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1.  The effects of weekly augmentation therapy in patients with PiZZ α1-antitrypsin deficiency 
Background
The major concept behind augmentation therapy with human α1-antitrypsin (AAT) is to raise the levels of AAT in patients with protease inhibitor phenotype ZZ (Glu342Lys)-inherited AAT deficiency and to protect lung tissues from proteolysis and progression of emphysema.
Objective
To evaluate the short-term effects of augmentation therapy (Prolastin®) on plasma levels of AAT, C-reactive protein, and chemokines/cytokines.
Materials and methods
Serum and exhaled breath condensate were collected from individuals with protease inhibitor phenotype ZZ AAT deficiency-related emphysema (n = 12) on the first, third, and seventh day after the infusion of intravenous Prolastin. Concentrations of total and polymeric AAT, interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemotactic protein-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, vascular endothelial growth factor, and C-reactive protein were determined. Blood neutrophils and primary epithelial cells were also exposed to Prolastin (1 mg/mL).
Results
There were significant fluctuations in serum (but not in exhaled breath condensate) levels of AAT polymers, IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and vascular endothelial growth factor within a week of augmentation therapy. In general, augmented individuals had higher AAT and lower serum levels of IL-8 than nonaugmented subjects. Prolastin added for 3 hours to neutrophils from protease inhibitor phenotype ZZ individuals in vitro reduced IL-8 release but showed no effect on cytokine/chemokine release from human bronchial epithelial cells.
Conclusion
Within a week, augmentation with Prolastin induced fluctuations in serum levels of AAT polymers and cytokine/chemokines but specifically lowered IL-8 levels. It remains to be determined whether these effects are related to the Prolastin preparation per se or to the therapeutic efficacy of augmentation with AAT.
doi:10.2147/COPD.S34560
PMCID: PMC3468059  PMID: 23055718
Prolastin; augmentation therapy; cytokines; IL-8; exhaled breath condensate; neutrophils
2.  POLYMORPHISMS IN THE SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE-3 GENE ARE ASSOCIATED WITH EMPHYSEMA IN COPD 
COPD  2010;7(4):262-268.
Superoxide dismutase-3 (SOD3) is a major extracellular antioxidant enzyme, and previous studies have indicated a possible role of this gene in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that polymorphisms in the SOD3 gene would be associated with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes.
We genotyped three SOD3 polymorphisms (rs8192287 (E1), rs8192288 (I1) and rs1799895 (R213G)) in a case-control cohort, with severe COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT, n=389) and smoking controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS, n=472). We examined whether the SNPs were associated with COPD status, lung function variables, and quantitative CT measurements of emphysema and airway wall thickness. Further, we tried to replicate our initial findings in two family-based studies, the International COPD Genetics Network (ICGN, n=3061) and the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study (EOCOPD, n=949).
In NETT COPD cases, the minor alleles of SNPs E1 and I1 were associated with a higher percentage of emphysema (%LAA950) on chest CT scan (p=0.029 and p=0.0058). The association with E1 was replicated in the ICGN family study, where the minor allele was associated with more emphysema (p=0.048). Airway wall thickness was positively associated with the E1 SNP in ICGN; however, this finding was not confirmed in NETT. Quantitative CT data were not available in EOCOPD. The SNPs were not associated with lung function variables or COPD status in any of the populations.
In conclusion, polymorphisms in the SOD3 gene were associated with CT emphysema but not COPD susceptibility, highlighting the importance of phenotype definition in COPD genetics studies.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2010.496821
PMCID: PMC2923920  PMID: 20673035

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