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1.  Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase and Risk of COPD 
COPD  2009;6(4):307-312.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major public health problem worldwide. COPD is strongly related to cigarette smoke exposure, but not all smokers develop the disease. It is thought that COPD progresses slowly over time stimulated by environmental exposures, including free radicals from cigarette smoke, which ultimately establish chronic inflammation and result in a progressive destruction of lung tissues. COPD is known to occur in family clusters, which has prompted interest in determining genetic risk factors for the disease. Several genetic studies have identified an association between extracellular superoxide dismutase (ECSOD) polymorphisms and risk for developing COPD. ECSOD is an antioxidant protein that scavenges superoxide free radicals from cigarette smoke and protects the lungs from free radical damage and chronic inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4075061  PMID: 19811392
COPD; ECSOD; Genetic Association; free radicals
2.  Impact of self-reported Gastroesophageal reflux disease in subjects from COPDGene cohort 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):62.
Background
The coexistence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and COPD has been recognized, but there has been no comprehensive evaluation of the impact of GERD on COPD-related health status and patient-centered outcomes.
Methods
Cross-sectional and longitudinal study of 4,483 participants in the COPDGene cohort who met GOLD criteria for COPD. Physician-diagnosed GERD was ascertained by questionnaire. Clinical features, spirometry and imaging were compared between COPD subjects without versus with GERD. We evaluated the relationship between GERD and symptoms, exacerbations and markers of microaspiration in univariate and multivariate models. Associations were additionally tested for the confounding effect of covariates associated with a diagnosis of GERD and the use of proton-pump inhibitor medications (PPIs). To determine whether GERD is simply a marker for the presence of other conditions independently associated with worse COPD outcomes, we also tested models incorporating a GERD propensity score.
Results
GERD was reported by 29% of subjects with female predominance. Subjects with GERD were more likely to have chronic bronchitis symptoms, higher prevalence of prior cardiovascular events (combined myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease and stroke 21.3% vs. 13.4.0%, p < 0.0001). Subjects with GERD also had more severe dyspnea (MMRC score 2.2 vs. 1.8, p < 0.0001), and poorer quality of life (QOL) scores (St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) total score 41.8 vs. 34.9, p < 0.0001; SF36 Physical Component Score 38.2 vs. 41.4, p < 0.0001). In multivariate models, a significant relationship was detected between GERD and SGRQ (3.4 points difference, p < 0.001) and frequent exacerbations at baseline (≥2 exacerbation per annum at inclusion OR 1.40, p = 0.006). During a mean follow-up time of two years, GERD was also associated with frequent (≥2/year exacerbations OR 1.40, p = 0.006), even in models in which PPIs, GERD-PPI interactions and a GERD propensity score were included. PPI use was associated with frequent exacerbator phenotype, but did not meaningfully influence the GERD-exacerbation association.
Conclusions
In COPD the presence of physician-diagnosed GERD is associated with increased symptoms, poorer QOL and increased frequency of exacerbations at baseline and during follow-up. These associations are maintained after controlling for PPI use. The PPI-exacerbations association could result from confounding-by-indication.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-62
PMCID: PMC4049804  PMID: 24894541
COPD; Gastroesophageal reflux; Comorbidity; Exacerbations; Quality-of-life; Chronic bronchitis
3.  Clinical and computed tomographic predictors of chronic bronchitis in COPD: a cross sectional analysis of the COPDGene study 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):52.
Background
Chronic bronchitis (CB) has been related to poor outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). From a clinical standpoint, we have shown that subjects with CB in a group with moderate to severe airflow obstruction were younger, more likely to be current smokers, male, Caucasian, had worse health related quality of life, more dyspnea, and increased exacerbation history compared to those without CB. We sought to further refine our clinical characterization of chronic bronchitics in a larger cohort and analyze the CT correlates of CB in COPD subjects. We hypothesized that COPD patients with CB would have thicker airways and a greater history of smoking, acute bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, and occupational exposures compared to those without CB.
Methods
We divided 2703 GOLD 1–4 subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene®) Study into two groups based on symptoms: chronic bronchitis (CB+, n = 663, 24.5%) and no chronic bronchitis (CB-, n = 2040, 75.5%). Subjects underwent extensive clinical characterization, and quantitative CT analysis to calculate mean wall area percent (WA%) of 6 segmental airways was performed using VIDA PW2 (http://www.vidadiagnostics.com). Square roots of the wall areas of bronchi with internal perimeters 10 mm and 15 mm (Pi10 and Pi15, respectively), % emphysema, %gas trapping, were calculated using 3D Slicer (http://www.slicer.org).
Results
There were no differences in % emphysema (11.4 ± 12.0 vs. 12.0 ± 12.6%, p = 0.347) or % gas trapping (35.3 ± 21.2 vs. 36.3 ± 20.6%, p = 0.272) between groups. Mean segmental WA% (63.0 ± 3.2 vs. 62.0 ± 3.1%, p < 0.0001), Pi10 (3.72 ± 0.15 vs. 3.69 ± 0.14 mm, p < 0.0001), and Pi15 (5.24 ± 0.22 vs. 5.17 ± 0.20, p < 0.0001) were greater in the CB + group. Greater percentages of gastroesophageal reflux, allergic rhinitis, histories of asthma and acute bronchitis, exposures to dusts and occupational exposures, and current smokers were seen in the CB + group. In multivariate binomial logistic regression, male gender, Caucasian race, a lower FEV1%, allergic rhinitis, history of acute bronchitis, current smoking, and increased airway wall thickness increased odds for having CB.
Conclusions
Histories of asthma, allergic rhinitis, acute bronchitis, current smoking, a lower FEV1%, Caucasian race, male gender, and increased airway wall thickness are associated with CB. These data provide clinical and radiologic correlations to the clinical phenotype of CB.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-52
PMCID: PMC4067738  PMID: 24766722
Chronic bronchitis; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Airway thickening; Asthma
4.  Susceptibility to Chronic Mucus Hypersecretion, a Genome Wide Association Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e91621.
Background
Chronic mucus hypersecretion (CMH) is associated with an increased frequency of respiratory infections, excess lung function decline, and increased hospitalisation and mortality rates in the general population. It is associated with smoking, but it is unknown why only a minority of smokers develops CMH. A plausible explanation for this phenomenon is a predisposing genetic constitution. Therefore, we performed a genome wide association (GWA) study of CMH in Caucasian populations.
Methods
GWA analysis was performed in the NELSON-study using the Illumina 610 array, followed by replication and meta-analysis in 11 additional cohorts. In total 2,704 subjects with, and 7,624 subjects without CMH were included, all current or former heavy smokers (≥20 pack-years). Additional studies were performed to test the functional relevance of the most significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).
Results
A strong association with CMH, consistent across all cohorts, was observed with rs6577641 (p = 4.25×10−6, OR = 1.17), located in intron 9 of the special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 1 locus (SATB1) on chromosome 3. The risk allele (G) was associated with higher mRNA expression of SATB1 (4.3×10−9) in lung tissue. Presence of CMH was associated with increased SATB1 mRNA expression in bronchial biopsies from COPD patients. SATB1 expression was induced during differentiation of primary human bronchial epithelial cells in culture.
Conclusions
Our findings, that SNP rs6577641 is associated with CMH in multiple cohorts and is a cis-eQTL for SATB1, together with our additional observation that SATB1 expression increases during epithelial differentiation provide suggestive evidence that SATB1 is a gene that affects CMH.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091621
PMCID: PMC3979657  PMID: 24714607
5.  Dissecting direct and indirect genetic effects on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility 
Human genetics  2013;132(4):431-441.
Cigarette smoking is the major environmental risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Genome-wide association studies have provided compelling associations for three loci with COPD. In this study, we aimed to estimate direct, i.e., independent from smoking, and indirect effects of those loci on COPD development using mediation analysis. We included a total of 3,424 COPD cases and 1,872 unaffected controls with data on two smoking-related phenotypes: lifetime average smoking intensity and cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke (pack years). Our analysis revealed that effects of two linked variants (rs1051730 and rs8034191) in the AGPHD1/CHRNA3 cluster on COPD development are significantly, yet not entirely, mediated by the smoking-related phenotypes. Approximately 30 % of the total effect of variants in the AGPHD1/CHRNA3 cluster on COPD development was mediated by pack years. Simultaneous analysis of modestly (r2 = 0.21) linked markers in CHRNA3 and IREB2 revealed that an even larger (~42 %) proportion of the total effect of the CHRNA3 locus on COPD was mediated by pack years after adjustment for an IREB2 single nucleotide polymorphism. This study confirms the existence of direct effects of the AGPHD1/CHRNA3, IREB2, FAM13A and HHIP loci on COPD development. While the association of the AGPHD1/CHRNA3 locus with COPD is significantly mediated by smoking-related phenotypes, IREB2 appears to affect COPD independently of smoking.
doi:10.1007/s00439-012-1262-3
PMCID: PMC3600068  PMID: 23299987
6.  Superoxide dismutase mimic, MnTE-2-PyP5+ ameliorates acute and chronic proctitis following focal proton irradiation of the rat rectum☆ 
Redox Biology  2013;1(1):599-607.
Radiation proctitis, an inflammation and damage to the lower part of colon, is a common adverse event of the radiotherapy of tumors in the abdominal and pelvic region (colon, prostate, cervical). Several Mn(III) porphyrin-based superoxide dismutase mimics have been synthesized and successfully evaluated in preclinical models as radioprotectants. Here we report for the first time the remarkable rectal radioprotection of frequently explored Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-ethylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin, MnTE-2-PyP5+. A batch prepared in compliance with good manufacturing practice (GMP), which has good safety/toxicity profile, was used for this study. MnTE-2-PyP5+ was given subcutaneously at 5 mg/kg, either 1 h before or 1 h after irradiation, with additional drug administered at weekly intervals thereafter. MnTE-2-PyP5+ ameliorated both acute and chronic radiation proctitis in male Sprague-Dawley rats irradiated with 20–30 Gy protons delivered to 2.5 cm span of rectum using spread-out Bragg peak of a proton treatment beam. Focal irradiation of the rectum produced acute proctitis, which healed, followed by chronic rectal dilation and symptomatic proctitis. MnTE-2-PyP5+ protected rectal mucosa from radiation-induced crypt loss measured 10 days post-irradiation. Significant effects were observed with both pre- and post-treatment regimens. However, only MnTE-2-PyP5+ pre-treatment, but not post-treatment, prevented the development of rectal dilation, indicating that proper dosing regimen is critical for radioprotection. The pre-treatment also prevented or delayed the development of chronic proctitis depending on the radiation dose. Further work aimed at developing MnTE-2-PyP5+ and similar drugs as adjunctive agents for radiotherapy of pelvic tumors is warranted. The present study substantiates the prospects of employing this and similar analogs in preserving normal tissue during cancer radiation as well as any other radiation exposure.
Graphical abstract
Highlights
•MnTE-2-PyP5+ is efficient protector of acute and chronic radiation damages.•Both pre- (1 h before) and post-radiation (1 h after) treatments with MnTE-2-PyP5+ protected the rectal mucosa from radiation induced crypt loss measured 10 days post-irradiation.•The pre-treatment also prevented or delayed the development of chronic proctitis depending on the radiation dose delivered. Post-treatment however did not prevent rectal dilation.
doi:10.1016/j.redox.2013.10.002
PMCID: PMC3863774  PMID: 24363995
SOD, superoxide dismutase; MnP, Mn(III) porphyrins; MnTE-2-PyP5+, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-ethylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin (AEOL10113, BMX-010); MnTM-2-PyP5+, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-methylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin (AEOL10112); MnTnHex-2-PyP5+, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-n-hexylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin (BMX-001); MnTnBuOE-2-PyP5+, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-n-butoxyethylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin; MnTDE-2-ImP5+, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N,N’-diethylimidazolium-2-yl)porphyrin (AEOL10150); HIF-1α, hypoxia inducible factor-1; NF-κB, nuclear factor κB; SP-1, specificity protein-1; AP-1, activator protein-1; TF, transcription factor; GSH, glutathione; kcat(O2−), the rate constant for the catalysis of O2− dismutation by Mn porphyrin or SOD enzyme; CGE, cobalt gray equivalent; PT, proton therapy; SOD mimic; Mn porphyrin; MnTE-2-PyP5+; Radioprotector; Radiation proctitis; Proton beam therapy
7.  Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Blood Biomarkers in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Rationale: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) for circulating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) biomarkers could identify genetic determinants of biomarker levels and COPD susceptibility.
Objectives: To identify genetic variants of circulating protein biomarkers and novel genetic determinants of COPD.
Methods: GWAS was performed for two pneumoproteins, Clara cell secretory protein (CC16) and surfactant protein D (SP-D), and five systemic inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α) in 1,951 subjects with COPD. For genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (P < 1 × 10−8), association with COPD susceptibility was tested in 2,939 cases with COPD and 1,380 smoking control subjects. The association of candidate SNPs with mRNA expression in induced sputum was also elucidated.
Measurements and Main Results: Genome-wide significant susceptibility loci affecting biomarker levels were found only for the two pneumoproteins. Two discrete loci affecting CC16, one region near the CC16 coding gene (SCGB1A1) on chromosome 11 and another locus approximately 25 Mb away from SCGB1A1, were identified, whereas multiple SNPs on chromosomes 6 and 16, in addition to SNPs near SFTPD, had genome-wide significant associations with SP-D levels. Several SNPs affecting circulating CC16 levels were significantly associated with sputum mRNA expression of SCGB1A1 (P = 0.009–0.03). Several SNPs highly associated with CC16 or SP-D levels were nominally associated with COPD in a collaborative GWAS (P = 0.001–0.049), although these COPD associations were not replicated in two additional cohorts.
Conclusions: Distant genetic loci and biomarker-coding genes affect circulating levels of COPD-related pneumoproteins. A subset of these protein quantitative trait loci may influence their gene expression in the lung and/or COPD susceptibility.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00292552).
doi:10.1164/rccm.201206-1013OC
PMCID: PMC3622441  PMID: 23144326
biomarker; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genome-wide association study
8.  Genome-wide association study identifies multiple susceptibility loci for pulmonary fibrosis 
Nature genetics  2013;45(6):613-620.
We performed a genome-wide association study in non-Hispanic white subjects with fibrotic idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (N=1616) and controls (N=4683); replication was assessed in 876 cases and 1890 controls. We confirmed association with TERT and MUC5B on chromosomes 5p15 and 11p15, respectively, the chromosome 3q26 region near TERC, and identified 7 novel loci (PMeta = 2.4×10−8 to PMeta = 1.1×10−19). The novel loci include FAM13A (4q22), DSP (6p24), OBFC1 (10q24), ATP11A (13q34), DPP9 (19p13), and chromosomal regions 7q22 and 15q14-15. Our results demonstrate that genes involved in host defense, cell-cell adhesion, and DNA repair contribute to the risk of fibrotic IIP.
doi:10.1038/ng.2609
PMCID: PMC3677861  PMID: 23583980
9.  Pulmonary Arterial Enlargement and Acute Exacerbations of COPD 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(10):913-921.
BACKGROUND
Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with accelerated loss of lung function and death. Identification of patients at risk for these events, particularly those requiring hospitalization, is of major importance. Severe pulmonary hypertension is an important complication of advanced COPD and predicts acute exacerbations, though pulmonary vascular abnormalities also occur early in the course of the disease. We hypothesized that a computed tomographic (CT) metric of pulmonary vascular disease (pulmonary artery enlargement, as determined by a ratio of the diameter of the pulmonary artery to the diameter of the aorta [PA:A ratio] of >1) would be associated with severe COPD exacerbations.
METHODS
We conducted a multicenter, observational trial that enrolled current and former smokers with COPD. We determined the association between a PA:A ratio of more than 1 and a history at enrollment of severe exacerbations requiring hospitalization and then examined the usefulness of the ratio as a predictor of these events in a longitudinal follow-up of this cohort, as well as in an external validation cohort. We used logistic-regression and zero-inflated negative binomial regression analyses and adjusted for known risk factors for exacerbation.
RESULTS
Multivariate logistic-regression analysis showed a significant association between a PA:A ratio of more than 1 and a history of severe exacerbations at the time of enrollment in the trial (odds ratio, 4.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.43 to 6.65; P<0.001). A PA:A ratio of more than 1 was also independently associated with an increased risk of future severe exacerbations in both the trial cohort (odds ratio, 3.44; 95% CI, 2.78 to 4.25; P<0.001) and the external validation cohort (odds ratio, 2.80; 95% CI, 2.11 to 3.71; P<0.001). In both cohorts, among all the variables analyzed, a PA:A ratio of more than 1 had the strongest association with severe exacerbations.
CONCLUSIONS
Pulmonary artery enlargement (a PA:A ratio of >1), as detected by CT, was associated with severe exacerbations of COPD. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00608764 and NCT00292552.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1203830
PMCID: PMC3690810  PMID: 22938715
10.  A combined pulmonary -radiology workshop for visual evaluation of COPD: study design, chest CT findings and concordance with quantitative evaluation 
COPD  2012;9(2):151-159.
The purposes of this study were: to describe chest CT findings in normal non-smoking controls and cigarette smokers with and without COPD; to compare the prevalence of CT abnormalities with severity of COPD; and to evaluate concordance between visual and quantitative chest CT (QCT) scoring
Methods
Volumetric inspiratory and expiratory CT scans of 294 subjects, including normal non-smokers, smokers without COPD, and smokers with GOLD Stage I-IV COPD, were scored at a multi-reader workshop using a standardized worksheet. There were fifty-eight observers (33 pulmonologists, 25 radiologists); each scan was scored by 9–11 observers. Interobserver agreement was calculated using kappa statistic. Median score of visual observations was compared with QCT measurements.
Results
Interobserver agreement was moderate for the presence or absence of emphysema and for the presence of panlobular emphysema; fair for the presence of centrilobular, paraseptal, and bullous emphysema subtypes and for the presence of bronchial wall thickening; and poor for gas trapping, centrilobular nodularity, mosaic attenuation, and bronchial dilation. Agreement was similar for radiologists and pulmonologists. The prevalence on CT readings of most abnormalities (e.g. emphysema, bronchial wall thickening, mosaic attenuation, expiratory gas trapping) increased significantly with greater COPD severity, while the prevalence of centrilobular nodularity decreased. Concordances between visual scoring and quantitative scoring of emphysema, gas trapping and airway wall thickening were 75%, 87% and 65%, respectively.
Conclusions
Despite substantial inter-observer variation, visual assessment of chest CT scans in cigarette smokers provides information regarding lung disease severity; visual scoring may be complementary to quantitative evaluation.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2012.654923
PMCID: PMC3752926  PMID: 22429093
11.  Automated Telecommunication to Obtain Longitudinal Follow-up in a Multicenter Cross-sectional COPD Study 
COPD  2012;9(5):466-472.
Background
It can be challenging to maintain longitudinal follow-up of subjects in clinical studies. COPDGene is a multicenter, observational study designed to identify genetic factors associated with COPD and to characterize COPD-related phenotypes. To obtain follow-up data on patient's vital status and outcomes, the COPDGene Longitudinal Follow-up (LFU) Program was developed to supplement its parent study.
Methods/Results
We used a telecommunication system that employed automated telephone contact or web-based questions to obtain longitudinal follow-up data in our subjects. A branching questionnaire asked about exacerbations, new therapies, smoking status, development of co-morbid conditions, and general health status. Study coordinators contacted subjects who did not respond to one of the automated methods. We enrolled 10,383 subjects in the COPDGene study. As of August 29, 2011, 7,959 subjects completed 19,955 surveys. On the first survey, 68.8% of subjects who completed their survey did so by electronic means, while 31.3% required coordinator phone follow-up. On each subsequent survey the number of subjects who completed their survey by electronic means increased, while the number of subjects who required coordinator follow-up decreased. Despite many of the patients in the cohort being chronically ill and elderly, there was broad acceptance of the system with over half the cohort using electronic response methods.
Conclusions
The COPDGene LFU Study demonstrated that telecommunications was an effective way to obtain longitudinal follow-up of subjects in a large multicenter study. Web-based and automated phone contacts are accepted by research subjects and could serve as a model for LFU in future studies.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2012.690010
PMCID: PMC3698488  PMID: 22676387
COPD; COPDGene; Emphysema; Longitudinal data collection; Exacerbations; Follow-up studies; Elderly
12.  Manganese Porphyrin, MnTE-2-PyP5+, Acts as a Pro-Oxidant to Potentiate Glucocorticoid-Induced Apoptosis in Lymphoma Cells 
Free radical biology & medicine  2012;52(8):1272-1284.
Using current chemotherapy protocols, over 55% of lymphoma patients fail treatment. Novel agents are needed to improve lymphoma survival. The manganese porphyrin, MnTE-2-PyP5+, augments glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in WEHI7.2 murine thymic lymphoma cells, suggesting that it may have potential as a lymphoma therapeutic. However, the mechanism by which MnTE-2-PyP5+ potentiates glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis is unknown. Previously, we showed that glucocorticoid treatment increases the steady state levels of hydrogen peroxide ([H2O2]ss) and oxidizes the redox environment in WEHI7.2 cells. In the current study, we found that when MnTE-2-PyP5+ is combined with glucocorticoids, it augments dexamethasone-induced oxidative stress however, it does not augment the [H2O2]ss levels. The combined treatment depletes GSH, oxidizes the 2GSH:GSSG ratio, and causes protein glutathionylation to a greater extent than glucocorticoid treatment alone. Removal of the glucocorticoid-generated H2O2 or depletion of glutathione by BSO prevents MnTE-2-PyP5+ from augmenting glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis. In combination with glucocorticoids, MnTE-2-PyP5+ glutathionylates p65 NF-κB and inhibits NF-κB activity. Inhibition of NF-κB with SN50, an NF-κB inhibitor, enhances glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis to the same extent as MnTE-2-PyP5+. Taken together, these findings indicate that: 1) H2O2 is important for MnTE-2-PyP5+ activity; 2) Mn-TE-2-PyP5+ cycles with GSH; and 3) MnTE-2-PyP5+ potentiates glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis by glutathionylating and inhibiting critical survival proteins, including NF-κB. In the clinic, over-expression of NF-κB is associated with a poor prognosis in lymphoma. MnTE-2-PyP5+ may therefore, synergize with glucocorticoids to inhibit NF-κB and improve current treatment.
doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.02.001
PMCID: PMC3331723  PMID: 22330065
MnTE-2-PyP5+; dexamethasone; lymphoma; hydrogen peroxide; glutathione; glutathionylation; NF-κB
13.  Paired inspiratory-expiratory chest CT scans to assess for small airways disease in COPD 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):42.
Background
Gas trapping quantified on chest CT scans has been proposed as a surrogate for small airway disease in COPD. We sought to determine if measurements using paired inspiratory and expiratory CT scans may be better able to separate gas trapping due to emphysema from gas trapping due to small airway disease.
Methods
Smokers with and without COPD from the COPDGene Study underwent inspiratory and expiratory chest CT scans. Emphysema was quantified by the percent of lung with attenuation < −950HU on inspiratory CT. Four gas trapping measures were defined: (1) Exp−856, the percent of lung < −856HU on expiratory imaging; (2) E/I MLA, the ratio of expiratory to inspiratory mean lung attenuation; (3) RVC856-950, the difference between expiratory and inspiratory lung volumes with attenuation between −856 and −950 HU; and (4) Residuals from the regression of Exp−856 on percent emphysema.
Results
In 8517 subjects with complete data, Exp−856 was highly correlated with emphysema. The measures based on paired inspiratory and expiratory CT scans were less strongly correlated with emphysema. Exp−856, E/I MLA and RVC856-950 were predictive of spirometry, exercise capacity and quality of life in all subjects and in subjects without emphysema. In subjects with severe emphysema, E/I MLA and RVC856-950 showed the highest correlations with clinical variables.
Conclusions
Quantitative measures based on paired inspiratory and expiratory chest CT scans can be used as markers of small airway disease in smokers with and without COPD, but this will require that future studies acquire both inspiratory and expiratory CT scans.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-14-42
PMCID: PMC3627637  PMID: 23566024
Emphysema; Chest CT scan; Small airways; Lung function tests; Smoking
14.  Genome-Wide Association Studies Identify CHRNA5/3 and HTR4 in the Development of Airflow Obstruction 
Wilk, Jemma B. | Shrine, Nick R. G. | Loehr, Laura R. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Manichaikul, Ani | Lopez, Lorna M. | Smith, Albert Vernon | Heckbert, Susan R. | Smolonska, Joanna | Tang, Wenbo | Loth, Daan W. | Curjuric, Ivan | Hui, Jennie | Cho, Michael H. | Latourelle, Jeanne C. | Henry, Amanda P. | Aldrich, Melinda | Bakke, Per | Beaty, Terri H. | Bentley, Amy R. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Brusselle, Guy G. | Burkart, Kristin M. | Chen, Ting-hsu | Couper, David | Crapo, James D. | Davies, Gail | Dupuis, Josée | Franceschini, Nora | Gulsvik, Amund | Hancock, Dana B. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hofman, Albert | Imboden, Medea | James, Alan L. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Lahousse, Lies | Launer, Lenore J. | Litonjua, Augusto | Liu, Yongmei | Lohman, Kurt K. | Lomas, David A. | Lumley, Thomas | Marciante, Kristin D. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Meibohm, Bernd | Morrison, Alanna C. | Musk, Arthur W. | Myers, Richard H. | North, Kari E. | Postma, Dirkje S. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Rich, Stephen S. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rochat, Thierry | Rotter, Jerome I. | Artigas, María Soler | Starr, John M. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Wijmenga, Cisca | Zanen, Pieter | Province, Michael A. | Silverman, Edwin K. | Deary, Ian J. | Palmer, Lyle J. | Cassano, Patricia A. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Barr, R. Graham | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Strachan, David P. | London, Stephanie J. | Boezen, H. Marike | Probst-Hensch, Nicole | Gharib, Sina A. | Hall, Ian P. | O’Connor, George T. | Tobin, Martin D. | Stricker, Bruno H.
Rationale: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified loci influencing lung function, but fewer genes influencing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are known.
Objectives: Perform meta-analyses of GWAS for airflow obstruction, a key pathophysiologic characteristic of COPD assessed by spirometry, in population-based cohorts examining all participants, ever smokers, never smokers, asthma-free participants, and more severe cases.
Methods: Fifteen cohorts were studied for discovery (3,368 affected; 29,507 unaffected), and a population-based family study and a meta-analysis of case-control studies were used for replication and regional follow-up (3,837 cases; 4,479 control subjects). Airflow obstruction was defined as FEV1 and its ratio to FVC (FEV1/FVC) both less than their respective lower limits of normal as determined by published reference equations.
Measurements and Main Results: The discovery meta-analyses identified one region on chromosome 15q25.1 meeting genome-wide significance in ever smokers that includes AGPHD1, IREB2, and CHRNA5/CHRNA3 genes. The region was also modestly associated among never smokers. Gene expression studies confirmed the presence of CHRNA5/3 in lung, airway smooth muscle, and bronchial epithelial cells. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in HTR4, a gene previously related to FEV1/FVC, achieved genome-wide statistical significance in combined meta-analysis. Top single-nucleotide polymorphisms in ADAM19, RARB, PPAP2B, and ADAMTS19 were nominally replicated in the COPD meta-analysis.
Conclusions: These results suggest an important role for the CHRNA5/3 region as a genetic risk factor for airflow obstruction that may be independent of smoking and implicate the HTR4 gene in the etiology of airflow obstruction.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201202-0366OC
PMCID: PMC3480517  PMID: 22837378
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; single-nucleotide polymorphism; genes
15.  Statins and Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: The role of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) in the development or progression of interstitial lung disease (ILD) is controversial.
Objectives: To evaluate the association between statin use and ILD.
Methods: We used regression analyses to evaluate the association between statin use and interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA) in a large cohort of smokers from COPDGene. Next, we evaluated the effect of statin pretreatment on bleomycin-induced fibrosis in mice and explored the mechanism behind these observations in vitro.
Measurements and Main Results: In COPDGene, 38% of subjects with ILA were taking statins compared with 27% of subjects without ILA. Statin use was positively associated in ILA (odds ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–2.50; P = 0.04) after adjustment for covariates including a history of high cholesterol or coronary artery disease. This association was modified by the hydrophilicity of statin and the age of the subject. Next, we demonstrate that statin administration aggravates lung injury and fibrosis in bleomycin-treated mice. Statin pretreatment enhances caspase-1–mediated immune responses in vivo and in vitro; the latter responses were abolished in bone marrow–derived macrophages isolated from Nlrp3−/− and Casp1−/− mice. Finally, we provide further insights by demonstrating that statins enhance NLRP3-inflammasome activation by increasing mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation in macrophages.
Conclusions: Statin use is associated with ILA among smokers in the COPDGene study and enhances bleomycin-induced lung inflammation and fibrosis in the mouse through a mechanism involving enhanced NLRP3-inflammasome activation. Our findings suggest that statins may influence the susceptibility to, or progression of, ILD.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00608764).
doi:10.1164/rccm.201108-1574OC
PMCID: PMC3297101  PMID: 22246178
statins; interstitial lung disease; pulmonary fibrosis; inflammasome; mitochondrial reactive oxygen species
16.  A genome-wide association study of COPD identifies a susceptibility locus on chromosome 19q13 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;21(4):947-957.
The genetic risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are still largely unknown. To date, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of limited size have identified several novel risk loci for COPD at CHRNA3/CHRNA5/IREB2, HHIP and FAM13A; additional loci may be identified through larger studies. We performed a GWAS using a total of 3499 cases and 1922 control subjects from four cohorts: the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE); the Normative Aging Study (NAS) and National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT); Bergen, Norway (GenKOLS); and the COPDGene study. Genotyping was performed on Illumina platforms with additional markers imputed using 1000 Genomes data; results were summarized using fixed-effect meta-analysis. We identified a new genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 19q13 (rs7937, OR = 0.74, P = 2.9 × 10−9). Genotyping this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and another nearby SNP in linkage disequilibrium (rs2604894) in 2859 subjects from the family-based International COPD Genetics Network study (ICGN) demonstrated supportive evidence for association for COPD (P = 0.28 and 0.11 for rs7937 and rs2604894), pre-bronchodilator FEV1 (P = 0.08 and 0.04) and severe (GOLD 3&4) COPD (P = 0.09 and 0.017). This region includes RAB4B, EGLN2, MIA and CYP2A6, and has previously been identified in association with cigarette smoking behavior.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddr524
PMCID: PMC3298111  PMID: 22080838
17.  The Association of Genome-Wide Significant Spirometric Loci with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Susceptibility 
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.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2011-0055OC
PMCID: PMC3262664  PMID: 21659657
19.  IL-32 expression in the airway epithelial cells of patients with Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease 
International Immunology  2011;23(11):679-691.
Lung disease due to Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) organisms is increasing. A greater understanding of the host immune response to MAC organisms will provide a foundation to develop novel therapies for these recalcitrant infections. IL-32 is a newly described pro-inflammatory cytokine that enhances host immunity against various microbial pathogens. Cytokines that induce IL-32 such as interferon-gamma, IL-18, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha are of considerable importance to mycobacterial immunity. We performed immunohistochemistry and morphometric analysis to quantify IL-32 expression in the lungs of 11 patients with MAC lung disease and 10 controls with normal lung tissues. After normalizing for basement membrane length, there was a profound increase in IL-32 expression in the airway epithelial cells of the MAC-infected lungs compared with controls. Following normalization for alveolar surface area, there was a trend toward increased IL-32 expression in type II alveolar cells and alveolar macrophages in the lungs of MAC patients. Human airway epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) infected with M. avium produced IL-32 by a nuclear factor-kappa B-dependent mechanism. In both BEAS-2B cells and human monocyte-derived macrophages, exogenous IL-32γ significantly reduced the growth of intracellular M. avium. This finding was corroborated by an increase in the number of intracellular M. avium recovered from THP-1 monocytes silenced for endogenous IL-32 expression. The anti-mycobacterial effect of IL-32 may be due, in part, to increased apoptosis of infected cells. These findings indicate that IL-32 facilitates host defense against MAC organisms but may also contribute to the airway inflammation associated with MAC pulmonary disease.
doi:10.1093/intimm/dxr075
PMCID: PMC3203680  PMID: 22033195
cytokine; immunohistochemistry; non-tuberculous mycobacteria
20.  Elastase Inhibitory Activity of Airway α1-Antitrypsin is Protected by Treatment with a Catalytic Antioxidant in a Baboon Model of Severe Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
Pediatric research  2011;70(4):363-367.
Recent studies in animal models of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) suggest that antioxidant treatments may be beneficial for the disease. However, the mechanisms by which these drugs improve the course of BPD are not completely known. Alpha1-antitrypsin (α1-AT) is one of the major serine protease inhibitors in human plasma that has anti-elastase and anti-apoptotic activities. Both activities of α1-AT are dependent on its reactive site loop (RSL), which is highly susceptible to oxidative inactivation. In this study, we investigated the elastase inhibitory activity of α1-AT in two different baboon models of BPD, the “new BPD” and the “severe BPD” models, and determined the effect of treatment with a catalytic antioxidant, Mn(III) meso-tetrakis(N-ethylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin (MnTE-2-PyP), on the elastase inhibitory activity of α1-AT in the severe BPD model. Our results demonstrate the presence of sufficient elastase inhibitory activity of the airway α1-AT in the new, but not the severe BPD model. Treatment of severe BPD group baboons with the catalytic antioxidant MnTE-2-PyP resulted in augmentation of the elastase inhibitory activity of α1-AT. These findings suggest that prevention of the oxidative inactivation of α1-AT may be one of the mechanisms by which antioxidant therapy improves the pulmonary outcomes in animal models of severe BPD.
doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e31822a357e
PMCID: PMC3166355  PMID: 21705962
21.  Genome-wide association study of smoking behaviors in COPD patients 
Thorax  2011;66(10):894-902.
Background
Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for COPD and COPD severity. Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) and a Dopamine Beta-Hydroxylase (DBH) locus associated with smoking cessation in multiple populations.
Objective
To identify SNPs associated with lifetime average and current CPD, age at smoking initiation, and smoking cessation in COPD subjects.
Methods
GWAS were conducted in 4 independent cohorts encompassing 3,441 ever-smoking COPD subjects (GOLD stage II or higher). Untyped SNPs were imputed using HapMap (phase II) panel. Results from all cohorts were meta-analyzed.
Results
Several SNPs near the HLA region on chromosome 6p21 and in an intergenic region on chromosome 2q21 showed associations with age at smoking initiation, both with the lowest p=2×10−7. No SNPs were associated with lifetime average CPD, current CPD or smoking cessation with p<10−6. Nominally significant associations with candidate SNPs within alpha-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors 3/5 (CHRNA3/CHRNA5; e.g. p=0.00011 for SNP rs1051730) and Cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6; e.g. p=2.78×10−5 for a nonsynonymous SNP rs1801272) regions were observed for lifetime average CPD, however only CYP2A6 showed evidence of significant association with current CPD. A candidate SNP (rs3025343) in the DBH was significantly (p=0.015) associated with smoking cessation.
Conclusion
We identified two candidate regions associated with age at smoking initiation in COPD subjects. Associations of CHRNA3/CHRNA5 and CYP2A6 loci with CPD and DBH with smoking cessation are also likely of importance in the smoking behaviors of COPD patients.
doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200154
PMCID: PMC3302576  PMID: 21685187
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Genome Wide Association study (GWAS); smoking behaviors; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)
22.  The Antioxidant, MnTE-2-PyP, Prevents Side-Effects Incurred by Prostate Cancer Irradiation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44178.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 240,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. Due to early detection and advances in therapies, more than 90% of patients will survive 10 years post diagnosis and treatment. Radiation is a treatment option often used to treat localized disease; however, while radiation is very effective at killing tumor cells, normal tissues are damaged as well. Potential side-effects due to prostate cancer-related radiation therapy include bowel inflammation, erectile dysfunction, urethral stricture, rectal bleeding and incontinence. Currently, radiation therapy for prostate cancer does not include the administration of therapeutic agents to reduce these side effects and protect normal tissues from radiation-induced damage. In the current study, we show that the small molecular weight antioxidant, MnTE-2-PyP, protects normal tissues from radiation-induced damage in the lower abdomen in rats. Specifically, MnTE-2-PyP protected skin, prostate, and testes from radiation-induced damage. MnTE-2-PyP also protected from erectile dysfunction, a persistent problem regardless of the type of radiation techniques used because the penile neurovascular bundles lay in the peripheral zones of the prostate, where most prostate cancers reside. Based on previous studies showing that MnTE-2-PyP, in combination with radiation, further reduces subcutaneous tumor growth, we believe that MnTE-2-PyP represents an excellent radioprotectant in combination radiotherapy for cancer in general and specifically for prostate cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044178
PMCID: PMC3440381  PMID: 22984473
23.  Early-Onset Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Is Associated with Female Sex, Maternal Factors, and African American Race in the COPDGene Study 
Rationale: The characterization of young adults who develop late-onset diseases may augment the detection of novel genes and promote new pathogenic insights.
Methods: We analyzed data from 2,500 individuals of African and European ancestry in the COPDGene Study. Subjects with severe, early-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (n = 70, age < 55 yr, FEV1 < 50% predicted) were compared with older subjects with COPD (n = 306, age > 64 yr, FEV1 < 50% predicted).
Measurements and Main Results: Subjects with severe, early-onset COPD were predominantly females (66%), P = 0.0004. Proportionally, early-onset COPD was seen in 42% (25 of 59) of African Americans versus 14% (45 of 317) of non-Hispanic whites, P < 0.0001. Other risk factors included current smoking (56 vs. 17%, P < 0.0001) and self-report of asthma (39 vs. 25%, P = 0.008). Maternal smoking (70 vs. 44%, P = 0.0001) and maternal COPD (23 vs. 12%, P = 0.03) were reported more commonly in subjects with early-onset COPD. Multivariable regression analysis found association with African American race, odds ratio (OR), 7.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3–24; P = 0.0007); maternal COPD, OR, 4.7 (95% CI, 1.3–17; P = 0.02); female sex, OR, 3.1 (95% CI, 1.1–8.7; P = 0.03); and each pack-year of smoking, OR, 0.98 (95% CI, 0.96–1.0; P = 0.03).
Conclusions: These observations support the hypothesis that severe, early-onset COPD is prevalent in females and is influenced by maternal factors. Future genetic studies should evaluate (1) gene-by-sex interactions to address sex-specific genetic contributions and (2) gene-by-race interactions.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201011-1928OC
PMCID: PMC3175544  PMID: 21562134
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; female; African Americans
24.  Clinical and Radiographic Correlates of Hypoxemia and Oxygen Therapy in the COPDGene Study 
Respiratory medicine  2011;105(8):1211-1221.
Background
Severe hypoxemia is a major complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Long term oxygen therapy is beneficial in hypoxemic COPD patients. However, the clinical and radiographic predictors of hypoxemia and the use of oxygen therapy are not well described. This study aimed to find the correlates of resting hypoxemia and the pattern of oxygen use in moderate to severe COPD patients.
Methods
Subjects with GOLD stage II or higher COPD from the first 2500 COPDGene subjects were included in this analysis. All subjects were current or ex-smokers between ages 45 and 80. Severe resting hypoxemia was defined as room air oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≤ 88%. Use of supplemental oxygen therapy was determined by questionnaire.
Results
Eighty-two of 1060 COPD subjects (7.7%) had severe resting hypoxemia. Twenty-one of the 82 (25.6%) were not using continuous supplemental oxygen. Female sex, higher BMI, lower FEV1, and enrollment in Denver were independent risk factors for hypoxemia; emphysema severity on quantitative chest CT scan did not predict hypoxemia. 132 of 971(13.6%) subjects without severe resting hypoxemia were using continuous supplemental oxygen. In non-hypoxemic oxygen users, Denver recruitment, higher BMI, lower FEV1, and more severe dyspnea were associated with the use of continuous oxygen.
Conclusions
A large number of COPD patients without severe hypoxemia were using supplemental oxygen therapy and the pattern of oxygen use was affected by factors other than resting SpO2 and emphysema severity. Longitudinal data will be required to reveal the effects of oxygen therapy in this subgroup.
doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2011.02.015
PMCID: PMC3116986  PMID: 21396809
Hypoxemia; long-term oxygen therapy; COPD; emphysema
25.  Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Body Mass in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Cachexia, whether assessed by body mass index (BMI) or fat-free mass index (FFMI), affects a significant proportion of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and is an independent risk factor for increased mortality, increased emphysema, and more severe airflow obstruction. The variable development of cachexia among patients with COPD suggests a role for genetic susceptibility. The objective of the present study was to determine genetic susceptibility loci involved in the development of low BMI and FFMI in subjects with COPD. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BMI was conducted in three independent cohorts of European descent with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage II or higher COPD: Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate End-Points (ECLIPSE; n = 1,734); Norway-Bergen cohort (n = 851); and a subset of subjects from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT; n = 365). A genome-wide association of FFMI was conducted in two of the cohorts (ECLIPSE and Norway). In the combined analyses, a significant association was found between rs8050136, located in the first intron of the fat mass and obesity–associated (FTO) gene, and BMI (P = 4.97 × 10−7) and FFMI (P = 1.19 × 10−7). We replicated the association in a fourth, independent cohort consisting of 502 subjects with COPD from COPDGene (P = 6 × 10−3). Within the largest contributing cohort of our analysis, lung function, as assessed by forced expiratory volume at 1 second, varied significantly by FTO genotype. Our analysis suggests a potential role for the FTO locus in the determination of anthropomorphic measures associated with COPD.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0294OC
PMCID: PMC3266061  PMID: 21037115
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease genetics; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease epidemiology; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease metabolism; genome-wide association study

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