COPD exacerbations are associated with neutrophilic airway inflammation. Adhesion molecules on the surface of neutrophils may play a key role in their movement from blood to the airways. We analysed adhesion molecule expression on blood and sputum neutrophils from COPD subjects and non-obstructed smokers during experimental rhinovirus infections.
Blood and sputum were collected from 9 COPD subjects and 10 smoking and age-matched control subjects at baseline, and neutrophil expression of the adhesion molecules and activation markers measured using flow cytometry. The markers examined were CD62L and CD162 (mediating initial steps of neutrophil rolling and capture), CD11a and CD11b (required for firm neutrophil adhesion), CD31 and CD54 (involved in neutrophil transmigration through the endothelial monolayer) and CD63 and CD66b (neutrophil activation markers). Subjects were then experimentally infected with rhinovirus-16 and repeat samples collected for neutrophil analysis at post-infection time points.
At baseline there were no differences in adhesion molecule expression between the COPD and non-COPD subjects. Expression of CD11a, CD31, CD62L and CD162 was reduced on sputum neutrophils compared to blood neutrophils. Following rhinovirus infection expression of CD11a expression on blood neutrophils was significantly reduced in both subject groups. CD11b, CD62L and CD162 expression was significantly reduced only in the COPD subjects. Blood neutrophil CD11b expression correlated inversely with inflammatory markers and symptom scores in COPD subjects.
Following rhinovirus infection neutrophils with higher surface expression of adhesion molecules are likely preferentially recruited to the lungs. CD11b may be a key molecule involved in neutrophil trafficking in COPD exacerbations.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Exacerbations; Respiratory viruses; Neutrophils
The airways of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are continually colonized with bacterial opportunists like nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), and a wealth of evidence indicates that changes in bacterial populations within the lung can influence the severity of COPD. In this study, we used a murine model for COPD/emphysema to test the hypothesis that COPD affects pulmonary clearance. Mice were treated with a pulmonary bolus of elastase, and as reported previously, the lungs of these mice were pathologically similar to those with COPD/emphysema at ∼1 month posttreatment. Pulmonary clearance of NTHi was significantly impaired in elastase-treated versus mock-treated mice. While histopathologic analysis revealed minimal differences in localized lung inflammation between the two groups, lower levels of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) were observed for the airway epithelial surface of elastase-treated mice than for those of control mice. Following infection, elastase-treated mice had lung pathology consistent with pneumonia for as long as 72 h postinfection, whereas at the same time point, mock-treated mice had cleared NTHi and showed little apparent pathology. Large aggregates of bacteria were observed within damaged lung tissue of the elastase-treated mice, whereas sparse individual bacteria were observed in lungs of mock-treated mice at the same time point postinfection. Additional infection studies showed that NTHi mutants with biofilm defects were less persistent in the elastase-treated mice than the parent strain. These findings establish a model for COPD-related infections and support the hypotheses that ICAM-1 promotes clearance of NTHi. Furthermore, the data indicate that NTHi may form biofilms within the context of COPD-related infections.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by an irreversible chronic airflow obstruction and by an accelerated decline in lung function. Elevated circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), both markers of systemic inflammation, have been found in COPD. Their possible associations with chronic airflow obstruction have mostly been evaluated in highly selected patient samples. Our objective was to evaluate the association between postbronchodilator lung function CRP and IL-6 in a randomly selected sample of the Icelandic population, 40 years and older, while adjusting for gender, age, smoking, and body weight.
Serum CRP and IL-6 values were measured among participants in the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study.
Of the 938 subjects invited a total of 403 men and 355 women participated (response rate 81%) in the study. Their mean age (±SD) was 57.7 (±12.7) years. Both CRP and IL-6 were independently related to lower FEV1 and FVC values. Individuals in the highest quartiles of CRP and IL-6 had a 7.5% and 3.9%, respectively, lower FEV1% than predicted after adjustment for smoking, age, and body weight. High CRP levels were more strongly related to lower FEV1 levels in men (−11.4%) than in women ( −0.4%).
In a random population-based sample both CRP and IL-6 were significantly related to lower spirometric values. The association with CRP was stronger in men than in women. This finding underscores the possible importance of systemic inflammation in irreversible airflow limitation.
Airflow obstruction; Systemic inflammation; Cytokines; C-reactive protein; IL-6
Inflammation, both local and systemic, is a hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inflammatory mediators such as TNFα and GM-CSF are secreted by lung epithelium, alveolar macrophages and other inflammatory cells and are thought to be important contributors in the pathogenesis of COPD. Indeed, neutrophils are activated by these cytokines and these cells are one of the major inflammatory cell types recruited to the pulmonary compartment of COPD patients. Furthermore, these inflammatory mediators are found in the peripheral blood of COPD patients and, therefore, we hypothesized that TNFα/GM-CSF-induced protein profiles can be found in peripheral neutrophils of COPD patients.
Using fluorescence 2-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis we investigated differentially regulated proteins in peripheral neutrophils from COPD patients and healthy age-matched control subjects. Furthermore, protein profiles from COPD patients were compared with those of neutrophils of healthy age-matched controls that were stimulated with TNFα and/or GM-CSF in vitro. Protein gels were compared using DeCyder 7.0 software.
We identified 7 significantly regulated protein spots between peripheral neutrophils from COPD patients and age-matched healthy control subjects. Stimulation of peripheral neutrophils with TNFα, GM-CSF or TNFα + GM-CSF in vitro resulted in 13, 20 and 22 regulated protein spots, respectively. However, these cytokine-induced protein differences did not correspond with the protein differences found in neutrophils from COPD patients.
These results show that neutrophils from COPD patients have a unique protein profile compared to neutrophils from healthy age-matched controls. Furthermore, the neutrophil profiles of COPD patients do not reflect putative dominant signals induced by TNFα, GM-CSF or their combination. Our results indicate that systemic neutrophil responses in COPD patients are caused by a unique but subtle interplay between multiple inflammatory signals.
The predominant emphysema phenotype is associated with more severe airflow limitation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A study was undertaken to investigate whether COPD patients, with or without emphysema quantitatively confirmed by high resolution computed tomography (HRCT), have different COPD severity as assessed by the BODE index (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnoea, exercise performance) and inspiratory capacity to total lung capacity ratio (IC/TLC), and by different biological markers of lung parenchymal destruction.
Twenty six outpatients with COPD and eight healthy non‐smokers were examined. Each subject underwent HRCT scanning, pulmonary function tests, cell counts, and measurements of neutrophil elastase, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‐9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)‐1 in induced sputum, as well as measurement of desmosine, a marker of elastin degradation in urine, plasma and sputum.
Patients with HRCT confirmed emphysema had a higher BODE index and lower IC/TLC ratio than subjects without HRCT confirmed emphysema and controls. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), FEV1/forced vital capacity ratio, and carbon monoxide transfer coefficient were lower, whereas the number of eosinophils, MMP‐9, and the MMP‐9/TIMP‐1 ratio in sputum were higher in patients with emphysema. In COPD patients the number of sputum eosinophils was the biological variable that correlated positively with the HRCT score of emphysema (p = 0.04).
These results suggest that COPD associated with HRCT confirmed emphysema is characterised by more severe lung function impairment, more intense airway inflammation and, possibly, more serious systemic dysfunction than COPD not associated with HRCT confirmed emphysema.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; biological markers; outcomes
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) present systemic inflammation. Strenuous resistive breathing induces systemic inflammation in healthy subjects. We hypothesized that the increased respiratory load that characterizes COPD can contribute to systemic inflammation in these patients.
Patients and methods
To test this hypothesis, we compared leukocyte numbers and levels of circulating cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNFα], interleukin-1β [IL-1β], IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10), before and 1 hour after maximal incremental inspiratory loading in 13 patients with stable COPD (forced expiratory volume in one second [FEV1] 29 ± 2.5% ref) and in 8 healthy sedentary subjects (FEV1 98 ± 5% ref).
We found that: (1) at baseline, patients with COPD showed higher leukocyte counts and IL-8 levels than controls (p < 0.01); and, (2) one hour after maximal inspiratory loading these values were unchanged, except for IL-10, which increased in controls (p < 0.05) but not in patients with COPD.
This study confirms the presence of systemic inflammation in COPD, shows that maximal inspiratory loading does not increase the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-8) in COPD patients or controls, but suggests that the former may be unable to mount an appropriate systemic anti-inflammatory response to exercise.
COPD; endurance; exercise; IL-10; respiratory muscles; systemic inflammation
Limited data is available on the clinical expression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from India. The impact of gender on expression of COPD has received even less attention. Apart from tobacco smoke, indoor air pollution, especially from biomass fuel may play an important role in development of COPD in women.
Materials and Methods:
Seven hundred and two patients of COPD were studied regarding the etiological and risk factors leading to COPD, gender-related differences in clinical presentation, radiological expression of COPD and the co-morbidities in COPD.
Tobacco smoke in the form of beedi smoking was the predominant smoke exposure in males, whereas smoke from biofuel burning was the predominant exposure in females. As compared to males, females were younger, reported more dyspnea, more severe bronchial obstruction, more exacerbations, and exhibited higher prevalence of systemic features. Also, females smoked less and had lesser incidence of productive cough, lower body mass index, lesser co-morbidities and less number of hospital admissions as compared to males. Males were more likely than females to have an emphysema-predominant phenotype, while airway-predominant disease was more common among females.
The current study shows that gender-related differences do exist in COPD patients. Understanding these differences in etiological agent and clinical picture will help early diagnosis of COPD in females.
Biomass fuel; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; gender; indoor pollution; smoking
are likely to play a major role in the inflammatory response seen in
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study sought to
address the hypothesis that an enhanced neutrophil response to
proinflammatory agents in COPD may contribute to their recruitment and
activation in the lungs.
neutrophils were obtained from 10 patients with COPD, eight long term
smokers with normal lung function, and eight healthy never smoking
controls. The in vitro production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was
measured by the NADPH oxidase method (respiratory burst) and the
surface expression of several adhesion molecules (Mac-1, LFA-1 and
L-selectin) was measured by flow cytometry. Measurements
were obtained under basal conditions and after stimulation with phorbol
myristate acetate (PMA) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). mRNA
levels of p22-phox (a subunit of NADPH
oxidase) and Mac-1 (CD11b) were also determined by reverse
transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
COPD showed enhanced respiratory burst
compared with smokers with normal lung function,
both under basal conditions (mean (SE) fluorescence intensity (MFI)
15.1 (0.5) v 11.6 (0.5); mean difference
-3.4 (95% CI of the difference -5.1 to -1.8), p<0.01) and after
PMA stimulation (MFI 210 (7) v 133 (10);
mean difference -77 (95% CI of the difference -102 to -52),
p<0.01). Mac-1 surface expression was also enhanced in patients with
COPD, both under basal conditions (MFI 91 (5)
v 45 (3); mean difference -46 (95% CI of
the difference -61 to -31), p<0.001) and after stimulation with
TNFα (MFI 340 (15) v 263 (11); mean
difference -77 (95% CI of the difference -119 to -34), p=0.001).
These differences were also apparent when patients with COPD were
compared with non-smokers (p<0.05). The mRNA levels of
p22-phox and Mac-1 (CD11b) were similar in
patients with COPD and smokers with normal lung function, suggesting
that the observed differences were due to post-transcriptional regulation.
results demonstrate an enhanced neutrophil response to proinflammatory
agents in patients with COPD which may contribute to their enhanced
recruitment and activation in the lungs of these patients. These
findings support those of other studies which have indicated that the
neutrophil is likely to play a major role in the pathogenesis of this disease.
Recent investigations suggest that neutrophils play an important role in the immune response to lung cancer as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the amount of neutrophils and markers of their activity in lung cancer and COPD and in coexistence of these two diseases.
In total, 267 persons were included in the study: 139 patients with lung cancer, 55 patients with lung cancer and COPD, 40 patients with COPD, and 33 healthy subjects. Peripheral blood and BAL fluid samples were obtained for cell count analysis and determination of NE, MPO levels and ROS production. NE and MPO levels in the serum and BAL fluid were determined by ELISA. ROS production was analyzed by flow cytometer.
The percentage, cell count of neutrophils and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio in the peripheral blood were significantly higher in lung cancer patients with or without COPD compared to COPD patients or healthy individuals (P < 0.05). The percentage and cell count of neutrophils in BAL fluid were significantly lower in patients with lung cancer with or without COPD than in patients with COPD (P < 0.05). However, BAL fluid and serum levels of both NE and MPO were significantly higher in patients with lung cancer than COPD patients or healthy individuals (P < 0.05). Neutrophils produced higher amounts of ROS in patients with lung cancer with or without COPD compared with COPD patients or healthy individuals (P < 0.05).
The results from this study demonstrate higher degree of local and systemic neutrophilic inflammation in patients with lung cancer (with or without COPD) than in patients with COPD.
Lung cancer; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Neutrophils; Reactive oxygen species
Background: Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and muscle wasting. Systemic inflammation may be involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders. A study was undertaken to determine whether systemic inflammation is present in stable COPD.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted of studies which reported on the relationship between COPD, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or forced vital capacity (FVC), and levels of various systemic inflammatory markers: C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, leucocytes, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukins 6 and 8. Where possible the results were pooled together to produce a summary estimate using a random or fixed effects model.
Results: Fourteen original studies were identified. Overall, the standardised mean difference in the CRP level between COPD and control subjects was 0.53 units (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34 to 0.72). The standardised mean difference in the fibrinogen level was 0.47 units (95% CI 0.29 to 0.65). Circulating leucocytes were also higher in COPD than in control subjects (standardised mean difference 0.44 units (95% CI 0.20 to 0.67)), as were serum TNF-α levels (standardised mean difference 0.59 units (95% CI 0.29 to 0.89)).
Conclusions: Reduced lung function is associated with increased levels of systemic inflammatory markers which may have important pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for subjects with stable COPD.
with more frequent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD) may have increased bronchial inflammation. Airway
inflammation was measured in patients who had been thoroughly investigated with full pulmonary function testing, thoracic HRCT scanning, and sputum microbiology to examine further the relationship between exacerbation frequency and bronchial inflammation.
inflammation (spontaneous sputum sol phase myeloperoxidase (MPO),
elastase, leukotriene (LT)B4, interleukin (IL)-8, secretory leukoprotenase inhibitor (SLPI), protein leakage) and serum
levels of C reactive protein (CRP) were compared in 40 patients with
stable, smoking related COPD, divided into those with frequent (⩾3/year) or infrequent (⩽2/year) exacerbations according to the number of primary care consultations during the preceding year. The
comparisons were repeated after excluding eight otherwise clinically
indistinguishable patients who had tubular bronchiectasis on the HRCT scan.
frequent (n=12) and infrequent (n=28) exacerbations were
indistinguishable in terms of their clinical, pulmonary function, and
sputum characteristics, CRP concentrations, and all of their bronchial
inflammatory parameters (p>0.05). The patients without evidence of
tubular bronchiectasis (n=32) were equally well matched but the sputum
concentrations of SLPI were significantly lower in the frequent
exacerbators (n=8) in this subset analysis (p<0.05).
several clinical features that directly influence bronchial
inflammation in COPD. When these were carefully controlled for,
patients with more frequent reported exacerbations had lower sputum
concentrations of SLPI. This important antiproteinase is also known to
possess antibacterial and antiviral activity. Further studies are
required into the nature of recurrent exacerbations and, in particular,
the regulation and role of SLPI in affected individuals.
Elevated circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6 and fibrinogen (FG) have been repeatedly associated with many adverse outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To date, it remains unclear whether and to what extent systemic inflammation is primary or secondary in the pathogenesis of COPD.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between haplotypes of CRP, IL6 and FGB genes, systemic inflammation, COPD risk and COPD-related phenotypes (respiratory impairment, exercise capacity and body composition).
Eighteen SNPs in three genes, representing optimal haplotype-tagging sets, were genotyped in 355 COPD patients and 195 healthy smokers. Plasma levels of CRP, IL-6 and FG were measured in the total study group. Differences in haplotype distributions were tested using the global and haplotype-specific statistics.
Raised plasma levels of CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen were demonstrated in COPD patients. However, COPD population was very heterogeneous: about 40% of patients had no evidence of systemic inflammation (CRP < 3 mg/uL or no inflammatory markers in their top quartile). Global test for haplotype effect indicated association of CRP gene and CRP plasma levels (P = 0.0004) and IL6 gene and COPD (P = 0.003). Subsequent analysis has shown that IL6 haplotype H2, associated with an increased COPD risk (p = 0.004, OR = 4.82; 1.64 to 4.18), was also associated with very low CRP levels (p = 0.0005). None of the genes were associated with COPD-related phenotypes.
Our findings suggest that common genetic variation in CRP and IL6 genes may contribute to heterogeneity of COPD population associated with systemic inflammation.
Little is known about gender differences in plasma biomarker levels in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There are differences in serum biomarker levels between women and men with COPD.
Explore gender differences in plasma biomarker levels in patients with COPD and smokers without COPD.
We measured plasma levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-16, MCP-1, MMP-9, PARC and VEGF in 80 smokers without COPD (40 males, 40 females) and 152 stable COPD patients (76 males, 76 females) with similar airflow obstruction. We determined anthropometrics, smoking history, lung function, exercise tolerance, body composition, BODE index, co-morbidities and quality of life. We then explored associations between plasma biomarkers levels and the clinical characteristics of the patients and also with the clinical and physiological variables known to predict outcome in COPD.
The plasma biomarkers level explored were similar in men and women without COPD. In contrast, in patients with COPD the median value in pg/mL of IL-6 (6.26 vs 8.0, p = 0.03), IL-16 (390 vs 321, p = 0.009) and VEGF (50 vs 87, p = 0.02) differed between women and men. Adjusted for smoking history, gender was independently associated with IL-16, PARC and VEGF levels. There were also gender differences in the associations between IL-6, IL-16 and VEGF and physiologic variables that predict outcomes.
In stable COPD patients with similar airflow obstruction, there are gender differences in plasma biomarker levels and in the association between biomarker levels and important clinical or physiological variables. Further studies should confirm our findings.
The aim of the study was to investigate how the expression of adhesion molecules changes as neutrophils migrate from the circulation to the lung and if these changes differ between non-smoking subjects and smokers with and without COPD.
Non-smoking healthy subjects (n=22), smokers without (n=21) and with COPD (n=18) were included. Neutrophils from peripheral blood, sputum and bronchial biopsies were analysed for cell surface expression of adhesion molecules (CD11b, CD62L, CD162). Serum, sputum supernatant and BAL-fluid were analysed for soluble adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, -3, E-selectin, P-selectin, VCAM-1, PECAM-1).
Expression of CD11b was increased on circulating neutrophils from smokers with COPD. It was also increased on sputum neutrophils in both smokers groups, but not in non-smokers, as compared to circulating neutrophils.
Serum ICAM-1 was higher in the COPD group compared to the other two groups (p<0.05) and PECAM-1 was lower in smokers without COPD than in non-smoking controls and the COPD group (p<0.05). In BAL-fluid ICAM-1 was lower in the COPD group than in the other groups (p<0.05).
Thus, our data strongly support the involvement of a systemic component in COPD and demonstrate that in smokers neutrophils are activated to a greater extent at the point of transition from the circulation into the lungs than in non-smokers.
Adhesion molecules; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Neutrophils; Sputum; Bronchoialveolar lavage fluid
Increased cardiovascular mortality and risk of venous thromboembolism are serious extra-pulmonary complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Previously, circulating active tissue factor (TF) and factor XIa (FXIa) have been reported to be associated with acute coronary syndromes.
To measure plasma FXIa and active TF, prothrombin fragment 1.2 (F1.2), and markers of systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6 [IL-6], tumor necrosis factor α [TNFα] and matrix metalloproteinase 9 [MMP-9]) in 60 patients with documented stable COPD free of previous thromboembolic events.
In-house clotting assays using inhibitory monoclonal antibodies against FXIa and TF.
FXIa was detected in 9 (15%) and TF activity in 7 (11.7%) COPD patients. Subjects positive for FXIa and/or TF (n=10; 16.7%) had higher F1.2 (median [interquartile range], 398  vs 192  pM, p<0.000001), fibrinogen (5.58 [2.01] vs 3.97 [2.47] g/L, p=0.0007), CRP (14.75 [1.20] vs 1.88 [2.95] mg/L, p<0.000001), IL-6 (8.14 [4.74] vs 2.45 [2.24] pg/mL, p=0.00002), and right ventricular systolic pressure (47  vs 38  mmHg, p=0.023), and lower vital capacity (66  vs 80  % predicted, p=0.04) than COPD patients without detectable FXIa and TF. COPD severity was not associated with the presence of circulating FXIa and active TF.
This is the first study to show that active FXIa and TF are present in stable COPD patients, who exhibit enhanced systemic inflammation and thrombin generation. Our findings suggest a new prothrombotic mechanism which might contribute to elevated risk of thromboembolic complications in COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; tissue factor; factor XIa; inflammation
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) have some systemic effects including systemic inflammation, nutritional abnormalities, skeletal muscle dysfunction, and cardiovascular, skeletal and neurological disorders. Some studies have reported the presence of peripheral neuropathy (PNP) at an incidence of 28-94% in patients with COPD. Our study aimed to identify whether PNP affects exercise performance and quality of life in COPD patients.
Material and methods
Thirty mild-very severe patients with COPD (male/female = 29/1, mean age = 64 ±10 years) and 14 normal subjects (male/female = 11/5, mean age = 61 ±8 years) were included in the present study. All subjects underwent pulmonary function testing (PFT), cardiopulmonary exercise testing, electroneuromyography and short form 36 (SF-36).
Peak oxygen uptake (PeakVO2) was lower in COPD patients (1.15 ±0.53 l/min) than healthy subjects (2.02 ±0.46 l/min) (p = 0.0001). There was no PNP in healthy subjects while 16 (53%) of the COPD patients had PNP. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and PeakVO2 were significantly different between patients with PNP and those without (p = 0.009, p = 0.03 respectively). Quality of life of patients with PNP was lower than that of patients without PNP (p < 0.05).
The present study demonstrates the exercise limitation in COPD patients with PNP. Thus, presence of PNP has a poor effect on exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with COPD. Furthermore, treatment modalities for PNP can be recommended to these patients in order to improve exercise capacity and quality of life.
chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; peripheral neuropathy; exercise capacity; quality of life
Background: To investigate whether nasal and bronchial inflammation coexists in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), nasal and bronchial biopsy specimens from seven control subjects, seven smokers without COPD, and 14 smokers with COPD were studied.
Methods: Nasal and bronchial biopsy specimens were taken from the same patients during bronchoscopy and squamous cell metaplasia and the thickness of the epithelium and basement membrane were measured. The numbers of eosinophils (EG2), neutrophils (elastase), macrophages (CD68), and CD8 T lymphocytes (CD8/144B) were assessed by immunohistochemistry.
Results: Smokers with and without COPD had squamous metaplasia in the nasal and bronchial epithelium. In all groups the thickness of the nasal epithelium was greater than that of the bronchial epithelium. The thickness of the basement membrane was similar in nasal and bronchial biopsy specimens from smokers with and without COPD, but was greater in the bronchi than in the nasal epithelium of controls. Eosinophil number was higher in the nasal and bronchial mucosa of smokers without COPD than in smokers with COPD or controls. Neutrophil number was higher in the nasal and bronchial mucosa of smokers with COPD than in smokers without COPD or controls. CD8 T lymphocyte numbers were similar in smokers with and without COPD and higher than in controls. There were fewer macrophages in nasal and bronchial biopsy specimens from smokers without COPD than in those with COPD.
Conclusion: Nasal and bronchial inflammation coexists in smokers and is characterised by infiltration of CD8 T lymphocytes. In smokers without COPD this feature is associated with an increased number of eosinophils, while in those with COPD it is linked to an increased number of neutrophils in both nasal and bronchial biopsy specimens.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To investigate the correlation between the progression of COPD and plasma biomarkers of chronic inflammation and oxidative injury, blood samples were obtained from healthy volunteers (HV, n = 14) and stabilized COPD patients. The patients were divided into three groups according to their GOLD stage (II, n = 34; III, n = 18; IV, n = 20). C-reactive protein (CRP), protein carbonyls (PC), malondialdehyde (MDA), susceptible lipoperoxidation of plasma substrates (SLPS), and myeloperoxidase activity (MPO) were measured. The plasma concentration of SLPS was measured as the amount of MDA generated by a metal ion-catalyzed reaction in vitro. PC, SLPS, and CPR were increased significantly (p < 0.001) in COPD patients when compared to HV. MDA concentrations and MPO activities were not significantly different from those of the HV group. In conclusion, increased oxidation of lipids and proteins resulting in a progressive increase in the amount of total plasma carbonyls and oxidative stress the presence of oxidative stress during COPD progression, concomitant with an increased oxidation of lipids and proteins resulting in a progressive and significant increase in the amount of total carbonyls formed from lipid-derived aldehydes and direct amino acid side chain oxidation in plasma, may serve as a biomarker and independent monitor of COPD progression and oxidative stress injury.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); oxidative stress; protein carbonyls; reactive oxygen species (ROS); lipoperoxidation of plasma substrates (SLPS).
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory pulmonary disorder with systemic inflammatory manifestations that are mediated by circulating acute-phase reactants. This study compared an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to a nephelometric technique for the measurement of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA) and investigated how the choice of assay influenced the estimation of inflammation in patients with stable COPD.
CRP and SAA concentrations measured by ELISA and nephelometry in 88 patients with COPD and 45 control subjects were used to evaluate the performance of these methods in a clinical setting.
With both assays, the concentrations of CRP and SAA were higher in COPD patients than in controls after adjustment for age and sex. There was a moderate correlation between the values measured by ELISA and those measured by nephelometry (logCRP: r = 0.55, p < 0.001; logSAA: r = 0.40, p < 0.001). However, the concentrations of biomarkers determined by nephelometry were significantly higher than those obtained with ELISA for CRP (mean difference = 2.7 (9.4) mg/L) and SAA (mean difference = 0.31 (14.3) mg/L).
Although the serum CRP and SAA concentrations measured by ELISA and nephelometry correlated well in COPD patients, the ELISA values tended to be lower for CRP and SAA when compared with nephelometric measurements. International standardization of commercial kits is required before the predictive validity of inflammatory markers for patients with COPD can be effectively assessed in clinical practice.
Inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We hypothesized that candidate genes selected for a study of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) are associated with markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in an aging population.
Plasma levels of circulating C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) were obtained from 679 elderly male participants in the Normative Aging Study. Blood samples were analyzed for 202 SNPs in 25 candidate genes and included both haplotype tagSNPs and functional SNPs based on literature review. Data were stratified into discovery and replication cohorts for 2-stage analysis. In the discovery cohort, the relationship between biomarker level and genotype was analyzed using linear mixed effects with random intercepts for each subject and models were adjusted for age and BMI. A positive outcome in the discovery cohort was defined as a p-value <0.1 for the SNP. SNPs that met this criterion were analyzed in the replication cohort and confirmed for those which met a criterion of significance (p<0.025).
In our analyses, SNPs in the CRHR1, ITPR2, and VDR genes met criteria of significant effects.
Our results suggest that genes thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of asthma and COPD may influence levels of serum markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction via novel SNP associations which have not previously been associated with cardiovascular disease.
biomarkers; cardiovascular disease; SNPs; inflammation; endothelial dysfunction
BACKGROUND--Bronchial inflammation in chronic bronchitis has not been characterised as well as in asthma. The present study was undertaken to assess whether a characteristic pattern of bronchial inflammatory markers could be found in patients with chronic bronchitis. METHODS--Bronchoscopy with bronchial lavage was performed in 42 patients with chronic bronchitis and in 13 healthy controls. Twenty three of the patients had non-obstructive chronic bronchitis and 19 had chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eighteen of the patients with bronchitis had recurrent infective exacerbations and 24 did not. Intrabronchial bacterial cultures were taken with a protected specimen brush. RESULTS--Increased activity of neutrophils, fibroblasts, and eosinophils was found in the patients with chronic bronchitis as assessed by the levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and interleukin-8 (IL-8), hyaluronan, and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), respectively. The levels of tryptase did not differ from the controls. High correlations were found between the levels of MPO and IL-8, as well as ECP and IL-8. No differences were found between the patients with COPD and those with non-obstructive chronic bronchitis. CONCLUSIONS--Recruitment and activation of both neutrophils and eosinophils seem to be a characteristic of chronic bronchitis. This activation is associated with IL-8. The patients with intrabronchial cultures of Streptococcus pneumoniae had the highest individual levels of MPO, ECP, and IL-8 of all subjects in the study, indicating that colonisation with S pneumoniae could promote bronchial inflammation.
Although recent studies have found that total plasma homocysteine (tHCY) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are both risk factors for cardiac disease, there have been few studies of plasma homocysteine levels in COPD patients. We tested the hypothesis that total plasma homocysteine (tHCY) would be elevated in patients diagnosed with COPD compared with controls.
We studied 29 COPD outpatients and 25 asymptomatic subjects (controls) over age 55 years with measurement of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score, tHCY and serum C-reactive protein (sCRP).
There was no difference between controls vs. COPD patients in mean age or gender but mean (SD) FEV1 was 2.25 (0.77) vs 1.43 (0.60) L; FEV1% predicted 76.1 (17.2) vs 49.1 (16.3) p < 0.001 in both cases. Median (IQR) tHCY was 8.22 (6.63, 9.55) in controls vs 10.96 (7.56, 13.60) micromol/l for COPD, p = 0.006 and sCRP 0.89 (0.47, 2.55) vs 2.05 (0.86, 6.19) mg/l, p = 0.023. tHCY(log) was also higher in (r, p) smokers (0.448, 0.001), patients with low FEV1% (−0.397, 0.003), males (0.475, <0.001), but high SGRQ Total score (0.289, 0.034), and high sCRP (0.316, 0.038). tHCY(log) was independently related to (regression coefficient, p) sCRP(log) (0.087, 0.024), male gender (0.345, <0.001) and presence of COPD (0.194, 0.031). Median (IQR) tHCY GOLD Stage I and II 8.05 (7.28, 11.04), GOLD Stage III and IV: 11.83(9.30, 18.30); p = 0.023.
Plasma homocysteine is significantly elevated in COPD patients relative to age and sex-matched controls and is related to serum CRP and COPD severity.
COPD; Homocysteine; CRP; SGRQ; FEV1
Systemic inflammation may contribute to cachexia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this longitudinal study we assessed the association between circulating C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1ß, and IL-6 levels and subsequent loss of fat free mass and fat mass in more than 400 COPD patients over three years.
The patients, aged 40–76, GOLD stage II-IV, were enrolled in 2006/07, and followed annually. Fat free mass and fat mass indexes (FFMI & FMI) were calculated using bioelectrical impedance, and CRP, TNF-α, IL-1ß, and IL-6 were measured using enzyme immunoassays. Associations with mean change in FFMI and FMI of the four inflammatory plasma markers, sex, age, smoking, FEV1, inhaled steroids, arterial hypoxemia, and Charlson comorbidity score were analyzed with linear mixed models.
At baseline, only CRP was significantly (but weakly) associated with FFMI (r = 0.18, p < 0.01) and FMI (r = 0.27, p < 0.01). Univariately, higher age, lower FEV1, and use of beta2-agonists were the only significant predictors of decline in FFMI, whereas smoking, hypoxemia, Charlson score, and use of inhaled steroids predicted increased loss in FMI. Multivariately, high levels of TNF-α (but not CRP, IL-1ß or IL-6) significantly predicted loss of FFMI, however only in patients with established cachexia at entry.
This study does not support the hypothesis that systemic inflammation is the cause of accelerated loss of fat free mass in COPD patients, but suggests a role for TNF-α in already cachectic COPD patients.
Inflammation; TNF-α; COPD; Cachexia
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) kills approximately 2.8 million people each year, and more than 80% of COPD cases can be attributed to smoking. Leukocytes recruited to the lung contribute to COPD pathology by releasing reactive oxygen metabolites and proteolytic enzymes. In this work, we investigated where leukocytes enter the lung in the early stages of COPD in order to better understand their effect as a contributor to the development of COPD. We simultaneously evaluated the parenchyma and airways for neutrophil accumulation, as well as increases in the adhesion molecules and chemokines that cause leukocyte recruitment in the early stages of tobacco smoke induced lung disease. We found neutrophil accumulation and increased expression of adhesion molecules and chemokines in the bronchial blood vessels that correlated with the accumulation of leukocytes recovered from the lung. The expression of adhesion molecules and chemokines in other vascular beds did not correlate with leukocytes recovered in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). These data strongly suggest leukocytes are recruited in large measure through the bronchial circulation in response to tobacco smoke. Our findings have important implications for understanding the etiology of COPD and suggest that pharmaceuticals designed to reduce leukocyte recruitment through the bronchial circulation may be a potential therapy to treat COPD.
Leptin, a hormone produced mainly by adipose tissue, regulates food intake and energy expenditure. It is involved in inflammatory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its deficiency is associated with increased susceptibility to the infection. The leptin receptor is expressed in the lung and in the neutrophils.
We measured the levels of leptin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and soluble form of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) in sputum and plasma from 27 smoker and former smoker patients with stable COPD using ELISA methods. Further we analyzed leptin and its receptor expression in sputum cells from 16 COPD patients using immunocytochemistry.
In plasma of COPD patients, leptin was inversely correlated with TNF-α and positively correlated with the patient weight, whereas the levels of sICAM-1 were positively correlated with TNF-α. In sputum of COPD patients leptin levels were correlated with forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vitality capacity. Additionally, increased levels of sputum leptin and TNF-α were observed in COPD former smokers rather than smokers. Further the expression of leptin receptor in sputum neutrophils was significantly higher in COPD former smokers than in smokers, and the expression of leptin and its receptor was positively correlated in neutrophils of COPD former smokers.
Our findings suggest a role of leptin in the local and systemic inflammation of COPD and, taking into account the involvement of neutrophils in this inflammatory disease, describe a novel aspect of the leptin/leptin receptor pathway in the regulation of host defense after smoking cessation.
COPD; smokers; inflammation; leptin; neutrophils