Presenilin 1 (PS1) is the catalytic core of γ-secretase, which
cleaves type-1 transmembrane proteins including the amyloid precursor protein
(APP). PS1 also has γ-secretase independent functions and dominant PS1
missense mutations are the most common cause of familial Alzheimer’s
disease (FAD). Whether PS1 FAD mutations are gain or loss-of-function remains
controversial, primarily because most studies have relied on overexpression in
mouse and/or non-neuronal systems. We used isogenic euploid human iPSC lines to
generate and study an allelic series of PS1 mutations including heterozygous
null mutations and homozygous and heterozygous FAD PS1 mutations. Rigorous
analysis of this allelic series in differentiated, purified neurons allowed us
to resolve this controversy and to conclude that FAD PS1 mutations, expressed at
normal levels in the appropriate cell-type, impair γ-secretase activity,
but do not disrupt γ-secretase independent functions of PS1. Thus, FAD
PS1 mutations do not act as simple loss of PS1 function, but instead dominantly
gain an activity toxic to some, but not all PS1 functions.
Rationale: Extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic tissue that contributes to organ integrity and function, and its regulation of cell phenotype is a major aspect of cell biology. However, standard in vitro culture approaches are of unclear physiologic relevance because they do not mimic the compositional, architectural, or distensible nature of a living organ. In the lung, fibroblasts exist in ECM-rich interstitial spaces and are key effectors of lung fibrogenesis.
Objectives: To better address how ECM influences fibroblast phenotype in a disease-specific manner, we developed a culture system using acellular human normal and fibrotic lungs.
Methods: Decellularization was achieved using treatment with detergents, salts, and DNase. The resultant matrices can be sectioned as uniform slices within which cells were cultured.
Measurements and Main Results: We report that the decellularization process effectively removes cellular and nuclear material while retaining native dimensionality and stiffness of lung tissue. We demonstrate that lung fibroblasts reseeded into acellular lung matrices can be subsequently assayed using conventional protocols; in this manner we show that fibrotic matrices clearly promote transforming growth factor-β–independent myofibroblast differentiation compared with normal matrices. Furthermore, comprehensive analysis of acellular matrix ECM details significant compositional differences between normal and fibrotic lungs, paving the way for further study of novel hypotheses.
Conclusions: This methodology is expected to allow investigation of important ECM-based hypotheses in human tissues and permits future scientific exploration in an organ- and disease-specific manner.
extracellular matrix; lung fibrosis; fibroblast
Leukotrienes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute exacerbations of COPD, but leukotriene modifiers have not been studied as a possible therapy for exacerbations.
We sought to test the safety and efficacy of adding oral zileuton (a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor) to usual treatment for acute exacerbations of COPD requiring hospitalization.
Randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of zileuton 600 mg orally, 4 times daily versus placebo for 14 days starting within 12 hours of hospital admission for COPD exacerbation. Primary outcome measure was hospital length of stay; secondary outcomes included treatment failure and biomarkers of leukotriene production.
Sixty subjects were randomized to zileuton and 59 to placebo (the study was stopped short of enrollment goals because of slow recruitment). There was no difference in hospital length of stay (3.75±2.19 vs. 3.86±3.06 days for zileuton vs. placebo, p=0.39) or treatment failure (23% vs. 27% for zileuton vs. placebo, p=0.63) despite a decline in urinary LTE4 levels in the zileuton-treated group as compared to placebo at 24 hours (change in natural log-transformed ng/mg creatinine −1.38± 1.19 vs. 0.14±1.51, p<0.0001) and 72 hours (−1.32±2.08 vs. 0.26±1.93, p<0.006). Adverse events were similar in both groups.
While oral zileuton during COPD exacerbations that require hospital admission is safe and reduces urinary LTE4 levels, we found no evidence suggesting that this intervention shortened hospital stay, with the limitation that our sample size may have been insufficient to detect a modest but potentially meaningful clinical improvement.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD); Leukotrienes; Zileuton; Clinical trial
The value of quantitative computed tomography (QCT) to identify chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) phenotypes is increasingly appreciated. We hypothesized that QCT-defined emphysema and airway abnormalities relate to St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and BODE.
1,200 COPDGene subjects meeting GOLD criteria for COPD with QCT analysis were included. Total lung emphysema was measured using density mask technique with a -950 HU threshold. An automated program measured mean wall thickness (WT), wall area percent (WA%) and pi10 in six segmental bronchi. Separate multivariate analyses examined the relative influence of airway measures and emphysema on SGRQ and BODE.
In separate models predicting SGRQ score, a one unit standard deviation (SD) increase in each airway measure predicted higher SGRQ scores (for WT, 1.90 points higher, p=0.002; for WA%, 1.52 points higher, p=0.02; for pi10, 2.83 points higher p<0.001). The comparable increase in SGRQ for a one unit SD increase in percent emphysema in these models was relatively weaker, significant only in the pi10 model (for percent emphysema, 1.45 points higher, p=0.01). In separate models predicting BODE, a one unit SD increase in each airway measure predicted higher BODE scores (for WT, 1.07 fold increase, p<0.001; for WA%, 1.20 fold increase, p<0.001; for pi10, 1.16 fold increase, p<0.001). In these models, emphysema more strongly influenced BODE (range 1.24-1.26 fold increase, p<0.001).
Emphysema and airway disease both relate to clinically important parameters. The relative influence of airway disease is greater for SGRQ; the relative influence of emphysema is greater for BODE.
Imaging; COPD; emphysema
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasingly being recognized as a highly heterogeneous disorder, composed of varying pathobiology. Accurate detection of COPD subtypes by image biomarkers are urgently needed to enable individualized treatment thus improving patient outcome. We adapted the Parametric Response Map (PRM), a voxel-wise image analysis technique, for assessing COPD phenotype. We analyzed whole lung CT scans of 194 COPD individuals acquired at inspiration and expiration from the COPDGene Study. PRM identified the extent of functional small airways disease (fSAD) and emphysema as well as provided CT-based evidence that supports the concept that fSAD precedes emphysema with increasing COPD severity. PRM is a versatile imaging biomarker capable of diagnosing disease extent and phenotype, while providing detailed spatial information of disease distribution and location. PRMs ability to differentiate between specific COPD phenotypes will allow for more accurate diagnosis of individual patients complementing standard clinical techniques.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease with studies of disease progression generally focusing on measures of airflow and mortality. In nonsmokers, maximal lung function is attained around age 15 to 25 years, and after a variable plateau phase, subsequently declines at approximately 20 to 25 ml/year. Smoking may reduce the maximal FEV1 achieved, shorten or eliminate the plateau phase, and may accelerate the rate of decline in lung function in a dose-dependent manner. Some smokers are predisposed to more rapid declines in lung function than others, and recent reports suggest that females may be at higher risk of lung damage related to smoke exposure than males. Progressive deterioration in dyspnea, functional status, and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with COPD is well known, but the magnitude and rate of decline and its association with severity of airflow obstruction remains poorly defined. Many studies have identified pulmonary function, in particular the FEV1, as the single best predictor of survival. An impaired diffusing capacity and overall impairment in functional status have also been associated with impaired survival in COPD. The National Emphysema Treatment Trial has provided additional insight into these features in a large, well-characterized group of patients with severe airflow obstruction and structural emphysema.
emphysema; natural history; survival; pulmonary function; quality of life
Cigarette smoking is associated with increased frequency and duration of viral respiratory infections, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely defined. We investigated whether smoking reduces expression by human lung macrophages (Mø) of receptors for viral nucleic acids and, if so, the effect on CXCL10 production.
We collected alveolar macrophages (AMø) by bronchoalveolar lavage of radiographically-normal lungs of subjects undergoing bronchoscopies for solitary nodules (n = 16) and of volunteers who were current or former smokers (n = 7) or never-smokers (n = 13). We measured expression of mRNA transcripts for viral nucleic acid receptors by real-time PCR in those AMø and in the human Mø cell line THP-1 following phorbol myristate acetate/vitamin D3 differentiation and exposure to cigarette smoke extract, and determined TLR3 protein expression using flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. We also used flow cytometry to examine TLR3 expression in total lung Mø from subjects undergoing clinically-indicated lung resections (n = 25). Of these, seven had normal FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio (three former smokers, four current smokers); the remaining 18 subjects (14 former smokers; four current smokers) had COPD of GOLD stages I-IV. We measured AMø production of CXCL10 in response to stimulation with the dsRNA analogue poly(I:C) using Luminex assay.
Relative to AMø of never-smokers, AMø of smokers demonstrated reduced protein expression of TLR3 and decreased mRNA for TLR3 but not TLR7, TLR8, TLR9, RIG-I, MDA-5 or PKR. Identical changes in TLR3 gene expression were induced in differentiated THP-1 cells exposed to cigarette smoke-extract in vitro for 4 hours. Among total lung Mø, the percentage of TLR3-positive cells correlated inversely with active smoking but not with COPD diagnosis, FEV1% predicted, sex, age or pack-years. Compared to AMø of never-smokers, poly(I:C)-stimulated production of CXCL10 was significantly reduced in AMø of smokers.
Active smoking, independent of COPD stage or smoking duration, reduces both the percent of human lung Mø expressing TLR3, and dsRNA-induced CXCL10 production, without altering other endosomal or cytoplasmic receptors for microbial nucleic acids. This effect provides one possible mechanism for increased frequency and duration of viral lower respiratory tract infections in smokers.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00281190, NCT00281203 and NCT00281229.
Lung; Cigarette smoking; Effects; Toll-like receptors; Macrophages; Alveolar
Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are important events in the natural history of this chronic lung disorder. These events can be caused by a large number of infectious and noninfectious agents and are associated with an increased local and systemic inflammatory response. Their frequency and severity have been linked to progressive deterioration in lung function and health status. Infectious pathogens ranging from viral to atypical and typical bacteria have been implicated in the majority of episodes. Most therapeutic regimens to date have emphasized broad, nonspecific approaches to bronchoconstriction and pulmonary inflammation. Increasingly, therapy that targets specific etiologic pathogens has been advocated. These include clinical and laboratory-based methods to identify bacterial infections. Further additional investigation has suggested specific pathogens within this broad class. As specific antiviral therapies become available, better diagnostic approaches to identify specific pathogens will be required. Furthermore, prophylactic therapy for at-risk individuals during high-risk times may become a standard therapeutic approach. As such, the future will likely include aggressive diagnostic algorithms based on the combination of clinical syndromes and rapid laboratory modalities to identify specific causative bacteria or viruses.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; acute exacerbations; virus; bacteria; therapy
The composition of the lung microbiome contributes to both health and disease, including obstructive lung disease. Because it has been estimated that over 70% of the bacterial species on body surfaces cannot be cultured by currently available techniques, traditional culture techniques are no longer the gold standard for microbial investigation. Advanced techniques that identify bacterial sequences, including the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, have provided new insights into the depth and breadth of microbiota present both in the diseased and normal lung. In asthma, the composition of the microbiome of the lung and gut during early childhood development may play a key role in the development of asthma, while specific airway microbiota are associated with chronic asthma in adults. Early bacterial stimulation appears to reduce asthma susceptibility by helping the immune system develop lifelong tolerance to innocuous antigens. By contrast, perturbations in the microbiome from antibiotic use may increase the risk for asthma development. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bacterial colonisation has been associated with a chronic bronchitic phenotype, increased risk of exacerbations, and accelerated loss of lung function. In cystic fibrosis, studies utilising culture-independent methods have identified associations between decreased bacterial community diversity and reduced lung function; colonisation with Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been associated with the presence of certain CFTR mutations. Genomic analysis of the lung microbiome is a young field, but has the potential to define the relationship between lung microbiome composition and disease course. Whether we can manipulate bacterial communities to improve clinical outcomes remains to be seen.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The Global Burden of Disease study has concluded that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020, and will increase its ranking of disability-adjusted life years lost from 12th to 5th. Acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) are associated with impaired quality of life and pulmonary function. More frequent or severe AECOPDs have been associated with especially markedly impaired quality of life and a greater longitudinal loss of pulmonary function. COPD and AECOPDs are characterized by an augmented inflammatory response. Macrolide antibiotics are macrocyclical lactones that provide adequate coverage for the most frequently identified pathogens in AECOPD and have been generally included in published guidelines for AECOPD management. In addition, they exert broad-ranging, immunomodulatory effects both in vitro and in vivo, as well as diverse actions that suppress microbial virulence factors. Macrolide antibiotics have been used to successfully treat a number of chronic, inflammatory lung disorders including diffuse panbronchiolitis, asthma, noncystic fibrosis associated bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis. Data in COPD patients have been limited and contradictory but the majority hint to a potential clinical and biological effect. Additional, prospective, controlled data are required to define any potential treatment effect, the nature of this effect, and the role of bronchiectasis, baseline colonization, and other cormorbidities.
macrolide therapy; antibiotics; AECOPD
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on T cells can modulate their responses, however, the extent and significance of TLR expression by lung T cells, NK cells, or NKT cells in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unknown.
Lung tissue collected from clinically-indicated resections (n = 34) was used either: (a) to compare the expression of TLR1, TLR2, TLR2/1, TLR3, TLR4, TLR5, TLR6 and TLR9 on lung CD8+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, NK cells and NKT cells from smokers with or without COPD; or (b) to isolate CD8+ T cells for culture with anti-CD3ε without or with various TLR ligands. We measured protein expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-13, perforin, granzyme A, granzyme B, soluble FasL, CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CCL5, CCL11, and CXCL9 in supernatants.
All the lung subsets analyzed demonstrated low levels of specific TLR expression, but the percentage of CD8+ T cells expressing TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR6 and TLR2/1 was significantly increased in COPD subjects relative to those without COPD. In contrast, from the same subjects, only TLR2/1 and TLR2 on lung CD4+ T cells and CD8+ NKT cells, respectively, showed a significant increase in COPD and there was no difference in TLR expression on lung CD56+ NK cells. Production of the Tc1 cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α by lung CD8+ T cells were significantly increased via co-stimulation by Pam3CSK4, a specific TLR2/1 ligand, but not by other agonists. Furthermore, this increase in cytokine production was specific to lung CD8+ T cells from patients with COPD as compared to lung CD8+ T cells from smokers without COPD.
These data suggest that as lung function worsens in COPD, the auto-aggressive behavior of lung CD8+ T cells could increase in response to microbial TLR ligands, specifically ligands against TLR2/1.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CD8+ T cells; Toll-like receptors; Lung
Diffuse parenchymal lung diseases are a group of disorders that involve the space between the epithelial and endothelial basement membranes and are generally segregated into four major categories. These include the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias, which are further categorized into seven clinical/radiologic/pathologic subsets. These disorders generally share a common pattern of physiologic abnormality characterized by a restrictive ventilatory defect and reduced diffusing capacity (DLCO). Pulmonary function testing is often used and recommended in their assessment and management. The potential clinical application of physiologic testing includes to aid in diagnosis, although its value in differential diagnosis is limited. Pulmonary function testing also aids in establishing disease severity and in defining prognosis. In nonspecific interstitial pneumonia and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, severely decreased DLCO has proven valuable in this regard. Similarly, exertional desaturation to less than 88% at baseline testing and a decrease in FVC (greater than 10%) over the course of short-term follow-up identify patients at particular risk of mortality. Finally, physiologic testing, especially spirometry and DLCO, have demonstrated value in monitoring response to therapy and identifying disease progression.
nonspecific interstitial pneumonia; prognosis; pulmonary function; survival
In COPD patients, hyperinflation impairs cardiac function. We examined whether lung deflation improves oxygen pulse, a surrogate marker of stroke volume.
In 129 NETT patients with cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and arterial blood gases (ABG substudy), hyperinflation was assessed with residual volume to total lung capacity ratio (RV/TLC), and cardiac function with oxygen pulse (O2 pulse=VO2/HR) at baseline and 6 months. Medical and surgical patients were divided into “deflators” and “non-deflators” based on change in RV/TLC from baseline (ΔRV/TLC). We defined deflation as the ΔRV/TLC experienced by 75% of surgical patients. We examined changes in O2 pulse at peak and similar (iso-work) exercise. Findings were validated in 718 patients who underwent CPET without ABGs.
In the ABG substudy, surgical and medical deflators improved their RV/TLC and peak O2 pulse (median ΔRV/TLC −18.0% vs. −9.3%, p=0.0003; median ΔO2 pulse 13.6% vs. 1.8%, p=0.12). Surgical deflators also improved iso-work O2 pulse (0.53 mL/beat, p=0.04 at 20 watts). In the validation cohort, surgical deflators experienced a greater improvement in peak O2 pulse than medical deflators (mean 18.9% vs. 1.1%). In surgical deflators improvements in O2 pulse at rest and during unloaded pedaling (0.32 mL/beat, p<0.0001 and 0.47 mL/beat, p<0.0001, respectively) corresponded with significant reductions in HR and improvements in VO2. On multivariate analysis, deflators were 88% more likely than non-deflators to have an improvement in O2 pulse (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.30–2.72, p=0.0008).
In COPD, decreased hyperinflation through lung volume reduction is associated with improved O2 pulse.
cardiac function; hyperinflation; lung volume reduction surgery; oxygen pulse
Emphysema is characterized by the destruction of alveolar parenchymal tissue and the concordant loss of lung epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and interstitial mesenchymal cells. Key features in the pathobiology of emphysema include inflammation, alveolar epithelial cell injury/apoptosis, and excessive activation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteases. Mesenchymal cells are versatile connective tissue cells that are critical effectors of wound-repair. The excessive loss of connective tissue and the destruction of alveolar septae in emphysema suggest that the mesenchymal cell reparative response to epithelial injury is impaired. Yet, the mechanisms regulating mesenchymal cell (dys)function in emphysema remain poorly understood. We propose that mesenchymal cell fate, modulated by transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) and the balance of ECM proteases and antiproteases, is a critical determinant of the emphysema phenotype. We examine emphysema in the context of wound-repair responses, with a focus on the regulation of mesenchymal cell fate and phenotype. We discuss the emerging evidence supporting that genetic factors, inflammation and environmental factors, including cigarette smoke itself, collectively impair mesenchymal cell survival and function, thus contributing to the pathogenesis of emphysema.
Apoptosis; repair; fibroblast; myofibroblast; extracellular matrix; TGF-β1; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Global Health Crisis
Mannose-binding lectin is a collectin involved in host defense against infection. Whether mannose-binding lectin deficiency is associated with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is debated.
Participants in a study designed to determine if azithromycin taken daily for one year decreased acute exacerbations had serum mannose-binding lectin concentrations measured at the time of enrollment.
Samples were obtained from 1037 subjects (91%) in the trial. The prevalence of mannose-binding lectin deficiency ranged from 0.5% to 52.2%, depending on how deficiency was defined. No differences in the prevalence of deficiency were observed with respect to any demographic variable assessed, and no differences were observed in time to first exacerbation, rate of exacerbations, or percentage of subjects requiring hospitalization for exacerbations in those with deficiency versus those without, regardless of how deficiency was defined.
In a large sample of subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease selected for having an increased risk of experiencing an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, only 1.9% had mannose-binding lectin concentrations below the normal range and we found no association between mannose-binding lectin concentrations and time to first acute exacerbation or frequency of acute exacerbations during one year of prospective follow-up.
COPD; acute exacerbations; mannose-binding lectin
This study investigated the use of direct gradient analysis of bacterial 16S pyrosequencing surveys to identify relevant bacterial community signals in the midst of a "noisy" background, and to facilitate hypothesis-testing both within and beyond the realm of ecological surveys. The results, utilizing 3 different real world data sets, demonstrate the utility of adding direct gradient analysis to any analysis that draws conclusions from indirect methods such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA). Direct gradient analysis produces testable models, and can identify significant patterns in the midst of noisy data. Additionally, we demonstrate that direct gradient analysis can be used with other kinds of multivariate data sets, such as flow cytometric data, to identify differentially expressed populations. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of direct gradient analysis in microbial ecology and in other areas of research where large multivariate data sets are involved.
Substantial information regarding the role of lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) in severe emphysema emanates from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT). The NETT was not a crossover trial and therefore was able to examine the effects of optimal medical management and LVRS on short- and long-term survival, as well as lung function, exercise performance, and quality of life. The NETT generated multiple insights into the preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative management of patients undergoing thoracotomy; described pain control techniques that were safe and effective; and emphasized the need to address nonpulmonary issues to optimize surgical outcomes. After the NETT, newer investigation has focused on bronchoscopic endobronchial interventions and other techniques less invasive than LVRS to achieve lung reduction. In this review, we summarize what we currently know about the role of LVRS in the treatment of severe emphysema as a result of insights gained from the NETT and provide a brief review of the newer techniques of lung volume reduction.
emphysema; COPD; lung volume reduction surgery
In both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), abnormally high collagen remodeling occurs within the lung tissue. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-degraded type I, III, IV, V and VI collagen and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS)-degraded type III collagen were assessed in serum of patients diagnosed with mild COPD (n = 10) or IPF (n = 30), and healthy controls (n = 15). The collagen degradation markers C1M, C3M, C5M and C6M were significantly elevated in serum of both mild COPD and IPF patients, versus controls. C3A and C4M were only elevated in patients with mild COPD, compared with controls. The most reliable indicators of mild COPD versus controls were: C1M (area under the receiver-operating characteristics (AUROC = 0.94, P < 0.0001), C3M (AUROC = 0.95, P < 0.0001), and C5M (AUROC = 0.95, P < 0.0001). The most reliable markers for the diagnosis of IPF were achieved by C1M (AUROC = 0.90, P < 0.0001) and C3M (AUROC = 0.93, P < 0.0001). Collagen degradation was highly up-regulated in patients with IPF and mild COPD, indicating that degradation fragments of collagens are potential markers of pulmonary diseases. Interestingly, C4M and C3A were only elevated in patients with mild COPD, indicating that these markers could be used to distinguish between the two pathologies.
collagen; extracellular matrix remodeling; biochemical marker; neoepitope; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; matrix metalloproteinases
Elastin is an essential component of selected connective tissues that provides a unique physiological elasticity. Elastin may be considered a signature protein of lungs where matrix metalloprotease (MMP) -9-and -12, may be considered the signature proteases of the macrophages, which in part are responsible for tissue damage during disease progression. Thus, we hypothesized that a MMP-9/-12 generated fragment of elastin may be a relevant biochemical maker for lung diseases.
Elastin fragments were identified by mass-spectrometry and one sequence, generated by MMP-9 and -12 (ELN-441), was selected for monoclonal antibody generation and used in the development of an ELISA. Soluble and insoluble elastin from lung was cleaved in vitro and the time-dependent release of fragments was assessed in the ELN-441 assay. The release of ELN-441 in human serum from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (n = 10) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) (n = 29) were compared to healthy matched controls (n = 11).
The sequence ELN-441 was exclusively generated by MMP-9 and -12 and was time-dependently released from soluble lung elastin. ELN-441 levels were 287% higher in patients diagnosed with COPD (p < 0.001) and 124% higher in IPF patients (p < 0.0001) compared with controls. ELN-441 had better diagnostic value in COPD patients (AUC 97%, p = 0.001) than in IPF patients (AUC 90%, p = 0.0001). The odds ratios for differentiating controls from COPD or IPF were 24 [2.06–280] for COPD and 50 [2.64–934] for IPF.
MMP-9 and -12 time-dependently released the ELN-441 epitope from elastin. This fragment was elevated in serum from patients with the lung diseases IPF and COPD, however these data needs to be validated in larger clinical settings.
Elastin; Extracellular matrix remodeling; Biochemical marker; Neoepitope; COPD; IPF; MMP
The incidence and severity of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) have increased dramatically over the past decade. Its treatment, however, has largely remained the same with the exception of oral vancomycin use as a first-line agent in severe disease. From 1999 to 2004, 20,642 deaths were attributed to CDI in the United States, almost 7 times the rate of all other intestinal infections combined. Worldwide, several major CDI outbreaks have occurred, and many of these were associated with the NAP1 strain. This ‘epidemic’ strain has contributed to the rising incidence and mortality of CDI. The purpose of this article is to review the current management, treatment, infection control, and prevention strategies that are needed to combat this increasingly morbid disease.
antibiotic; antimicrobial; infectious colitis; pseudomembranous colitis; nosocomial; iatrogenic; toxin; Clostridium difficile
Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continue to suffer exacerbations, even when treated with maximum recommended therapy (eg, inhaled combinations of long-acting β2-agonist and high dose inhaled corticosteroids, with or without a long-acting anticholinergic [long-acting muscarinic antagonist]). Roflumilast is approved to treat severe COPD in patients with chronic bronchitis – and a history of frequent exacerbations – as an add-on to bronchodilators.
The REACT (Roflumilast in the Prevention of COPD Exacerbations While Taking Appropriate Combination Treatment) study (identification number RO-2455-404-RD, clinicaltrials. gov identifier NCT01329029) will investigate whether roflumilast further reduces exacerbations when added to inhaled combination therapy in patients still suffering from frequent exacerbations.
Patients and methods
REACT is a 1-year randomized, double-blind, multicenter, phase III/IV study of roflumilast 500 μg once daily or placebo on top of a fixed long-acting β2-agonist/inhaled corticosteroid combination. A concomitant long-acting muscarinic antagonist will be allowed at stable doses. The primary outcome is the rate of moderate or severe COPD exacerbations. Using a Poisson regression model with a two-sided significance level of 5%, a sample size of 967 patients per treatment group is needed for 90% power. COPD patients with severe to very severe airflow limitation, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and at least two exacerbations in the previous year will be recruited.
It is hypothesized that because roflumilast (a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor) has a different mode of action to bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, it may provide additional benefits when added to these treatments in frequent exacerbators. REACT will be important to determine the role of roflumilast in COPD management. Here, the design and rationale for this important study is described.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; roflumilast; protocol; LABA; ICS; exacerbation
Novel approaches are needed to define subgroups of patients with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) at risk for acute exacerbations and/or accelerated progression of this generally fatal disease. Progression of disease is an integral component of IPF with a median survival of 3 to 5 years. Conversely, a high degree of variability in disease progression has been reported among series. The characteristics of patients at risk of earlier death predominantly rely on baseline HRCT appearance, but this concept that has been challenged. Disparate physiological approaches have also been taken to identify patients at risk of mortality, with varying results. We hypothesized that the rapid decline in lung function in IPF may be a consequence of an abnormal host response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), leading to aberrant activation in fibroblasts and fibrosis. Analysis of upper and lower lobe surgical lung biopsies (SLBs) indicated that TLR9, a hypomethylated CpG DNA receptor, is prominently expressed at the transcript and protein level, most notably in biopsies from rapidly progressive IPF patients. Surprisingly, fibroblasts appeared to be a major cellular source of TLR9 expression in IPF biopsies from this group of progressors. Further, CpG DNA promoted profibrotic cytokine and chemokine synthesis in isolated human IPF fibroblasts, most markedly again in cells from patients with the rapidly progressive IPF phenotype, in a TLR9-dependent manner. Finally, CpG DNA exacerbated fibrosis in an in vivo model initiated by the adoptive transfer of primary fibroblasts derived from patients who exhibited rapidly progressing fibrosis. Together, these data suggested that TLR9 activation via hypomethylated DNA might be an important mechanism in promoting fibrosis particularly in patients prone to rapidly progressing IPF.
Rationale: Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) from human lung allografts demonstrates the presence of a multipotent mesenchymal stromal cell population. However, the clinical relevance of this novel cellular component of BAL and its association with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a disease marked by progressive airflow limitation secondary to fibrotic obliteration of the small airways, remains to be determined.
Objectives: In this study we investigate the association of number of mesenchymal stromal cells in BAL with development of BOS in human lung transplant recipients.
Methods: Mesenchymal colony-forming units (CFUs) were quantitated in a cohort of 405 BAL samples obtained from 162 lung transplant recipients. Poisson generalized estimating equations were used to determine the predictors of BAL mesenchymal CFU count.
Measurements and Main Results: Higher CFU counts were noted early post-transplantation; time from transplant to BAL of greater than 3 months predicted 0.4-fold lower CFU counts (P = 0.0001). BOS diagnosis less than or equal to 365 days before BAL was associated with a 2.11-fold higher CFU count (P = 0.02). There were 2.62- and 2.70-fold higher CFU counts noted in the presence of histologic diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans (P = 0.05) and organizing pneumonia (0.0003), respectively. In BAL samples obtained from BOS-free patients greater than 6 months post-transplantation (n = 173), higher mesenchymal CFU counts (≥10) significantly predicted BOS onset in both univariate (hazard ratio, 5.61; 95% CI, 3.03–10.38; P < 0.0001) and multivariate (hazard ratio, 5.02; 95% CI, 2.40–10.51; P < 0.0001) Cox regression analysis.
Conclusions: Measurement of mesenchymal CFUs in the BAL provides predictive information regarding future BOS onset.
bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; acute rejection; bronchoalveolar lavage
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a generally progressive disorder with highly heterogeneous disease progression. The most common of the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by a steady worsening of lung function and gas exchange cause by diffuse alveolar damage and severe fibrosis. We examined clinical features of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to classify them as exhibiting rapid or slowly progressive over the first year of follow-up. We identified differences between the two groups in order to investigate the mechanism of rapid progression. Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated that Toll-like receptor 9, a pathogen recognition receptor, promotes myofibroblast differentiation in lung fibroblasts cultured from biopsies of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Therefore, we hypothesized that TLR9 functions as both a sensor of pathogenic molecules and a profibrotic signal in rapidly progressive idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. TLR9 was present at higher concentrations in surgical lung biopsies from rapidly progressive patients than in tissue from normal controls. Fibroblasts from rapid progressors were more responsive to the TLR9 agonist, CpG, than were fibroblasts from control patients. We used a humanized SCID mouse and demonstrated that there was increased fibrosis in murine lungs receiving human lung fibroblasts from rapid progressors than in mice receiving normal fibroblasts. This fibrosis was exacerbated by intranasal CpG challenges. Furthermore, CpG induced the differentiation of blood monocytes into fibrocytes and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of A549 lung epithelial cells. These data suggest that TLR9 may drive the pathogenesis of rapidly progressive idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and is a potential indicator of this subset of the disease.