Chronic airway inflammation is a cardinal feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a destructive cigarette smoke-induced lung disease. Although it is apparent that dendritic cells (DCs) are an important constituent of the chronic inflammatory cell influx found in airways of COPD patients, the functional roles of DCs in the pathogenesis of smoking-induced emphysema are unknown. We postulated that DCs activated by cigarette smoke constituents directly participate in the chronic inflammation that characterizes COPD airways. Concordant with this hypothesis, we observed that incubation of DCs with cigarette smoke extract (CSE), and chronic exposure of mice to cigarette smoke, both augmented the generation of neutrophilic chemokines by immature and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or CD40L-matured DCs. The generation of interleukin-8 (CXCL8/IL-8) by human DCs conditioned with CSE was suppressed by the anti-oxidant n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), implying the involvement of oxidant sensitive pathways as a primary mechanism involved in the enhanced CXCL8/IL-8 generation. Cigarette smoke extract and nicotine also augment the production of secreted prostaglandin E2 and intracellular cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) in maturing DCs. Whereas NAC suppressed production of CXCL8 by CSE-conditioned DCs, it augmented production of PGE2 and cellular COX-2 levels in maturing DCs. These studies indicate that the stimulation of DCs by cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress and nicotine promote the generation of pro-inflammatory responses that promote chronic inflammation in smokers. Certain pharmacologic strategies such as anti-oxidant therapy may be only partially effective in mitigating cigarette smoke-induced pro-inflammatory DC-mediated responses in smokers.
Smoking; dendritic cell; oxidative stress; neutrophil; chemokines; prostaglandins
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic airway inflammation. Cigarette smoke has been considered a major player in the pathogenesis of COPD. The inflamed airways of COPD patients contain several inflammatory cells including neutrophils, macrophages,T lymphocytes, and dendritic cells (DCs). The relative contributions of these various inflammatory cells to airway injury and remodeling are not well documented. In particular, the potential role of DCs as mediators of inflammation in the smoker's airways and COPD patients is poorly understood. In the current study we analyzed the effects of cigarette smoke extract on mouse bone marrow derived DC and the production of chemokines and cytokines were studied. In addition, we assessed CSE-induced changes in cDC function in the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) examining CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation. Cigarette smoke extract induces the release of the chemokines CCL3 and CXCL2 (but not cytokines), via the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In a mixed-leukocyte reaction assay, cigarette smoke-primed DCs potentiate CD8+T cell proliferation via CCL3. In contrast, proliferation of CD4+T cells is suppressed via an unknown mechanism. The cigarette smoke-induced release of CCL3 and CXCL2 by DCs may contribute to the influx of CD8+T cells and neutrophils into the airways, respectively.
The pulmonary innate immune system is heavily implicated in the perpetual airway inflammation and impaired host defense characterizing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The airways of patients suffering from COPD are infiltrated by various immune and inflammatory cells including macrophages, neutrophils, T lymphocytes, and dendritic cells. While the role of macrophages, neutrophils and T lymphocytes is well characterized, the contribution of dendritic cells to COPD pathogenesis is still the subject of emerging research. A paper by Botelho and colleagues in the current issue of Respiratory Research investigates the importance of dendritic cell recruitment in cigarette-smoke induced acute and chronic inflammation in mice. Dendritic cells of the healthy lung parenchyma and airways perform an important sentinel function and regulate immune homeostasis. During inflammatory responses the function and migration pattern of these cells is dramatically altered but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Botelho and colleagues demonstrate here the importance of IL-1R1/IL-1α related mechanisms including CCL20 production in cigarette-smoke induced recruitment of dendritic cells and T cell activation in the mouse lung.
COPD; Dendritic cells; IL-1R1; IL-1α; Cigarette smoke exposure; Mice
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the most common chronic respiratory condition in adults and is characterized by progressive airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. The main etiological agents linked with COPD are cigarette smoking and biomass exposure but respiratory infection is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of both stable COPD and in acute exacerbations. Acute exacerbations are associated with more rapid decline in lung function and impaired quality of life and are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in COPD. Preventing exacerbations is a major therapeutic goal but currently available treatments for exacerbations are not very effective. Historically, bacteria were considered the main infective cause of exacerbations but with the development of new diagnostic techniques, respiratory viruses are also frequently detected in COPD exacerbations. This article aims to provide a state-of-the art review of current knowledge regarding the role of infection in COPD, highlight the areas of ongoing debate and controversy, and outline emerging technologies and therapies that will influence future diagnostic and therapeutic pathways in COPD.
COPD; exacerbations; bacteria; viruses
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide and is a progressive and irreversible disorder. Cigarette smoking is associated with 80–90% of COPD cases; however, the genes involved in COPD-associated emphysema and chronic inflammation are poorly understood. It was recently demonstrated that early growth response gene 1 (Egr-1) is significantly upregulated in the lungs of smokers with COPD (Ning W and coworkers, Proc Natl Acad Sci 2004;101:14895–14900). We hypothesized that Egr-1 is activated in pulmonary epithelial cells during exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated that pulmonary adenocarcinoma cells (A-549) and primary epithelial cells lacking basal Egr-1 markedly induce Egr-1 expression after CSE exposure. To evaluate Egr-1–specific effects, we used antisense (αS) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) to knock down Egr-1 expression. Incorporation of Egr-1 αS ODN significantly decreased CSE-induced Egr-1 mRNA and protein, while sense ODN had no effect. Via Egr-1–mediated mechanisms, IL-1β and TNF-α were significantly upregulated in pulmonary epithelial cells exposed to CSE or transfected with Egr-1. To investigate the relationship between Egr-1 induction by smoking and susceptibility to emphysema, we determined Egr-1 expression in strains of mice with different susceptibilities for the development of smoking-induced emphysema. Egr-1 was markedly increased in the lungs of emphysema-susceptible AKR/J mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke, but only minimally increased in resistant NZWLac/J mice. In conclusion, Egr-1 is induced by cigarette smoke and functions in proinflammatory mechanisms that likely contribute to the development of COPD in the lungs of smokers.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Egr-1; gene expression; inflammation; pulmonary
Human rhinovirus (HRV) triggers exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cigarette smoking is the leading risk factor for the development of COPD and 25% of asthmatics smoke. Smoking asthmatics have worse symptoms and more frequent hospitalizations compared to non-smoking asthmatics. The degree of neutrophil recruitment to the airways correlates with disease severity in COPD and during viral exacerbations of asthma. We have previously shown that HRV and cigarette smoke, in the form of cigarette smoke extract (CSE), each induce expression of the neutrophil chemoattractant and activator, CXCL8, in human airway epithelial cells. Additionally, we demonstrated that the combination of HRV and CSE induces expression of levels of CXCL8 that are at least additive relative to induction by each stimulus alone, and that enhancement of CXCL8 expression by HRV+CSE is regulated, at least in part, via mRNA stabilization. Here we further investigate the mechanisms by which HRV+CSE enhances CXCL8 expression.
Primary human bronchial epithelial cells were cultured and treated with CSE alone, HRV alone or the combination of the two stimuli. Stabilizing/destabilizing proteins adenine/uridine-rich factor-1 (AUF-1), KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KHSRP) and human antigen R (HuR) were measured in cell lysates to determine expression levels following treatment. siRNA knockdown of each protein was used to assess their contribution to the induction of CXCL8 expression following treatment of cells with HRV and CSE.
We show that total expression of stabilizing/de-stabilizing proteins linked to CXCL8 regulation, including AUF-1, KHSRP and HuR, are not altered by CSE, HRV or the combination of the two stimuli. Importantly, however, siRNA-mediated knock-down of HuR, but not AUF-1 or KHSRP, abolishes the enhancement of CXCL8 by HRV+CSE. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA with student Newman-Keuls post hoc analysis and values of p≤ 0.05 were considered significant.
Induction of CXCL8 by the combination of HRV and CSE is regulated by mRNA stabilization involving HuR. Thus, targeting the HuR pathway may be an effective method of dampening CXCL8 production during HRV-induced exacerbations of lower airway disease, particularly in COPD patients and asthmatic patients who smoke.
Airway epithelium; Rhinovirus; Cigarette smoke; CXCL8; HuR; Post-transcriptional gene regulation; COPD; Asthma
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a cigarette smoke (CS)-driven inflammatory airway disease with an increasing global prevalence. Currently there is no effective medication to stop the relentless progression of this disease. It has recently been shown that an activator of the P2X7/inflammasome pathway, ATP, and the resultant products (IL-1β/IL-18) are increased in COPD patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether activation of the P2X7/caspase 1 pathway has a functional role in CS-induced airway inflammation. Mice were exposed to CS twice a day to induce COPD-like inflammation and the role of the P2X7 receptor was investigated. We have demonstrated that CS-induced neutrophilia in a pre-clinical model is temporally associated with markers of inflammasome activation, (increased caspase 1 activity and release of IL-1β/IL-18) in the lungs. A selective P2X7 receptor antagonist and mice genetically modified so that the P2X7 receptors were non-functional attenuated caspase 1 activation, IL-1β release and airway neutrophilia. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the role of this pathway was not restricted to early stages of disease development by showing increased caspase 1 activation in lungs from a more chronic exposure to CS and from patients with COPD. This translational data suggests the P2X7/Inflammasome pathway plays an ongoing role in disease pathogenesis. These results advocate the critical role of the P2X7/caspase 1 axis in CS-induced inflammation, highlighting this as a possible therapeutic target in combating COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. COPD is caused by chronic exposure to cigarette smoke and/or other environmental pollutants that are believed to induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that gradually disrupt signalling pathways responsible for maintaining lung integrity. Here we identify the antioxidant protein sestrin-2 (SESN2) as a repressor of PDGFRβ signalling, and PDGFRβ signalling as an upstream regulator of alveolar maintenance programmes. In mice, the mutational inactivation of Sesn2 prevents the development of cigarette-smoke-induced pulmonary emphysema by upregulating PDGFRβ expression via a selective accumulation of intracellular superoxide anions (O2−). We also show that SESN2 is overexpressed and PDGFRβ downregulated in the emphysematous lungs of individuals with COPD and to a lesser extent in human lungs of habitual smokers without COPD, implicating a negative SESN2-PDGFRβ interrelationship in the pathogenesis of COPD. Taken together, our results imply that SESN2 could serve as both a biomarker and as a drug target in the clinical management of COPD.
Rationale: Oxidative stress is a key contributor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pathogenesis caused by cigarette smoking. NRF2, a redox-sensitive transcription factor, dissociates from its inhibitor, KEAP1, to induce antioxidant expression that inhibits oxidative stress.
Objectives: To determine the link between severity of COPD, oxidative stress, and NRF2-dependent antioxidant levels in the peripheral lung tissue of patients with COPD.
Methods: We assessed the expression of NRF2, NRF2-dependent antioxidants, regulators of NRF2 activity, and oxidative damage in non-COPD (smokers and former smokers) and smoker COPD lungs (mild and advanced). Cigarette smoke–exposed human lung epithelial cells (Beas2B) and mice were used to understand the mechanisms.
Measurements and Main Results: When compared with non-COPD lungs, the COPD patient lungs showed (1) marked decline in NRF2-dependent antioxidants and glutathione levels, (2) increased oxidative stress markers, (3) significant decrease in NRF2 protein with no change in NRF2 mRNA levels, and (4) similar KEAP1 but significantly decreased DJ-1 levels (a protein that stabilizes NRF2 protein by impairing KEAP1-dependent proteasomal degradation of NRF2). Exposure of Bea2B cells to cigarette smoke caused oxidative modification and enhanced proteasomal degradation of DJ-1 protein. Disruption of DJ-1 in mouse lungs, mouse embryonic fibroblasts, and Beas2B cells lowered NRF2 protein stability and impaired antioxidant induction in response to cigarette smoke. Interestingly, targeting KEAP1 by siRNA or the small-molecule activator sulforaphane restored induction of NRF2-dependent antioxidants in DJ-1–disrupted cells in response to cigarette smoke.
Conclusions: NRF2-dependent antioxidants and DJ-1 expression was negatively associated with severity of COPD. Therapy directed toward enhancing NRF2-regulated antioxidants may be a novel strategy for attenuating the effects of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of COPD.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; NRF2; DJ-1; oxidative stress; antioxidants
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of mortality in the United States. The major cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Extensive leukocyte influx into the lungs, mediated by chemokines, is a critical event leading to COPD. Although both resident and myeloid cells secrete chemokines in response to inflammatory stimuli, little is known about the role of epithelial-derived chemokines, such as CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)5, in the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke–induced inflammation. To explore the role of CXCL5, we generated CXCL5 gene–deficient mice and exposed them to secondhand smoke (SHS) for 5 hours/day for 5 days/week up to 3 weeks (subacute exposure). We observed a reduced recruitment of leukocytes to the lungs of CXCL5−/− mice compared with their wild-type (WT) counterparts, and noted that macrophages comprised the predominant leukocytes recruited to the lungs. Irradiation experiments performed on CXCL5−/− or WT mice transplanted with WT or CXCL5−/− bone marrow revealed that resident but not hematopoietic cell–driven CXCL5 is important for mediating SHS-induced lung inflammation. Interestingly, we observed a significant reduction of monocyte chemotactic protein–1 (MCP-1/CC chemokine ligand 2) concentrations in the lungs of CXCL5−/− mice. The instillation of recombinant MCP-1 in CXCL5−/− mice reversed macrophage recruitment. Our results also show the reduced activation of NF-κB/p65 in the lungs, as well as the attenuated activation of C-Jun N-terminal kinase, p42/44, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in the lungs of SHS-exposed CXCL5−/− mice. Our findings suggest an important role for CXCL5 in augmenting leukocyte recruitment in SHS-induced lung inflammation, and provide novel insights into CXCL5-driven pathogenesis.
smoke; CXCL5/LIX; macrophages; chemokines; cytokines
Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) may play an important role in emphysematous change in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. We previously reported that simvastatin, an inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, attenuates emphysematous change and MMP-9 induction in the lungs of rats exposed to cigarette smoke. However, it remained uncertain how cigarette smoke induced MMP-9 and how simvastatin inhibited cigarette smoke-induced MMP-9 expression in alveolar macrophages (AMs), a major source of MMP-9 in the lungs of COPD patients. Presently, we examined the related signaling for MMP-9 induction and the inhibitory mechanism of simvastatin on MMP-9 induction in AMs exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). In isolated rat AMs, CSE induced MMP-9 expression and phosphorylation of ERK and Akt. A chemical inhibitor of MEK1/2 or PI3K reduced phosphorylation of ERK or Akt, respectively, and also inhibited CSE-mediated MMP-9 induction. Simvastatin reduced CSE-mediated MMP-9 induction, and simvastatin-mediated inhibition was reversed by farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) or geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP). Similar to simvastatin, inhibition of FPP transferase or GGPP transferase suppressed CSE-mediated MMP-9 induction. Simvastatin attenuated CSE-mediated activation of RAS and phosphorylation of ERK, Akt, p65, IκB, and nuclear AP-1 or NF-κB activity. Taken together, these results suggest that simvastatin may inhibit CSE-mediated MMP-9 induction, primarily by blocking prenylation of RAS in the signaling pathways, in which Raf-MEK-ERK, PI3K/Akt, AP-1, and IκB-NF-κB are involved.
macrophages, alveolar; matrix metalloproteinases-9; pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; pulmonary emphysema; simvastatin; smoking
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a global health problem, and current therapy for COPD is poorly effective and the mainstays of pharmacotherapy are bronchodilators. A better understanding of the pathobiology of COPD is critical for the development of novel therapies. In the present review, we have discussed the roles of oxidative/aldehyde stress, inflammation/immunity, and chromatin remodeling in the pathogenesis of COPD. Imbalance of oxidant/antioxidant balance caused by cigarette smoke and other pollutants/biomass fuels plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD by regulating redox-sensitive transcription factors (e.g. NF-κB), autophagy and unfolded protein response leading to chronic lung inflammatory response. Cigarette smoke also activates canonical/alternative NF-κB pathways and their upstream kinases leading to sustained inflammatory response in lungs. Recently, epigenetic regulation has been shown to be critical for the development of COPD because the expression/activity of enzymes that regulate these epigenetic modifications have been reported to be abnormal in airways of COPD patients. Hence, the significant advances made in understanding the pathophysiology of COPD as described herein will identify novel therapeutic targets for intervening COPD.
COPD; oxidants; smokers; inflammation; epigenetics; NF-κB; SIRT1
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is predicted to become the third leading cause of death in the world by 2020. It is characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. The airflow limitation is usually progressive and associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles and gases, most commonly cigarette smoke. Among smokers with COPD, even following withdrawal of cigarette smoke, inflammation persists and lung function continues to deteriorate. One possible explanation is that bacterial colonization of smoke-damaged airways, most commonly with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), perpetuates airway injury and inflammation. Furthermore, COPD has also been identified as an independent risk factor for lung cancer irrespective of concomitant cigarette smoke exposure. In this article, we review the role of NTHi in airway inflammation that may lead to COPD progression and lung cancer promotion.
COPD; NTHi; inflammation
Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are characterized by acute enhancement of airway neutrophilic inflammation under oxidative stress and can be involved in emphysema progression. However, pharmacotherapy against the neutrophilic inflammation and emphysema progression associated with exacerbation has not been established. Thioredoxin-1 has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and it can ameliorate neutrophilic inflammation through anti-chemotactic effects and prevent cigarette smoke (CS)-induced emphysema. We aimed to determine whether thioredoxin-1 can suppress neutrophilic inflammation and emphysema progression in a mouse model of COPD exacerbation and if so, to reveal the underlying mechanisms.
Mice were exposed to CS and then challenged with polyinosine-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)], an agonist for virus-induced innate immunity. Airway neutrophilic inflammation, oxidative stress and lung apoptosis were enhanced in smoke-sensitive C57Bl/6, but not in smoke-resistant NZW mice. Exposure to CS and poly(I:C) challenge accelerated emphysema progression in C57Bl/6 mice. Thioredoxin-1 suppressed neutrophilic inflammation and emphysema progression. Poly(I:C) caused early neutrophilic inflammation through keratinocyte-derived chemokine and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) release in the lung exposed to CS. Late neutrophilic inflammation was caused by persistent GM-CSF release, which thioredoxin-1 ameliorated. Thioredoxin-1 enhanced pulmonary mRNA expression of MAP kinase phosphatase 1 (MKP-1), and the suppressive effects of thioredoxin-1 on prolonged GM-CSF release and late neutrophilic inflammation disappeared by inhibiting MKP-1.
Using a mouse model of COPD exacerbation, we demonstrated that thioredoxin-1 ameliorated neutrophilic inflammation by suppressing GM-CSF release, which prevented emphysema progression. Our findings deepen understanding of the mechanisms underlying the regulation of neutrophilic inflammation by thioredoxin-1 and indicate that thioredoxin-1 could have potential as a drug to counteract COPD exacerbation.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by the presence of airflow obstruction and lung destruction with airspace enlargement. In addition to cigarette smoking, respiratory pathogens play a role in pathogenesis, but specific organisms are not always identified. Recent reports demonstrate associations between the detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii DNA in lung specimens or respiratory secretions and the presence of emphysema in COPD patients. Additionally, human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals who smoke cigarettes develop early emphysema, but a role for P. jirovecii in pathogenesis remains speculative. We developed a new experimental model using immunocompetent mice to test the interaction of cigarette smoke exposure and environmentally acquired Pneumocystis murina infection in vivo. We hypothesized that cigarette smoke and P. murina would interact to cause increases in total lung capacity, airspace enlargement, and pulmonary inflammation. We found that exposure to cigarette smoke significantly increases the lung organism burden of P. murina. Pulmonary infection with P. murina, combined with cigarette smoke exposure, results in changes in pulmonary function and airspace enlargement characteristic of pulmonary emphysema. P. murina and cigarette smoke exposure interact to cause increased lung inflammatory cell accumulation. These findings establish a novel animal model system to explore the role of Pneumocystis species in the pathogenesis of COPD.
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
In this study, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of PM014 on cigarette smoke induced lung disease in the murine animal model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Mice were exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) for 2 weeks to induce COPD-like lung inflammation. Two hours prior to cigarette smoke exposure, the treatment group was administered PM014 via an oral injection. To investigate the effects of PM014, we assessed PM014 functions in vivo, including immune cell infiltration, cytokine profiles in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and histopathological changes in the lung. The efficacy of PM014 was compared with that of the recently developed anti-COPD drug, roflumilast.
PM014 substantially inhibited immune cell infiltration (neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes) into the airway. In addition, IL-6, TNF-α and MCP-1 were decreased in the BAL fluid of PM014-treated mice compared to cigarette smoke stimulated mice. These changes were more prominent than roflumilast treated mice. The expression of PAS-positive cells in the bronchial layer was also significantly reduced in both PM014 and roflumilast treated mice.
These data suggest that PM014 exerts strong therapeutic effects against CS induced, COPD-like lung inflammation. Therefore, this herbal medicine may represent a novel therapeutic agent for lung inflammation in general, as well as a specific agent for COPD treatment.
COPD; CS; PM014; Neutrophil; IL-6; TNF-α; MCP-1
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is currently the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. Neutrophilic inflammation is prominent, worsened during infective exacerbations and is refractory to glucocorticosteroids (GCs). Deregulated neutrophilic inflammation can cause excessive matrix degradation through proteinase release. Gelatinase and azurophilic granules within neutrophils are a major source of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and neutrophil elastase (NE), respectively, which are elevated in COPD.
Secreted MMP-9 and NE activity in BALF were stratified according to GOLD severity stages. The regulation of secreted NE and MMP-9 in isolated blood neutrophils was investigated using a pharmacological approach. In vivo release of MMP-9 and NE in mice exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) and/or the TLR agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the presence of dexamethasone (Dex) was investigated.
Neutrophil activation as assessed by NE release was increased in severe COPD (36-fold, GOLD II vs. IV). MMP-9 levels (8-fold) and activity (21-fold) were also elevated in severe COPD, and this activity was strongly associated with BALF neutrophils (r = 0.92, p<0.001), but not macrophages (r = 0.48, p = 0.13). In vitro, release of NE and MMP-9 from fMLP stimulated blood neutrophils was insensitive to Dex and attenuated by the PI3K inhibitor, wortmannin. In vivo, GC resistant neutrophil activation (NE release) was only seen in mice exposed to CS and LPS. In addition, GC refractory MMP-9 expression was only associated with neutrophil activation.
As neutrophils become activated with increasing COPD severity, they become an important source of NE and MMP-9 activity, which secrete proteinases independently of TIMPs. Furthermore, as NE and MMP-9 release was resistant to GC, targeting of the PI3K pathway may offer an alternative pathway to combating this proteinase imbalance in severe COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive condition characterized by chronic airway inflammation and airspace remodeling, leading to airflow limitation that is not completely reversible. Smoking is the leading risk factor for compromised lung function stemming from COPD pathogenesis. First- and second-hand cigarette smoke contain thousands of constituents, including several carcinogens and cytotoxic chemicals that orchestrate chronic lung inflammation and destructive alveolar remodeling. Receptors for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) are multi-ligand cell surface receptors primarily expressed by diverse lung cells. RAGE expression increases following cigarette smoke exposure and expression is elevated in the lungs of patients with COPD. RAGE is responsible in part for inducing pro-inflammatory signaling pathways that culminate in expression and secretion of several cytokines, chemokines, enzymes, and other mediators. In the current review, new transgenic mouse models that conditionally over-express RAGE in pulmonary epithelium are discussed. When RAGE is over-expressed throughout embryogenesis, apoptosis in the peripheral lung causes severe lung hypoplasia. Interestingly, apoptosis in RAGE transgenic mice occurs via conserved apoptotic pathways also known to function in advanced stages of COPD. RAGE over-expression in the adult lung models features of COPD including pronounced inflammation and loss of parenchymal tissue. Understanding the biological contributions of RAGE during cigarette smoke-induced inflammation may provide critically important insight into the pathology of COPD.
RAGE; COPD; tobacco; mouse model
Several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In mice, MMP‐12 plays a crucial role in the development of cigarette smoke induced emphysema. A study was undertaken to investigate the role of MMP‐12 in the development of COPD in human smokers.
Induced sputum samples were collected from patients with stable COPD (n = 28), healthy smokers (n = 14), never smokers (n = 20), and former smokers (n = 14). MMP‐12 protein levels in induced sputum were determined by ELISA and compared between the four study groups. MMP‐12 enzymatic activity in induced sputum was evaluated by casein zymography and by cleaving of a fluorescence quenched substrate.
Median (IQR) MMP‐12 levels were significantly higher in COPD patients than in healthy smokers, never smokers, and former smokers (17.5 (7.1–42.1) v 6.7 (3.9–10.4) v 4.2 (2.4–11.3) v 6.1 (4.5–7.6) ng/ml, p = 0.0002). MMP‐12 enzymatic activity was significantly higher in patients with COPD than in controls (4.11 (1.4–8.0) v 0.14 (0.1–0.2) μg/μl, p = 0.0002).
MMP‐12 is markedly increased in induced sputum from patients with stable COPD compared with controls, suggesting a role for MMP‐12 in the development of COPD in smokers.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; matrix metalloproteinases; induced sputum; MMP‐12; smoking
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. While the primary risk factor for COPD is cigarette smoke exposure, vitamin D deficiency has been epidemiologically implicated as a factor in the progressive development of COPD-associated emphysema. Because of difficulties inherent to studies involving multiple risk factors in the progression of COPD in humans, we developed a murine model in which to study the separate and combined effects of vitamin D deficiency and cigarette smoke exposure. During a 16-week period, mice were exposed to one of four conditions, control diet breathing room air (CD-NS), control diet with cigarette smoke exposure (CD-CSE), vitamin D deficient diet breathing room air (VDD-NS) or vitamin D deficient diet with cigarette smoke exposure (VDD-CSE). At the end of the exposure period, the lungs were examined by a pathologist and separately by morphometric analysis. In parallel experiments, mice were anesthetized for pulmonary function testing followed by sacrifice and analysis. Emphysema (determined by an increase in alveolar mean linear intercept length) was more severe in the VDD-CSE mice compared to control animals and animals exposed to VDD or CSE alone. The VDD-CSE and the CD-CSE mice had increased total lung capacity and increased static lung compliance. There was also a significant increase in the matrix metalloproteinase-9: tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) ratio in VDD-CSE mice compared with all controls. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) expression was reduced in VDD-CSE mice as well. In summary, vitamin D deficiency, when combined with cigarette smoke exposure, seemed to accelerate the appearance of emphysemas, perhaps by virtue of an increased protease-antiprotease ratio in the combined VDD-CSE animals. These results support the value of our mouse model in the study of COPD.
emphysema; vitamin D deficiency; second hand cigarette smoke; matrix metalloproteinase-9; tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1; alpha-1 antitrypsin; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Teague smoke exposure device
The tachykinins, substance P and neurokinin A, present in sensory nerves and inflammatory cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells, are considered as pro-inflammatory agents. Inflammation of the airways and lung parenchyma plays a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and increased tachykinin levels are recovered from the airways of COPD patients. The aim of our study was to clarify the involvement of the tachykinin NK1 receptor, the preferential receptor for substance P, in cigarette smoke (CS)-induced pulmonary inflammation and emphysema in a mouse model of COPD.
Tachykinin NK1 receptor knockout (NK1-R-/-) mice and their wild type controls (all in a mixed 129/sv-C57BL/6 background) were subjected to sub acute (4 weeks) or chronic (24 weeks) exposure to air or CS. 24 hours after the last exposure, pulmonary inflammation and development of emphysema were evaluated.
Sub acute and chronic exposure to CS resulted in a substantial accumulation of inflammatory cells in the airways of both WT and NK1-R-/- mice. However, the CS-induced increase in macrophages and dendritic cells was significantly impaired in NK1-R-/- mice, compared to WT controls, and correlated with an attenuated release of MIP-3α/CCL20 and TGF-β1. Chronic exposure to CS resulted in development of pulmonary emphysema in WT mice. NK1-R-/- mice showed already enlarged airspaces upon air-exposure. Upon CS-exposure, the NK1-R-/- mice did not develop additional destruction of the lung parenchyma. Moreover, an impaired production of MMP-12 by alveolar macrophages upon CS-exposure was observed in these KO mice. In a pharmacological validation experiment using the NK1 receptor antagonist RP 67580, we confirmed the protective effect of absence of the NK1 receptor on CS-induced pulmonary inflammation.
These data suggest that the tachykinin NK1 receptor is involved in the accumulation of macrophages and dendritic cells in the airways upon CS-exposure and in the development of smoking-induced emphysema. As both inflammation of the airways and parenchymal destruction are important characteristics of COPD, these findings may have implications in the future treatment of this devastating disease.
Abnormal immune responses are believed to be highly relevant in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dendritic cells provide a critical checkpoint for immunity by their capacity to both induce and suppress immunity. Although evident that cigarette smoke, the primary cause of COPD, significantly influences dendritic cell functions, little is known about the roles of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of COPD.
The extent of dendritic cell infiltration in COPD tissue specimens was determined using immunohistochemical localization of CD83+ cells (marker of matured myeloid dendritic cells), and CD1a+ cells (Langerhans cells). The extent of tissue infiltration with Langerhans cells was also determined by the relative expression of the CD207 gene in COPD versus control tissues. To determine mechanisms by which dendritic cells accumulate in COPD, complimentary studies were conducted using monocyte-derived human dendritic cells exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE), and dendritic cells extracted from mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke.
In human COPD lung tissue, we detected a significant increase in the total number of CD83+ cells, and significantly higher amounts of CD207 mRNA when compared with control tissue. Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells exposed to CSE (0.1-2%) exhibited enhanced survival in vitro when compared with control dendritic cells. Murine dendritic cells extracted from mice exposed to cigarette smoke for 4 weeks, also demonstrated enhanced survival compared to dendritic cells extracted from control mice. Acute exposure of human dendritic cells to CSE induced the cellular pro-survival proteins heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and B cell lymphoma leukemia-x(L) (Bcl-xL), predominantly through oxidative stress. Although activated human dendritic cells conditioned with CSE expressed diminished migratory CCR7 expression, their migration towards the CCR7 ligand CCL21 was not impaired.
These data indicate that COPD is associated with increased numbers of cells bearing markers associated with Langerhans cells and mature dendritic cells, and that cigarette smoke promotes survival signals and augments survival of dendritic cells. Although CSE suppressed dendritic cell CCR7 expression, migration towards a CCR7 ligand was not diminished, suggesting that reduced CCR7-dependent migration is unlikely to be an important mechanism for dendritic cell retention in the lungs of smokers with COPD.
The exaggerated expression of chitinase-like protein YKL-40, the human homologue of breast regression protein–39 (BRP-39), was reported in a number of diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the in vivo roles of YKL-40 in normal physiology or in the pathogenesis of specific diseases such as COPD remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that BRP-39/YKL-40 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cigarette smoke (CS)–induced emphysema. To test this hypothesis, 10-week-old wild-type and BRP-39 null mutant mice (BRP-39−/−) were exposed to room air (RA) and CS for up to 10 months. The expression of BRP-39 was significantly induced in macrophages, airway epithelial cells, and alveolar Type II cells in the lungs of CS-exposed mice compared with RA-exposed mice, at least in part via an IL-18 signaling–dependent pathway. The null mutation of BRP-39 significantly reduced CS-induced bronchoalveolar lavage and tissue inflammation. However, CS-induced epithelial cell apoptosis and alveolar destruction were further enhanced in the absence of BRP-39. Consistent with these findings in mice, the tissue expression of YKL-40 was significantly increased in the lungs of current smokers compared with the lungs of ex-smokers or nonsmokers. In addition, serum concentrations of YKL-40 were significantly higher in smokers with COPD than in nonsmokers or smokers without COPD. These studies demonstrate a novel regulatory role of BRP-39/YKL-40 in CS-induced inflammation and emphysematous destruction. These studies also underscore that maintaining physiologic concentrations of YKL-40 in the lung is therapeutically important in preventing excessive inflammatory responses or emphysematous alveolar destruction.
YKL-40/BRP-39; COPD; emphysema; cigarette smoke
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the US and a major worldwide healthcare problem. The pathophysiologic mechanisms that drive development and progression of this disease are complex and only poorly understood. While tobacco smoking is the primary risk factor, other disease processes also appear to play a role. Components of the innate immune system (eg, macrophages and neutrophils) have long been believed to be important in the development of COPD. More recent evidence also suggests involvement of the adaptive immune system in pathogenesis of this disease. Here we will review the literature supporting the participation of T-cells in the development of COPD, and comment on the potential antigenic stimuli that may account for these responses. We will further explore the prospective contributions of T-cell derived mediators that could contribute to the inflammation, alveolar wall destruction, and small airway fibrosis of advanced COPD. A better understanding of these complex immune processes will lead to new insights that could result in improved preventative and/or treatment strategies.
COPD; T-lymphocytes; adaptive immunity; cytokines