promoter of HMOX1. We tested rs3761439 and two other putatively functional polymorphisms (rs2071746 and the (GT)n polymorphism) in reporter gene assays but no significant effects on gene expression were found. There was also no effect of rs2071749 on HMOX1 gene expression in alveolar macrophages.
We found no association of the five HMOX1 tag SNPs with lung function decline and no evidence that the three promoter polymorphisms affected the regulation of the HMOX1 gene.
PMCID: PMC3180266  PMID: 21902835
Heme oxygenase; polymorphism; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
7.  Tumor Necrosis Factor-α +489G/A gene polymorphism is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Respiratory Research  2002;3(1):29.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by a chronic inflammatory process, in which the pro-inflammatory cytokine Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α is considered to play a role. In the present study the putative involvement of TNF-α gene polymorphisms in pathogenesis of COPD was studied by analysis of four TNF-α gene polymorphisms in a Caucasian COPD population.
TNF-α gene polymorphisms at positions -376G/A, -308G/A, -238G/A, and +489G/A were examined in 169 Dutch COPD patients, who had a mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of 37 ± 13%, and compared with a Dutch population control group of 358 subjects.
The data showed that the TNF-α +489G/A genotype frequency tended to be different in COPD patients as compared to population controls, which was due to an enhanced frequency of the GA genotype. In line herewith, carriership of the minor allele was associated with enhanced risk of development of COPD (odds ratio = 1.9, p = 0.009). The other TNF-α gene polymorphisms studied revealed no discrimination between patients and controls. No differences in the examined four TNF-α polymorphisms were found between subtypes of COPD, which were stratified for the presence of radiological emphysema. However, comparison of the COPD subtypes with controls showed a significant difference in the TNF-α +489G/A genotype in patients without radiological emphysema (χ2-test: p < 0.025 [Bonferroni adjusted]), while no differences between COPD patients with radiological emphysema and controls were observed.
Based on the reported data, it is concluded that COPD, and especially a subgroup of COPD patients without radiological emphysema, is associated with TNF-α +489G/A gene polymorphism.
PMCID: PMC150514  PMID: 12537602
Caucasians; COPD; Gene polymorphism; Susceptibility; Tumor necrosis factor-α
8.  Decorin and TGF-β1 polymorphisms and development of COPD in a general population 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):89.
Decorin, an extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycan, and TGF-β1 are both involved in lung ECM turnover. Decorin and TGF-β1 expression are decreased respectively increased in COPD lung tissue. Interestingly, they act as each other's feedback regulator. We investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in decorin and TGF-β1 underlie accelerated decline in FEV1 and development of COPD in the general population.
We genotyped 1390 subjects from the Vlagtwedde/Vlaardingen cohort. Lung function was measured every 3 years for a period of 25 years. We tested whether five SNPs in decorin (3'UTR and four intron SNPs) and three SNPs in TGF-β1 (3'UTR rs6957, C-509T rs1800469 and Leu10Pro rs1982073), and their haplotypes, were associated with COPD (last survey GOLD stage = II). Linear mixed effects models were used to analyze genotype associations with FEV1 decline.
We found a significantly higher prevalence of carriers of the minor allele of the TGF-β1 rs6957 SNP (p = 0.001) in subjects with COPD. Additionally, we found a significantly lower prevalence of the haplotype with the major allele of rs6957 and minor alleles for rs1800469 and rs1982073 SNPs in TGF-β1 in subjects with COPD (p = 0.030), indicating that this association is due to the rs6957 SNP. TGF-β1 SNPs were not associated with FEV1 decline. SNPs in decorin, and haplotypes constructed of both TGF-β1 and decorin SNPs were not associated with development of COPD or with FEV1 decline.
Our study shows for the first time that SNPs in decorin on its own or in interaction with SNPs in TGF-β1 do not underlie the disturbed balance in expression between these genes in COPD. TGF-β1 SNPs are associated with COPD, yet not with accelerated FEV1 decline in the general population.
PMCID: PMC1539000  PMID: 16780585
9.  Nitric oxide synthase polymorphisms, gene expression and lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Due to the pleiotropic effects of nitric oxide (NO) within the lungs, it is likely that NO is a significant factor in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to test for association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in three NO synthase (NOS) genes and lung function, as well as to examine gene expression and protein levels in relation to the genetic variation.
One SNP in each NOS gene (neuronal NOS (NOS1), inducible NOS (NOS2), and endothelial NOS (NOS3)) was genotyped in the Lung Health Study (LHS) and correlated with lung function. One SNP (rs1800779) was also analyzed for association with COPD and lung function in four COPD case–control populations. Lung tissue expression of NOS3 mRNA and protein was tested in individuals of known genotype for rs1800779. Immunohistochemistry of lung tissue was used to localize NOS3 expression.
For the NOS3 rs1800779 SNP, the baseline forced expiratory volume in one second in the LHS was significantly higher in the combined AG + GG genotypic groups compared with the AA genotypic group. Gene expression and protein levels in lung tissue were significantly lower in subjects with the AG + GG genotypes than in AA subjects. NOS3 protein was expressed in the airway epithelium and subjects with the AA genotype demonstrated higher NOS3 expression compared with AG and GG individuals. However, we were not able to replicate the associations with COPD or lung function in the other COPD study groups.
Variants in the NOS genes were not associated with lung function or COPD status. However, the G allele of rs1800779 resulted in a decrease of NOS3 gene expression and protein levels and this has implications for the numerous disease states that have been associated with this polymorphism.
PMCID: PMC3827989  PMID: 24192154
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Nitric oxide synthase; Polymorphism; Gene expression
10.  Eosinophil and T cell markers predict functional decline in COPD patients 
Respiratory Research  2009;10(1):113.
The major marker utilized to monitor COPD patients is forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). However, asingle measurement of FEV1 cannot reliably predict subsequent decline. Recent studies indicate that T lymphocytes and eosinophils are important determinants of disease stability in COPD. We therefore measured cytokine levels in the lung lavage fluid and plasma of COPD patients in order to determine if the levels of T cell or eosinophil related cytokines were predictive of the future course of the disease.
Baseline lung lavage and plasma samples were collected from COPD subjects with moderately severe airway obstruction and emphysematous changes on chest CT. The study participants were former smokers who had not had a disease exacerbation within the past six months or used steroids within the past two months. Those subjects who demonstrated stable disease over the following six months (ΔFEV1 % predicted = 4.7 ± 7.2; N = 34) were retrospectively compared with study participants who experienced a rapid decline in lung function (ΔFEV1 % predicted = -16.0 ± 6.0; N = 16) during the same time period and with normal controls (N = 11). Plasma and lung lavage cytokines were measured from clinical samples using the Luminex multiplex kit which enabled the simultaneous measurement of several T cell and eosinophil related cytokines.
Results and Discussion
Stable COPD participants had significantly higher plasma IL-2 levels compared to participants with rapidly progressive COPD (p = 0.04). In contrast, plasma eotaxin-1 levels were significantly lower in stable COPD subjects compared to normal controls (p < 0.03). In addition, lung lavage eotaxin-1 levels were significantly higher in rapidly progressive COPD participants compared to both normal controls (p < 0.02) and stable COPD participants (p < 0.05).
These findings indicate that IL-2 and eotaxin-1 levels may be important markers of disease stability in advanced emphysema patients. Prospective studies will need to confirm whether measuring IL-2 or eotaxin-1 can identify patients at risk for rapid disease progression.
PMCID: PMC2785783  PMID: 19925666
11.  Effect of Five Genetic Variants Associated with Lung Function on the Risk of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, and Their Joint Effects on Lung Function 
Rationale: Genomic loci are associated with FEV1 or the ratio of FEV1 to FVC in population samples, but their association with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not yet been proven, nor have their combined effects on lung function and COPD been studied.
Objectives: To test association with COPD of variants at five loci (TNS1, GSTCD, HTR4, AGER, and THSD4) and to evaluate joint effects on lung function and COPD of these single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and variants at the previously reported locus near HHIP.
Methods: By sampling from 12 population-based studies (n = 31,422), we obtained genotype data on 3,284 COPD case subjects and 17,538 control subjects for sentinel SNPs in TNS1, GSTCD, HTR4, AGER, and THSD4. In 24,648 individuals (including 2,890 COPD case subjects and 13,862 control subjects), we additionally obtained genotypes for rs12504628 near HHIP. Each allele associated with lung function decline at these six SNPs contributed to a risk score. We studied the association of the risk score to lung function and COPD.
Measurements and Main Results: Association with COPD was significant for three loci (TNS1, GSTCD, and HTR4) and the previously reported HHIP locus, and suggestive and directionally consistent for AGER and TSHD4. Compared with the baseline group (7 risk alleles), carrying 10–12 risk alleles was associated with a reduction in FEV1 (β = –72.21 ml, P = 3.90 × 10−4) and FEV1/FVC (β = –1.53%, P = 6.35 × 10−6), and with COPD (odds ratio = 1.63, P = 1.46 × 10−5).
Conclusions: Variants in TNS1, GSTCD, and HTR4 are associated with COPD. Our highest risk score category was associated with a 1.6-fold higher COPD risk than the population average score.
PMCID: PMC3398416  PMID: 21965014
FEV1; FVC; genome-wide association study; modeling risk
12.  Is there any relationship between plasma antioxidant capacity and lung function in smokers and in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? 
Thorax  2000;55(3):189-193.
BACKGROUND—It has been suggested that oxidative stress is an important factor in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We have shown that an oxidant/antioxidant imbalance occurs in the distal air spaces of smokers and in patients with COPD which is reflected systemically in the plasma. A study was undertaken to determine whether plasma antioxidant status correlated with lung function as assessed by forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in smokers and patients with COPD.
METHODS—Plasma antioxidant capacity, assessed by the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) as an index of overall systemic oxidative stress, and protein thiol levels were measured in 95patients with stable COPD, in 82 healthy smokers, and in 37 healthy non-smokers.
RESULTS—Mean (SE) plasma TEAC levels were significantly decreased in patients with COPD (0.81 (0.03) mmol/l, p<0.001) and in healthy smokers (0.87 (0.04) mmol/l, p<0.001) compared with healthy non-smokers (1.31 (0.11) mmol/l). The mean differences in plasma antioxidant capacity (mM) were (0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.22 to 1.48), (0.87, 95% CI 0.2 to 1.46), and (1.31, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.58) in patients with COPD, healthy smokers, and healthy non-smokers, respectively. This reduction was associated with a 29% (95% CI 18 to 38) and a 30% (95% CI 19 to 40) decrease in plasma protein thiol levels in COPD patients and smokers, respectively. Current smoking was not the main contributor to the reduction in antioxidant capacity in patients with COPD as those patients who were still smokers had similar TEAC levels (mean (SE) 0.78 (0.05); n = 25) to those who had stopped smoking (0.84 (0.02); n = 70). No significant correlations were found between spirometric data measured as FEV1 % predicted or FEV1/FVC % predicted and the plasma levels of TEAC in patients with COPD, healthy smokers, or healthy non-smokers. Similarly, there was no significant correlation between FEV1 %predicted or FEV1/FVC % predicted and the levels of plasma protein thiols in the three groups.
CONCLUSIONS—These data confirm decreased antioxidant capacity in smokers and patients with COPD, indicating the presence of systemic oxidative stress. However, no relationship was found between protein thiols or TEAC levels and measurements of airflow limitation in either smokers or in patients with COPD.

PMCID: PMC1745692  PMID: 10679536
13.  Adam33 polymorphisms are associated with COPD and lung function in long-term tobacco smokers 
Respiratory Research  2009;10(1):21.
Variation in ADAM33 has been shown to be important in the development of asthma and altered lung function. This relationship however, has not been investigated in the population susceptible to COPD; long term tobacco smokers. We evaluated the association between polymorphisms in ADAM33 gene with COPD and lung function in long term tobacco smokers.
Caucasian subjects, at least 50 year old, who smoked ≥ 20 pack-years (n = 880) were genotyped for 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ADAM33. COPD was defined as an FEV1/FVC ratio < 70% and percent-predicted (pp)FEV1 < 75% (n = 287). The control group had an FEV1/FVC ratio ≥ 70% and ppFEV1 ≥ 80% (n = 311) despite ≥ 20 pack years of smoking. Logistic and linear regressions were used for the analysis. Age, sex, and smoking status were considered as potential confounders.
Five SNPs in ADAM33 were associated with COPD (Q-1, intronic: p < 0.003; S1, Ile → Val: p < 0.003; S2, Gly → Gly: p < 0.04; V-1 intronic: p < 0.002; V4, in 3' untranslated region: p < 0.007). Q-1, S1 and V-1 were also associated with ppFEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio and ppFEF25–75 (p values 0.001 – 0.02). S2 was associated with FEV1/FVC ratio (p < 0.05). The association between S1 and residual volume revealed a trend toward significance (p value < 0.07). Linkage disequilibrium and haplotype analyses suggested that S1 had the strongest degree of association with COPD and pulmonary function abnormalities.
Five SNPs in ADAM33 were associated with COPD and lung function in long-term smokers. Functional studies will be needed to evaluate the biologic significance of these polymorphisms in the pathogenesis of COPD.
PMCID: PMC2664793  PMID: 19284602
14.  Lung function decline in COPD 
The landmark study of Fletcher and Peto on the natural history of tobacco smoke-related chronic airflow obstruction suggested that decline in the forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is slow at the beginning, becoming faster with more advanced disease. The present authors reviewed spirometric data of COPD patients included in the placebo arms of recent clinical trials to assess the lung function decline of each stage, defined according to the severity of airflow obstruction as proposed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines. In large COPD populations the mean rate of FEV1 decline in GOLD stages II and III is between 47 and 79 mL/year and 56 and 59 mL/year, respectively, and lower than 35 mL/year in GOLD stage IV. Few data on FEV1 decline are available for GOLD stage I. Hence, the loss of lung function, assessed as expiratory airflow reduction, seems more accelerated and therefore more relevant in the initial phases of COPD. To have an impact on the natural history of COPD, it is logical to look at the effects of treatment in the earlier stages.
PMCID: PMC3282601  PMID: 22371650
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; decline; forced expiratory volume in 1 second; FEV1
15.  Genetic predisposition to accelerated decline of lung function in COPD 
Environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility can contribute to lung function decline in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The environmental factors are better known than the genetic factors. One of the commonest reasons of accelerated forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) decline in COPD is the continuation of the smoking habit. In addition, COPD patients have frequent acute respiratory infections which can also accelerate the decline of FEV1. All of the gene variants that have been reported in association with accelerated decline of lung function in COPD represent advancement because the findings generate plausible hypotheses about the possible mechanisms by which gene products could accelerate or avert FEV1 decline. Unfortunately, the results have not been consistently replicated and, animal models required to functionally assess the genetic findings, have not yet yielded sufficient data. Genome-wide association studies should provide more definitive results in COPD and other multigenic conditions. Until these studies are reported, the data to date suggest that products encoded by the alpha-1 antitrypsin, some matrix metalloproteinases, and a number of antioxidant genes are associated with accelerated FEV1 decline in COPD. Data on gene variants associated with acute exacerbations of COPD are now emerging.
PMCID: PMC2695610  PMID: 18044683
lung function; COPD; Smoking; genes
16.  Lung function and blood markers of nutritional status in non-COPD aging men with smoking history: A cross-sectional study 
Cigarette smoking and advanced age are well known as risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and nutritional abnormalities are important in patients with COPD. However, little is known about the nutritional status in non-COPD aging men with smoking history. We therefore investigated whether reduced lung function is associated with lower blood markers of nutritional status in those men.
Subjects and methods:
This association was examined in a cross-sectional study of 65 Japanese male current or former smokers aged 50 to 80 years: 48 without COPD (non-COPD group), divided into tertiles according to forced expiratory volume in one second as percent of forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC), and 17 with COPD (COPD group).
After adjustment for potential confounders, lower FEV1/FVC was significantly associated with lower red blood cell count (RBCc), hemoglobin, and total protein (TP); not with total energy intake. The difference in adjusted RBCc and TP among the non-COPD group tertiles was greater than that between the bottom tertile in the non-COPD group and the COPD group.
In non-COPD aging men with smoking history, trends toward reduced nutritional status and anemia may independently emerge in blood components along with decreased lung function even before COPD onset.
PMCID: PMC2921691  PMID: 20714377
anemia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lung function; nutritional assessment; nutritional status; smoking
17.  Polymorphisms in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and lung function in asthma 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):52.
Identifying genetic determinants for lung function is important in providing insight into the pathophysiology of asthma. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 is a transcription factor latent in the cytoplasm; the gene (STAT3) is activated by a wide range of cytokines, and may play a role in lung development and asthma pathogenesis.
We genotyped six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the STAT3 gene in a cohort of 401 Caucasian adult asthmatics. The associations between each SNP and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), as a percent of predicted, at the baseline exam were tested using multiple linear regression models. Longitudinal analyses involving repeated measures of FEV1 were conducted with mixed linear models. Haplotype analyses were conducted using imputed haplotypes. We completed a second association study by genotyping the same six polymorphisms in a cohort of 652 Caucasian children with asthma.
We found that three polymorphisms were significantly associated with baseline FEV1: homozygotes for the minor alleles of each polymorphism had lower FEV1 than homozygotes for the major alleles. Moreover, these associations persisted when we performed an analysis on repeated measures of FEV1 over 8 weeks. A haplotypic analysis based on the six polymorphisms indicated that two haplotypes were associated with baseline FEV1. Among the childhood asthmatics, one polymorphism was associated with both baseline FEV1 and the repeated measures of FEV1 over 4 years.
Our results indicate that genetic variants in STAT3, independent of asthma treatment, are determinants of FEV1 in both adults and children with asthma, and suggest that STAT3 may participate in inflammatory pathways that have an impact on level of lung function.
PMCID: PMC1180474  PMID: 15935090
18.  Female smokers beyond the perimenopausal period are at increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):52.
Recent reports indicate that over the next decade rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in women will exceed those in men in the western world, though in most jurisdictions, women continue to smoke less compared with men. Whether female adult smokers are biologically more susceptible to COPD is unknown. This study reviewed the available evidence to determine whether female adult smokers have a faster decline in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) compared with male adult smokers and whether age modifies the relationship between cigarette smoke and lung function decline.
A systematic review and a meta-analysis was performed of population-based cohort studies that had a follow-up period of at least 3 years, measured FEV1 on at least two different time points, and presented FEV1 data stratified by gender and smoking status in adults.
Of the 646 potentially relevant articles, 11 studies met these criteria and were included in the analyses (N = 55 709 participants). There was heterogeneity in gender-related results across the studies. However, on average current smokers had a faster annual decline rate in FEV1% predicted compared with never and former smokers. Female current smokers had with increasing age a significantly faster annual decline in FEV1% predicted than male current smokers (linear regression analysis, R2 = 0.56; p = 0.008). Age did not materially affect the rate of decline in FEV1% predicted in male and female former and never smokers (p = 0.775 and p = 0.326, respectively).
As female smokers age, they appear to experience an accelerated decline in FEV1% predicted compared with male smokers. Future research powered specifically on gender-related changes in lung function is needed to confirm these early findings.
PMCID: PMC1435894  PMID: 16571126
19.  Toll-Like Receptor (TLR2 and TLR4) Polymorphisms and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43124.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) participate in the defence against bacterial infections that are common in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We studied all tagging SNPs in TLR2 and TLR4 and their associations with the level and change over time of both FEV1 and sputum inflammatory cells in moderate-to-severe COPD. Nine TLR2 SNPs and 17 TLR4 SNPs were genotyped in 110 COPD patients. Associations of SNPs with lung function and inflammatory cells in induced sputum were analyzed cross-sectionally with linear regression and longitudinally with linear mixed-effect models. Two SNPs in TLR2 (rs1898830 and rs11938228) were associated with a lower level of FEV1 and accelerated decline of FEV1 and higher numbers of sputum inflammatory cells. None of the TLR4 SNPs was associated with FEV1 level. Eleven out of 17 SNPs were associated with FEV1 decline, including rs12377632 and rs10759931, which were additionally associated with higher numbers of sputum inflammatory cells at baseline and with increase over time. This is the first longitudinal study showing that tagging SNPs in TLR2 and TLR4 are associated with the level and decline of lung function as well as with inflammatory cell numbers in induced sputum in COPD patients, suggesting a role in the severity and progression of COPD.
PMCID: PMC3429472  PMID: 22952638
20.  A new staging strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
The best method for expressing lung function impairment is undecided. We tested in a population of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) whether forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or FEV1 divided by height squared (FEV1/ht2) was better than FEV1 percent predicted (FEV1PP) for predicting survival.
FEV1, FEV1PP, and FEV1/ht2 recorded post bronchodilator were compared as predictors of survival in 1095 COPD patients followed for 15 years. A staging system for severity of COPD was defined from FEV1/ht2 and compared with the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) staging system.
FEV1/ht2 was a better univariate predictor of survival in COPD than FEV1 and both were better than FEV1PP. The best multivariate model for predicting survival included FEV1/ht2, age and sex. Comparing the GOLD stages with the FEV1/ht2 groups found that survival was more coherent within each FEV1/ht group than it was within each GOLD stage. FEV1/ht2 had 60% more people in its most severe group than the severest GOLD stage with these extra subjects having equivalently poor survival and had 155% more in the least severe group with equivalent survival. GOLD staging misclassified 51% of subjects with regard to survival.
We conclude that GOLD criteria using FEV1PP do not optimally stage COPD with regard to survival. An alternative strategy using FEV1/ht2 improves the staging of this disease. Studies which stratify COPD patients to determine the effect of interventions such as drug trials, rehabilitation, or management guidelines should consider alternatives to the GOLD classification.
PMCID: PMC2699963  PMID: 18268941
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; spirometry; respiratory function tests
21.  Genetic variation in TIMP1 but not MMPs predict excess FEV1 decline in two general population-based cohorts 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):57.
An imbalance in Matrix MetalloProteases (MMPs) and Tissue Inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) contributes to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) development. Longitudinal studies investigating Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in MMPs and TIMPs with respect to COPD development and lung function decline in the general population are lacking.
We genotyped SNPs in MMP1 (G-1607GG), MMP2 (-1306 C/T), MMP9 (3 tagging SNPs), MMP12 (A-82G and Asn357Ser) and TIMP1 (Phe124Phe and Ile158Ile) in 1390 Caucasians with multiple FEV1 measurements from a prospective cohort study in the general population. FEV1 decline was analyzed using linear mixed effect models adjusted for confounders. Analyses of the X-chromosomal TIMP1 gene were stratified according to sex. All significant associations were repeated in an independent general population cohort (n = 1152).
MMP2 -1306 TT genotype carriers had excess FEV1 decline (-4.0 ml/yr, p = 0.03) compared to wild type carriers. TIMP1 Ile158Ile predicted significant excess FEV1 decline in both males and females. TIMP1 Phe124Phe predicted significant excess FEV1 decline in males only, which was replicated (p = 0.10) in the second cohort. The MMP2 and TIMP1 Ile158Ile associations were not replicated. Although power was limited, we did not find associations with COPD development.
We for the first time show that TIMP1 Phe124Phe contributes to excess FEV1 decline in two independent prospective cohorts, albeit not quite reaching conventional statistical significance in the replication cohort. SNPs in MMPs evidently do not contribute to FEV1 decline in the general population.
PMCID: PMC3111362  PMID: 21524282
22.  Flow-Volume Parameters in COPD Related to Extended Measurements of Lung Volume, Diffusion, and Resistance 
Pulmonary Medicine  2013;2013:782052.
Classification of COPD into different GOLD stages is based on forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) but has shown to be of limited value. The aim of the study was to relate spirometry values to more advanced measures of lung function in COPD patients compared to healthy smokers. The lung function of 65 COPD patients and 34 healthy smokers was investigated using flow-volume spirometry, body plethysmography, single breath helium dilution with CO-diffusion, and impulse oscillometry. All lung function parameters, measured by body plethysmography, CO-diffusion, and impulse oscillometry, were increasingly affected through increasing GOLD stage but did not correlate with FEV1 within any GOLD stage. In contrast, they correlated fairly well with FVC%p, FEV1/FVC, and inspiratory capacity. Residual volume (RV) measured by body plethysmography increased through GOLD stages, while RV measured by helium dilution decreased. The difference between these RV provided valuable additional information and correlated with most other lung function parameters measured by body plethysmography and CO-diffusion. Airway resistance measured by body plethysmography and impulse oscillometry correlated within COPD stages. Different lung function parameters are of importance in COPD, and a thorough patient characterization is important to understand the disease.
PMCID: PMC3697409  PMID: 23844288
23.  The role of ALOX5AP, LTA4H and LTB4R polymorphisms in determining baseline lung function and COPD susceptibility in UK smokers 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:173.
We have previously shown evidence that polymorphisms within genes controlling leukotriene B4 (LTB4) production (ALOX5AP and LTA4H) are associated with asthma susceptibility in children. Evidence also suggests a potential role of LTB4 in COPD disease mechanisms including recruitment of neutrophils to the lung. The aim of the current study was to see if these SNPs and those spanning the receptor genes for LTB4 (LTB4R1 and LTB4R2) influence baseline lung function and COPD susceptibility/severity in smokers.
Eight ALOX5AP, six LTA4H and six LTB4R single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in a UK Smoking Cohort (n = 992). Association with baseline lung function (FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio) was determined by linear regression. Logistic regression was used to compare smoking controls (n = 176) with spirometry-defined COPD cases (n = 599) and to more severe COPD cases (GOLD stage 3 and 4, n = 389).
No association with ALOX5AP, LTA4H or LTB4R survived correction for multiple testing. However, we showed modest association with LTA4H rs1978331C (intron 11) with increased FEV1 (p = 0.029) and with increased FEV1/FVC ratio (p = 0.020).
These data suggest that polymorphisms spanning ALOX5AP, LTA4H and the LTB4R locus are not major determinants of baseline lung function in smokers, but provide tentative evidence for LTA4H rs1978331C (intron 11) in determining baseline FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio in Caucasian Smokers in addition to our previously identified role in asthma susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3267686  PMID: 22206291
24.  Different Genes Interact with Particulate Matter and Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Affecting Lung Function Decline in the General Population 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40175.
Oxidative stress related genes modify the effects of ambient air pollution or tobacco smoking on lung function decline. The impact of interactions might be substantial, but previous studies mostly focused on main effects of single genes.
We studied the interaction of both exposures with a broad set of oxidative-stress related candidate genes and pathways on lung function decline and contrasted interactions between exposures.
For 12679 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), change in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), FEV1 over forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC), and mean forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75% of the FVC (FEF25-75) was regressed on interval exposure to particulate matter <10 µm in diameter (PM10) or packyears smoked (a), additive SNP effects (b), and interaction terms between (a) and (b) in 669 adults with GWAS data. Interaction p-values for 152 genes and 14 pathways were calculated by the adaptive rank truncation product (ARTP) method, and compared between exposures. Interaction effect sizes were contrasted for the strongest SNPs of nominally significant genes (pinteraction<0.05). Replication was attempted for SNPs with MAF>10% in 3320 SAPALDIA participants without GWAS.
On the SNP-level, rs2035268 in gene SNCA accelerated FEV1/FVC decline by 3.8% (pinteraction = 2.5×10−6), and rs12190800 in PARK2 attenuated FEV1 decline by 95.1 ml pinteraction = 9.7×10−8) over 11 years, while interacting with PM10. Genes and pathways nominally interacting with PM10 and packyears exposure differed substantially. Gene CRISP2 presented a significant interaction with PM10 (pinteraction = 3.0×10−4) on FEV1/FVC decline. Pathway interactions were weak. Replications for the strongest SNPs in PARK2 and CRISP2 were not successful.
Consistent with a stratified response to increasing oxidative stress, different genes and pathways potentially mediate PM10 and tobacco smoke effects on lung function decline. Ignoring environmental exposures would miss these patterns, but achieving sufficient sample size and comparability across study samples is challenging.
PMCID: PMC3391223  PMID: 22792237
25.  CHRNA3/5, IREB2, and ADCY2 Are Associated with Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Poland 
We examined the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or lung function with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes in a novel cohort of patients with severe to very severe COPD. We examined 315 cases of COPD and 330 Caucasian control smokers from Poland. We included three SNPs previously associated with COPD: rs7671167 (FAM13A), rs13180 (IREB2), and rs8034191 (CHRNA 3/5), and four SNPs associated with lung function in a genome-wide association study of general population samples: rs2070600 (AGER), rs11134242 (ADCY2), rs4316710 (THSD4), and rs17096090 (INTS12). We tested for associations with severe COPD and COPD-related phenotypes, including lung function, smoking behavior, and body mass index. Subjects with COPD were older (average age 62 versus 58 years, P < 0.01), with more pack-years of smoking (45 versus 33 pack-years, P < 0.01). CHRNA3/5 (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5–2.4; P = 7.4 × 10−7), IREB2 (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.5–0.9; P = 3.4 × 10−3), and ADCY2 (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.1–1.7; P = 0.01) demonstrated significant associations with COPD. FAM13A (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7–1.0; P = 0.11) approached statistical significance. FAM13A and ADCY2 also demonstrated a significant association with lung function. Thus, in severe to very severe COPD, we demonstrate a replication of association between two SNPs previously associated with COPD (CHRNA3/5 and IREB2), as well as an association with COPD of one locus initially associated with lung function (ADCY2).
PMCID: PMC3423462  PMID: 22461431
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic association analysis; lung function; smoking; nicotine addiction

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