Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disorder with complex pathological features and largely unknown etiology. The identification of biomarkers for this disease could aid the development of methods to facilitate earlier diagnosis, the classification of disease subtypes, and provide a means to define therapeutic response. To identify gene expression biomarkers, we completed expression profiling of RNA derived from the lung tissue of 56 subjects with varying degrees of airflow obstruction using the Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 array. We applied multiple, independent analytical methods to define biomarkers for either discrete or quantitative disease phenotypes. Analysis of differential expression between cases (n = 15) and controls (n = 18) identified a set of 65 discrete biomarkers. Correlation of gene expression with quantitative measures of airflow obstruction (FEV1%predicted or FEV1/FVC) identified a set of 220 biomarkers. Biomarker genes were enriched in functions related to DNA binding and regulation of transcription. We used this group of biomarkers to predict disease in an unrelated data set, generated from patients with severe emphysema, with 97% accuracy. Our data contribute to the understanding of gene expression changes occurring in the lung tissue of patients with obstructive lung disease and provide additional insight into potential mechanisms involved in the disease process. Furthermore, we present the first gene expression biomarker for COPD validated in an independent data set.
microarray; gene expression; emphysema; lung function
The Global Initiative of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines define chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in subjects with FEV1/FVC <0.7. However, the use of this fixed ratio may result in over-diagnosis of COPD in the elderly, especially with mild degree of COPD. The lower limit of normal (LLN) can be used to minimize the potential misclassification. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different definitions of airflow obstruction (LLN or fixed ratio of FEV1/FVC) on the estimated prevalence of COPD in a population-based sample. We compared the prevalence of COPD and its difference diagnosed by different methods using either fixed ratio (FEV1/FVC <0.7) or LLN criterion (FEV1/FVC below LLN). Among the 4,816 subjects who had performed spirometry, 2,728 subjects met new ATS/ERS spirometry criteria for acceptability and repeatability. The prevalence of COPD was 10.9% (14.7% in men, 7.2% in women) by LLN criterion and 15.5% (21.8% in men, 9.1% in women) by fixed ratio of FEV1/FVC among subjects older than 45 yr. The difference of prevalence between LLN and fixed ratio of FEV1/FVC was even higher among subjects with age ≥65, 14.9% and 31.1%, respectively. In conclusion, the prevalence of COPD by LLN criterion was significantly lower in elderly compared to fixed ratio of FEV1/FVC. Implementing LLN criterion instead of fixed ratio of FEV1/FVC may reduce the risk of over-diagnosis of COPD in elderly people.
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; National Prevalence; Lower Limit of Normal; Spirometry
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by inflammation and remodeling of the lungs. This results in alterations in extracellular matrix (ECM) and structural changes leading to airflow obstruction. We studied the expression of tenascin-C (Tn-C) and alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), which act as a marker of myofibroblasts, in large airways from COPD patients. Our aim was to elucidate whether this expression correlated with smoking or with disease development.
Bronchoscopy was performed on 20 COPD patients (mean age 56 years; range 39-61; FEV1/FVC < 70% and FEV1 median 53% (range 33-69) of predicted). Age and smoking matched smokers (S) without COPD (n = 13) and age matched non-smokers (NS) (n = 14) served as controls. Bronchial mucosal biopsies were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The distribution of Tn-C expression was assessed and graded in three levels, and the number of spindle shaped cells staining positive for α-SMA were counted.
Biopsies from COPD patients had more (P < 0.001) Tn-C expression than the two control groups. A significantly (P < 0.05) increased number of spindle shaped cells expressing α-SMA was observed in COPD patients compared with the controls. Smokers and nonsmokers did not differ in this respect. The expression of Tn-C correlated positively (P < 0.001) to the number of α-SMA positive cells.
We demonstrate increased expression of Tn-C and α-SMA positive cells in the large airways in COPD. This was not associated to smoking per se, but to the presence of airway obstruction. Our findings add new information regarding remodeling characteristics and highlight the large airways as a potential site for airways obstruction in COPD.
Current COPD guidelines advocate a fixed < 0.70 FEV1/FVC cutpoint to define airflow obstruction. We compared rate of lung function decline in respiratory symptomatic 40+ subjects who were 'obstructive' or 'non-obstructive' according to the fixed and/or age and gender specific lower limit of normal (LLN) FEV1/FVC cutpoints.
We studied 3,324 respiratory symptomatic subjects referred to primary care diagnostic centres for spirometry. The cohort was subdivided into four categories based on presence or absence of obstruction according to the fixed and LLN FEV1/FVC cutpoints. Postbronchodilator FEV1 decline served as primary outcome to compare subjects between the respective categories.
918 subjects were obstructive according to the fixed FEV1/FVC cutpoint; 389 (42%) of them were non-obstructive according to the LLN cutpoint. In smokers, postbronchodilator FEV1 decline was 21 (SE 3) ml/year in those non-obstructive according to both cutpoints, 21 (7) ml/year in those obstructive according to the fixed but not according to the LLN cutpoint, and 50 (5) ml/year in those obstructive according to both cutpoints (p = 0.004).
This study showed that respiratory symptomatic 40+ smokers and non-smokers who show FEV1/FVC values below the fixed 0.70 cutpoint but above their age/gender specific LLN value did not show accelerated FEV1 decline, in contrast with those showing FEV1/FVC values below their LLN cutpoint.
Airflow obstruction; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Diagnosis; Lung function decline; Primary care; Spirometry
Rationale: A significant proportion of smokers have lung function impairment characterized by a reduced FEV1 with a preserved FEV1/FVC ratio. These smokers are a poorly characterized group due to their systematic exclusion from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) studies.
Objectives: To characterize the clinical, functional, and radiographic features of Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)-Unclassified (FEV1/FVC ≥ 0.7 and FEV1 < 80% predicted) and lower limits of normal (LLN)-unclassified (FEV1/FVC ≥ LLN and FEV1 < LLN) subjects compared to smokers with normal lung function and subjects with COPD.
Methods: Data from the first 2,500 subjects enrolled in the COPDGene study were analyzed. All subjects had 10 or more pack-years of smoking and were between the ages of 45 and 80 years. Multivariate regression models were constructed to determine the clinical and radiological variables associated with GOLD-Unclassified (GOLD-U) and LLN-Unclassified status. Separate multivariate regressions were performed in the subgroups of subjects with complete radiologic measurement variables available.
Measurements and Main Results: GOLD-U smokers account for 9% of smokers in COPDGene and have increased body mass index (BMI), a disproportionately reduced total lung capacity, and a higher proportion of nonwhite subjects and subjects with diabetes. GOLD-U subjects exhibit increased airway wall thickness compared to smoking control subjects and decreased gas trapping and bronchodilator responsiveness compared to subjects with COPD. When LLN criteria were used to define the “unclassified” group, African American subjects were no longer overrepresented. Both GOLD-U and LLN-Unclassified subjects demonstrated a wide range of lung function impairment, BMI, and percentage of total lung emphysema.
Conclusions: Subjects with reduced FEV1 and a preserved FEV1/FVC ratio are a heterogeneous group with significant symptoms and functional limitation who likely have a variety of underlying etiologies beyond increased BMI.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT000608764).
lung diseases, classification; lung diseases, diagnosis; lung diseases, epidemiology
Few studies have investigated the significance of decreased FEV1 in non-COPD, nonasthmatic healthy subjects. We hypothesized that a lower FEV1 in these subjects is a potential marker of an increased susceptibility to obstructive lung disease such as asthma and COPD. This was a cross-sectional analysis of 1505 Japanese adults. We divided the population of healthy adults with no respiratory diseases whose FEV1/FVC ratio was ≥70% (n = 1369) into 2 groups according to their prebronchodilator FEV1 (% predicted) measurements: <80% (n = 217) and ≥80% (n = 1152). We compared clinical data – including gender, age, smoking habits, total IgE levels, and annual decline of FEV1 – between these 2 groups. In addition, as our group recently found that TSLP variants are associated with asthma and reduced lung function, we assessed whether TSLP single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with baseline lung function in non-COPD, nonasthmatic healthy subjects (n = 1368). Although about half of the subjects with lower FEV1 had never smoked, smoking was the main risk factor for the decreased FEV1 in non-COPD, nonasthmatic subjects. However, the subjects with lower FEV1 had a significantly higher annual decline in FEV1 independent of smoking status. Airflow obstruction was associated with increased levels of total serum IgE (P = 0.029) and with 2 functional TSLP SNPs (corrected P = 0.027–0.058 for FEV1% predicted, corrected P = 0.015–0.033 for FEV1/FVC). This study highlights the importance of early recognition of a decreased FEV1 in healthy subjects without evident pulmonary diseases because it predicts a rapid decline in FEV1 irrespective of smoking status. Our series of studies identified TSLP variants as a potential susceptibility locus to asthma and to lower lung function in non-COPD, nonasthmatic healthy subjects, which may support the contention that genetic determinants of lung function influence susceptibility to asthma.
airflow obstruction; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pulmonary function test; thymic stromal lymphopoietin
It is uncertain if the presence and severity of airflow obstruction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is predictive of surgical morbidity and mortality after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Retrospective study of patients who underwent CABG between 1998 and 2003 in a university-affiliated hospital for whom a preoperative spirometry was available. COPD was diagnosed in smokers or ex-smokers 50 years of age or older in the presence of irreversible airflow obstruction. Patients were divided into three groups depending on the spirometry: controls (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1] 80% or more, FEV1/forced vital capacity [FVC] greater than 0.7), mild to moderate COPD (FEV1 50% or more and FEV1/FVC 0.7 or less) and severe COPD (FEV1 less than 50% and FEV1/FVC 0.7 or less).
Among the 411 files studied, 322 (249 men, 68±8 years of age) were retained (controls, n=101; mild to moderate COPD, n=153; severe COPD, n=68). The mortality rate (3.0%, 2.6% and 0%, respectively) was comparable among the three groups. Patients with severe COPD had a slightly longer hospital stay than controls (mean difference 0.7±1.4 days, P<0.05). Pulmonary infections were more frequent in severe COPD (26.5%) compared with mild to moderate COPD (12.4%) and controls (12.9%), P<0.05. Atrial fibrillation tended to be more frequent in severe COPD than in the other two groups.
Mortality rate associated with CABG surgery is not influenced by the presence and severity of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD. The incidence of pulmonary infections and length of hospital stay were increased in patients with severe COPD.
COPD; Coronary artery bypass; Heart surgery; Postoperative complications
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major public health problem with increasing prevalence worldwide. The primary aim of this study was to identify genes and gene ontologies associated with COPD severity. Gene expression profiling was performed on total RNA extracted from lung tissue of 18 former smokers with COPD. Class comparison analysis on mild (n = 9, FEV1 80–110% predicted) and moderate (n = 9, FEV1 50–60% predicted) COPD patients identified 46 differentially expressed genes (p<0.01), of which 14 genes were technically confirmed by quantitative real-time-PCR. Biological replication in an independent test set of 58 lung samples confirmed the altered expression of ten genes with increasing COPD severity, with eight of these genes (NNMT, THBS1, HLA-DPB1, IGHD, ETS2, ELF1, PTGDS and CYRBD1) being differentially expressed by greater than 1.8 fold between mild and moderate COPD, identifying these as candidate determinants of COPD severity. These genes belonged to ontologies potentially implicated in COPD including angiogenesis, cell migration, proliferation and apoptosis. Our secondary aim was to identify gene ontologies common to airway obstruction, indicated by impaired FEV1 and KCO. Using gene ontology enrichment analysis we have identified relevant biological and molecular processes including regulation of cell-matrix adhesion, leukocyte activation, cell and substrate adhesion, cell adhesion, angiogenesis, cell activation that are enriched among genes involved in airflow obstruction. Exploring the functional significance of these genes and their gene ontologies will provide clues to molecular changes involved in severity of COPD, which could be developed as targets for therapy or biomarkers for early diagnosis.
The physiological and clinical similarities between asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) make their differentiation difficult. In the present study, we compared reversibility to bronchodilator, immunoglobulin E (IgE), blood eosinophil and neutrophil levels among asthma and COPD patients to differentiate these diseases.
Materials and Methods:
The study was carried on 20 asthmatics and 29 patients of COPD that reported to the outpatient and inpatient department in University Teaching Hospital, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India. The parameters evaluated included pulmonary function (FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC), IgE levels, and eosinophil and neutrophil count.
It was observed that reversibility was significantly higher in asthmatic patients, while irreversibility predominates in COPD patients. There was no significant difference in pre- and post-FEV1 and pre- and post-FVC and in their percentage predicted. However the percentage change in FEV1 significantly varies in asthma and COPD patients. No significant changes in neutrophil and eosinophil levels were observed in these patients. The serum IgE levels were found significantly higher in asthmatic patients.
We conclude that reversibility in FEV1 levels or percentage change in FEV1 and serum IgE levels are promising lab parameter to distinguish these two conditions. However, further research is required to fully understand the role of neutrophil and eosinophil in the onset and development of asthma and COPD.
Asthma; bronchodilator; chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder; eosinophil; immunoglobulin E; neutrophil
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.
anemia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lung function; nutritional assessment; nutritional status; smoking
TGF-β1 is a cytokine with many different effects on cell proliferation, differentiation and inflammation and can protect against the development of COPD. This work aims to study the association between COPD and the TGF-β1 gene genotypes.
Material and methods
The study included 70 males: 25 smokers with COPD, 25 resistant smokers, and 20 normal non-smokers as the control. They were subjected to spirometry pre- and post-bronchodilator (FEV1, FEV1/FVC), estimation of serum level of TGF-β1 gene by PCR and RFLP.
The percent of Pro-Leu was 28% in the COPD group, 84% in the resistant smokers group and 85% in the control group. There was a highly significant statistical difference in FEV1% of predicted associated with the distribution of TGF-β1 gene genotypes: 56.9 ±8.4% with Pro-Leu genotype and 35.5 ±8.8% with Leu-Leu genotype in COPD patients, 93.2 ±6.2% with Pro-Leu genotype and 86.7 ±0.9% with Leu-Leu genotype in the resistant smokers group.
The Pro-allele genotype is associated with increased production of TGF-β1, which has a protective role against the development of COPD and is important in preserving the decline of FEV1 in COPD patients.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; leucine; proline domains
Airflow limitation in COPD patients is not fully reversible. However, there may be large variability in bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) among COPD patients, and familial aggregation of BDR suggests a genetic component. Therefore we investigated the association between six candidate genes and BDR in subjects with severe COPD. A total of 389 subjects from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) were analyzed. Bronchodilator responsiveness to albuterol was expressed in three ways: absolute change in FEV1, change in FEV1 as a percent of baseline FEV1, and change in FEV1 as a percent of predicted FEV1. Genotyping was completed for 122 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six candidate genes (EPHX1, SFTPB, TGFB1, SERPINE2, GSTP1, ADRB2). Associations between BDR phenotypes and SNP genotypes were tested using linear regression, adjusting for age, sex, pack-years of smoking, and height. Genes associated with BDR phenotypes in the NETT subjects were assessed for replication in 127 pedigrees from the Boston Early-Onset COPD (EOCOPD) Study. Three SNPs in EPHX1 (p = 0.009 – 0.04), three SNPs in SERPINE2 (p = 0.004 – 0.05) and two SNPs in ADRB2 (0.04 – 0.05) were significantly associated with BDR phenotypes in NETT subjects. BDR. One SNP in EPHX1 (rs1009668, p = 0.04) was significantly replicated in EOCOPD subjects. SNPs in SFTPB, TGFB1, and GSTP1 genes were not associated with BDR. In conclusion, a polymorphism of EPHX1 was associated with bronchodilator responsiveness phenotypes in subjects with severe COPD.
bronchodilator responsiveness; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetics; association analysis
To delineate the relationship of obesity to airflow obstruction (AO) and respiratory symptoms in adults without a previous diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
We analyzed data for potential referents recruited to be healthy controls for an ongoing study of COPD. The potential referents had no prior diagnosis of COPD or healthcare utilization attributed to COPD in the 12 months prior to recruitment. Subjects completed a structured interview and a clinical assessment including body mass index, spirometry, Six Minute Walk Test (SMWT) and the Short Performance Physical Battery (SPPB). We used multiple regression analyses to test the associations of obesity (BMI≥30kg/m2) and smoking with AO (FEV1/FVC ratio<0.7). We also tested the association of obesity with respiratory symptoms and impaired functional capacity (SPPB, SMWT), adjusting for AO.
Of 371 subjects (aged 40–65), 69 (19%) manifested AO. In multivariate analysis, smoking was positively associated with AO (per 10 pack-years, OR 1.24; 95% CI: 1.04 – 1.49), while obesity was negatively associated with AO (OR 0.54; 95% CI: 0.30 – 0.98). Obesity was associated with increased odds of reporting dyspnea on exertion (OR 3.6; 95% CI: 2.0 – 6.4), productive cough (OR 2.5; 95% CI: 1.1 – 6.0), and with decrements in SMWT distance (−67 ± 9meters; 95% CI: −84 to −50m) and SPPB score (OR 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1 – 3.5). None of these outcomes were associated with AO.
Although AO and obesity are both common among adults without an established COPD diagnosis, obesity, but not AO, is linked to a higher risk of reporting dyspnea on exertion, productive cough, and poorer functional capacity.
airflow obstruction; obesity; functional status; health status; dyspnea
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.
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.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; spirometry; respiratory function tests
In patients with COPD, there is an evidence of platelet activation due to chronic hypoxia and systemic inflammation. Aim of the study was to evaluate Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) and Platelet Distribution Width (PDW), markers of platelet activation, in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and to investigate possible associations with pulmonary function testing [Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and Forced vital capacity (FVC)].
Patients and methods
Current smokers with stable COPD (n=85) and smokers without airflow limitation (n=35) were included. To all of them pulmonary function testing was performed and count of white blood cells (WBC) platelets, as well as MPV and PDW were measured.
In smokers with COPD, MPV was significantly higher (mean value 10.563±1.531 vs. 9.956±1.046 fl, P<0.05) than in control group. WBC was also significantly higher in patients with COPD than in controls (9045.53±2664.34/μL vs. 7018.79±1989.74/μL, P<0.001). A significant correlation between MPV and WBC in COPD patients was revealed, especially in those at GOLD Stage III (r=0.475, P=0.012) and IV (r=0.367, P=0.033). WBC count was correlated with FEV1/FVC values (P=0.044). MPV did not correlate with any indices of COPD severity.
In patients with COPD, MPV and WBC levels are significantly correlated and are elevated in comparison to smokers with normal pulmonary function. WBC count was negatively correlated with FEV1/FVC values.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous syndrome characterized by varying degrees of airflow limitation and diffusion impairment. There is increasing evidence to suggest that COPD is also characterized by systemic inflammation. The primary goal of this study was to identify soluble proteins in plasma that associate with the severity of airflow limitation in a COPD cohort with stable disease. A secondary goal was to assess whether unique markers associate with diffusion impairment, based on diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO), independent of the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1).
A cross sectional study of 73 COPD subjects was performed in order to examine the association of 25 different plasma proteins with the severity of lung function impairment, as defined by the baseline measurements of the % predicted FEV1 and the % predicted DLCO. Plasma protein concentrations were assayed using multiplexed immunobead-based cytokine profiling. Associations between lung function and protein concentrations were adjusted for age, gender, pack years smoking history, current smoking, inhaled corticosteroid use, systemic corticosteroid use and statin use.
Plasma concentrations of CCL2/monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (CCL2/MCP-1), CCL4/macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (CCL4/MIP -1β), CCL11/eotaxin, and interleukin-13 (IL-13) were inversely associated with the % FEV1. Plasma concentrations of soluble Fas were associated with the % DLCO, whereas CXCL9/monokine induced by interferon-γ (CXCL9/Mig), granulocyte- colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and IL-13 showed inverse relationships with the % DLCO.
Systemic inflammation in a COPD cohort is characterized by cytokines implicated in inflammatory cell recruitment and airway remodeling. Plasma concentrations of IL-13 and chemoattractants for monocytes, T lymphocytes, and eosinophils show associations with increasing severity of disease. Soluble Fas, G-CSF and CXCL9/Mig may be unique markers that associate with disease characterized by disproportionate abnormalities in DLCO independent of the FEV1.
Two recent metaanalyses of genome-wide association studies conducted by the CHARGE and SpiroMeta consortia identified novel loci yielding evidence of association at or near genome-wide significance (GWS) with FEV1 and FEV1/FVC. We hypothesized that a subset of these markers would also be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility. Thirty-two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in or near 17 genes in 11 previously identified GWS spirometric genomic regions were tested for association with COPD status in four COPD case-control study samples (NETT/NAS, the Norway case-control study, ECLIPSE, and the first 1,000 subjects in COPDGene; total sample size, 3,456 cases and 1,906 controls). In addition to testing the 32 spirometric GWS SNPs, we tested a dense panel of imputed HapMap2 SNP markers from the 17 genes located near the 32 GWS SNPs and in a set of 21 well studied COPD candidate genes. Of the previously identified GWS spirometric genomic regions, three loci harbored SNPs associated with COPD susceptibility at a 5% false discovery rate: the 4q24 locus including FLJ20184/INTS12/GSTCD/NPNT, the 6p21 locus including AGER and PPT2, and the 5q33 locus including ADAM19. In conclusion, markers previously associated at or near GWS with spirometric measures were tested for association with COPD status in data from four COPD case-control studies, and three loci showed evidence of association with COPD susceptibility at a 5% false discovery rate.
Rationale: Circulating leukocyte RNA transcripts are systemic markers of inflammation, which have not been studied in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Although the standard assessment of pulmonary treatment response is FEV1, a measure of airflow limitation, the lack of systemic markers to reflect changes in lung inflammation critically limits the testing of proposed therapeutics.
Objectives: We sought to prospectively identify and validate peripheral blood leukocyte genes that could mark resolution of pulmonary infection and inflammation using a model by which RNA transcripts could increase the predictive value of spirometry.
Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from 10 patients with CF and acute pulmonary exacerbations before and after therapy. RNA expression profiling revealed that 10 genes significantly changed with treatment when compared with matched non-CF and control subjects with stable CF to establish baseline transcript abundance. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell RNA transcripts were prospectively validated, using real-time polymerase chain reaction amplification, in an independent cohort of acutely ill patients with CF (n = 14). Patients who responded to therapy were analyzed using general estimating equations and multiple logistic regression, such that changes in FEV1% predicted were regressed with transcript changes.
Measurements and Main Results: Three genes, CD64, ADAM9, and CD36, were significant and independent predictors of a therapeutic response beyond that of FEV1 alone (P < 0.05). In both cohorts, receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed greater accuracy when genes were combined with FEV1.
Conclusions: Circulating mononuclear cell transcripts characterize a response to the treatment of pulmonary exacerbations. Even in small patient cohorts, changes in gene expression in conjunction with FEV1 may enhance current outcomes measures for treatment response.
cystic fibrosis; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; biomarkers; pulmonary exacerbation
The ratio of forced expiratory volume in one second to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) is a measure used to diagnose airflow obstruction and is highly heritable. We performed a genome-wide association study in 7,691 Framingham Heart Study participants to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the FEV1/FVC ratio, analyzed as a percent of the predicted value. Identified SNPs were examined in an independent set of 835 Family Heart Study participants enriched for airflow obstruction. Four SNPs in tight linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 4q31 were associated with the percent predicted FEV1/FVC ratio with p-values of genome-wide significance in the Framingham sample (best p-value = 3.6e-09). One of the four chromosome 4q31 SNPs (rs13147758; p-value 2.3e-08 in Framingham) was genotyped in the Family Heart Study and produced evidence of association with the same phenotype, percent predicted FEV1/FVC (p-value = 2.0e-04). The effect estimates for association in the Framingham and Family Heart studies were in the same direction, with the minor allele (G) associated with higher FEV1/FVC ratio levels. Results from the Family Heart Study demonstrated that the association extended to FEV1 and dichotomous airflow obstruction phenotypes, particularly among smokers. The SNP rs13147758 was associated with the percent predicted FEV1/FVC ratio in independent samples from the Framingham and Family Heart Studies producing a combined p-value of 8.3e-11, and this region of chromosome 4 around 145.68 megabases was associated with COPD in three additional populations reported in the accompanying manuscript. The associated SNPs do not lie within a gene transcript but are near the hedgehog-interacting protein (HHIP) gene and several expressed sequence tags cloned from fetal lung. Though it is unclear what gene or regulatory effect explains the association, the region warrants further investigation.
Cigarette smoking is the primary risk factor for impaired lung function, yet only 20% of smokers develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This observation, along with family studies of lung function and COPD, suggests that genetic factors influence susceptibility to cigarette smoke. We examined the relationship between common genetic variants and measures of lung function in a sample of 7,691 participants from the Framingham Heart Study and confirmed our observations in 835 participants from the Family Heart Study selected to include cases of airflow obstruction. We identified a variant on chromosome 4 that was strongly associated with FEV1/FVC in the Framingham Study and confirmed the association in the Family Heart Study. The accompanying manuscript identified the same region to be associated with COPD. Several interesting genes are present in the region that we identified, including a gene (HHIP) interacting with a biological pathway involved in lung development, but it is not yet clear which gene in the region explains the association. Our results identified a region of chromosome 4 that warrants further study to understand the genetic effects influencing lung function.
attenuation areas (LAA) on computed tomographic (CT) scans have been
shown to represent emphysematous changes in patients with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the significance of LAA
is still controversial in patients with asthma. This study was
undertaken to assess the usefulness of lung CT densitometry in the
detection of airspace enlargement in association with asthma severity.
asthmatic subjects and 15 non-smoking controls were studied to
determine the influence of age, pulmonary function, and asthma severity
on mean lung density (MLD) and the relative area of the lung showing
attenuation values less than -950 HU (RA950) on high
resolution CT (HRCT) scans.
patients both MLD and RA950 correlated with parameters of
airflow limitation (%FEV1, FEV1/FVC,
%FEF25-75) and lung volume (%TLC, %FRC, %RV), but not
with lung transfer factor (%TLCO, %TLCO/VA).
The results of HRCT lung densitometry also correlated with patient age
and severity of asthma.
CT lung density in non-smoking asthmatics is related to airflow
limitation, hyperinflation and aging, but not with lung transfer factor.
Background: Chronic pulmonary disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and fibrosing lung diseases, and atrial fibrillation (AF), are prevalent in elderly people. The impact of cardiac co-morbidities in the elderly, where pulmonary function is impaired, cannot be ignored as they influence mortality. The relationship between the prevalence of AF and pulmonary function is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate this relationship in participants in a health check.
Methods: Subjects aged 40 or older (n = 2,917) who participated in a community-based annual health check in Takahata, Japan, from 2004 through to 2005, were enrolled in the study. We performed blood pressure measurements, blood sampling, electrocardiograms, and spirometry on these subjects.
Results: The mean FEV1 % predicted and FVC % predicted in AF subjects was significantly lower than in non-AF subjects. The prevalence of AF was higher in those subjects with airflow limitation or lung restriction than in those without. Furthermore, AF prevalence was higher in those subjects with severe airflow obstruction (FEV1 %predicted < 50) than in those who had mild or moderate airflow obstruction (FEV1 %predicted ≥ 50), although there was no difference between the prevalence of AF in subjects with 70≤ FVC %predicted <80 lung restriction and those with FVC %predicted <70. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that FEV1 %predicted and FVC %predicted are independent risk factors for AF (independent of age, gender, left ventricular hypertrophy, and serum levels of B-type natriuretic peptide).
Conclusion: Impaired pulmonary function is an independent risk factor for AF in the Japanese general population.
atrial fibrillation; pulmonary function; general population
Emphysema is largely an under-diagnosed medical condition that can exist in smokers in the absence of airway obstruction. We aimed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in assessing emphysema using quantitative CT scans as the reference standard. We enrolled 224 ever-smokers (current or former) over the age of 40. CT of thorax was used to quantify the low attenuation area (% emphysema), and to measure the standardized airway wall thickness. PFTs were used individually and in combination to predict their ability to discriminate radiographic emphysema. Significant emphysema (>7%) was detected in 122 (54%) subjects. Twenty six (21%) emphysema subjects had no evidence of airflow obstruction (FEV1/FVC ratio <70%), while all subjects with >23% emphysema showed airflow obstruction. The sensitivity and specificity of spirometry for detecting radiographic emphysema were 79% and 75%, respectively. Standardized airway wall thickness was increased in subjects with airflow obstruction, but did not correlate with emphysema severity. In this cohort of lifetime ever-smokers, PFTs alone were inadequate for diagnosing emphysema. Airway wall thickness quantified by CT morphometry was associated with airflow limitation, but not with emphysema indicating that the heterogeneous nature of lung disease in smokers may represent distinct phenotypes.
airflow limitation; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CT morphometry; emphysema; airway wall thickness; pulmonary function test
Pulmonary function measures obtained by spirometry are used to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are highly heritable. We conducted genome-wide association (GWA) analyses (Affymetrix 100K SNP GeneChip) for measures of lung function in the Framingham Heart Study.
Ten spirometry phenotypes including percent of predicted measures, mean spirometry measures over two examinations, and rates of change based on forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory flow from the 25th to 75th percentile (FEF25–75), the FEV1/FVC ratio, and the FEF25–75/FVC ratio were examined. Percent predicted phenotypes were created using each participant's latest exam with spirometry. Predicted lung function was estimated using models defined in the set of healthy never-smokers, and standardized residuals of percent predicted measures were created adjusting for smoking status, pack-years, and body mass index (BMI). All modeling was performed stratified by sex and cohort. Mean spirometry phenotypes were created using data from two examinations and adjusting for age, BMI, height, smoking and pack-years. Change in pulmonary function over time was studied using two to four examinations with spirometry to calculate slopes, which were then adjusted for age, height, smoking and pack-years.
Analyses were restricted to 70,987 autosomal SNPs with minor allele frequency ≥ 10%, genotype call rate ≥ 80%, and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium p-value ≥ 0.001. A SNP in the interleukin 6 receptor (IL6R) on chromosome 1 was among the best results for percent predicted FEF25–75. A non-synonymous coding SNP in glutathione S-transferase omega 2 (GSTO2) on chromosome 10 had top-ranked results studying the mean FEV1 and FVC measurements from two examinations. SNPs nearby the SOD3 and vitamin D binding protein genes, candidate genes for COPD, exhibited association to percent predicted phenotypes.
GSTO2 and IL6R are credible candidate genes for association to pulmonary function identified by GWA. These and other observed associations warrant replication studies. This resource of GWA results for pulmonary function measures is publicly available at .
Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for obstruction of airflow in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) or an imbalance between MMPs and their inhibitors, the tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMPs), is considered to play a role in the pathogenesis of COPD. We investigated whether the MMPs expression or the imbalance between MMPs and TIMP-1 is associated with the amount of cigarette smoking and the FEV1 value, in the lung parenchyma of 26 subjects (6 non-smokers and 20 cigarette smokers). First, we performed zymographic analysis to identify the profile of the MMPs, which revealed gelatinolytic bands mainly equivalent to MMP-9 in the smokers. We then measured, using enzyme immunoassay, the concentrations of MMP-9 and its inhibitor, TIMP-1. Correlation analysis revealed that both the MMP-9 concentrations and the molar ratios of MMP-9 to TIMP-1 (MMP-9/TIMP-1) were correlated with the amount of cigarette smoking. Furthermore, MMP-9 concentrations were inversely correlated with FEV1. In conclusion, this study shows that MMP-9 expression in human lung parenchyma is associated with cigarette smoking and also with the obstruction of airflow, suggesting that MMP-9 may play a role in the pathogenesis of the cigarette smoke-induced obstruction of airflow known as the characteristic of COPD.