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
Rationale: Myofibroblasts are primary effector cells in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Defining mechanisms of myofibroblast differentiation may be critical to the development of novel therapeutic agents. Objective: To show that myofibroblast differentiation is regulated by phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) activity in vivo and to identify a potential mechanism by which this occurs. Methods: We utilized tissue sections of surgical lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to localize expression of PTEN and α-SMA. We utilized cell culture of pten-/- and wild-type fibroblasts as well as adenoviral strategies and pharmacologic inhibitors to determine the mechanism by which PTEN inhibits α-SMA, fibroblast proliferation, and collagen production. Results: In human lung specimens of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, myofibroblasts within fibroblastic foci demonstrate diminished PTEN expression. Further, inhibition of PTEN in mice worsened bleomycin-induced fibrosis. In pten-/- fibroblasts, and in normal fibroblasts in which PTEN is inhibited, α-SMA, proliferation, and collagen production is upregulated. Addition of transforming growth factor-β to wild-type cells, but not pten-/- cells, results in increased α-SMA expression in a time-dependent fashion. In pten-/- cells, reconstitution of PTEN decreases α-SMA expression, proliferation, and collagen production, whereas overexpression of PTEN in wild-type cells inhibits transforming growth factor-β-induced myofibroblast differentiation. Both the protein and lipid phosphatase actions of PTEN are capable of modulating the myofibroblast phenotype. Conclusions: The results indicate that in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, myofibroblasts have diminished PTEN expression. Inhibition of PTEN in vivo promotes fibrosis, and PTEN inhibits myofibroblast differentiation in vitro.
myofibroblast; fibrosis; PTEN; phosphatase; smooth muscle actin
Rationale: Myofibroblasts are primary effector cells in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Defining mechanisms of myofibroblast differentiation may be critical to the development of novel therapeutic agents.
Objective: To show that myofibroblast differentiation is regulated by phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) activity in vivo, and to identify a potential mechanism by which this occurs.
Methods: We used tissue sections of surgical lung biopsies from patients with IPF to localize expression of PTEN and α–smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). We used cell culture of pten−/− and wild-type fibroblasts, as well as adenoviral strategies and pharmacologic inhibitors, to determine the mechanism by which PTEN inhibits α-SMA, fibroblast proliferation, and collagen production.
Results: In human lung specimens of IPF, myofibroblasts within fibroblastic foci demonstrated diminished PTEN expression. Furthermore, inhibition of PTEN in mice worsened bleomycin-induced fibrosis. In pten−/− fibroblasts, and in normal fibroblasts in which PTEN was inhibited, α-SMA, proliferation, and collagen production was upregulated. Addition of transforming growth factor-β to wild-type cells, but not pten−/− cells, resulted in increased α-SMA expression in a time-dependent fashion. In pten−/− cells, reconstitution of PTEN decreased α-SMA expression, proliferation, and collagen production, whereas overexpression of PTEN in wild-type cells inhibited transforming growth factor-β–induced myofibroblast differentiation. It was observed that both the protein and lipid phosphatase actions of PTEN were capable of modulating the myofibroblast phenotype.
Conclusions: The results indicate that in IPF, myofibroblasts have diminished PTEN expression. Inhibition of PTEN in vivo promotes fibrosis, and PTEN inhibits myofibroblast differentiation in vitro.
fibrosis; myofibroblast; phosphatase; PTEN; smooth muscle actin
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) have similar clinical and radiographic features, but their histopathology, response to therapy, and natural history differ. A surgical lung biopsy is often required to distinguish between these entities.
Objectives: We sought to determine if clinical variables could predict a histopathologic diagnosis of IPF in patients without honeycomb change on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT).
Methods: Data from 97 patients with biopsy-proven IPF and 38 patients with other IIPs were examined. Logistic regression models were built to identify the clinical variables that predict histopathologic diagnosis of IPF.
Measurements and Main Results: Increasing age and average total HRCT interstitial score on HRCT scan of the chest may predict a biopsy confirmation of IPF. Sex, pulmonary function, presence of desaturation, or distance walked during a 6-minute walk test did not help discriminate pulmonary fibrosis from other IIPs.
Conclusions: Clinical data may be used to predict a diagnosis of IPF over other IIPs. Validation of these data with a prospective study is needed.
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; idiopathic interstitial pneumonia; diagnosis; computed tomography of the chest
Rationale: No effective treatment exists for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and its pathogenesis remains unclear. Accumulating evidence implicates herpesviruses as cofactors (either initiating or exacerbating agents) of fibrotic lung disease, but a role for latent herpesvirus infection has not been studied.
Objectives: To develop a murine model to determine whether latent herpesvirus infection can augment fibrotic responses and to gain insight into potential mechanisms of enhanced fibrogenesis.
Methods: Mice were infected with murine γherpesvirus 14 to 70 days before a fibrotic challenge with fluorescein isothiocyanate or bleomycin so that the virus was latent at the time of fibrotic challenge. Measurements were made after viral infection alone or after the establishment of fibrosis.
Measurements and Main Results: γHerpesvirus is latent by 14 days post infection, and infection 14 to 70 days before fibrotic challenge augmented fibrosis. Fibrotic augmentation was not dependent on reactivation of the latent virus to a lytic state. Total cell numbers and fibrocyte numbers were increased in the lungs of latently infected mice administered fibrotic challenge compared with mock-infected mice that received fibrotic challenge. Latent infection up-regulates expression of proinflammatory chemokines, transforming growth factor-β1, and cysteinyl leukotrienes in alveolar epithelial cells.
Conclusions: Latent γherpesvirus infection augments subsequent fibrotic responses in mice. Enhanced fibrosis is associated with the induction of profibrotic factors and the recruitment of fibrocytes. Our data complement existing human and animal data supporting the hypothesis that γherpesviruses can serve as initiating cofactors in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.
chemokine; epithelial cells; fibrocyte; interstitial lung disease
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by progressive dyspnea, impaired gas exchange, and ultimate mortality.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that maximal oxygen uptake during cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline and with short-term longitudinal measures would predict mortality in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: Data from 117 patients with IPF and longitudinal cardiopulmonary exercise tests were examined retrospectively. Survival was calculated from the date of the first cardiopulmonary exercise test.
Measurements and Main Results: Patients with baseline maximal oxygen uptake less than 8.3 ml/kg/min had an increased risk of death (n = 8; hazard ratio, 3.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.10–9.56; P = 0.03) after adjusting for age, gender, smoking status, baseline forced vital capacity, and baseline diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide. We were unable to define a unit change in maximal oxygen uptake that predicted survival in our cohort.
Conclusions: We conclude that a threshold maximal oxygen uptake of 8.3 ml/kg/min during cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline adds prognostic information for patients with IPF.
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; exercise test; mortality
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease with high mortality. Although most patients have a slow, progressive course, some patients will have an acute deterioration in function or acute exacerbation, which carries a poor prognosis. In some cases, acute deterioration is associated with infection. Herpesviruses have been associated with this disease. Fibrocytes have also been shown to be important in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.
Objectives: To develop a murine model for infectious exacerbation of preexisting fibrosis, and provide mechanistic insight into the role of herpesviruses in fibrotic disease.
Methods: We used a model of fluorescein isothiocyanate–induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Infection with a murine gammaherpesvirus was given at time of established lung fibrosis. Measurements were made at the time of peak lytic viral replication.
Measurements and Main Results: We demonstrate that infection with gammaherpesvirus can exacerbate established fluorescein isothiocyanate–induced fibrosis evidenced by increased total lung collagen, histologic changes of acute lung injury, and diminished lung function. Gammaherpesvirus can exacerbate preexisting fibrosis in a Th1 cytokine environment and in the absence of Th2 cytokines. Gammaherpesvirus increases fibrocyte recruitment to the lung in wild-type, but not CCR2−/− mice, in part because viral infection up-regulates production of CCL2 and CCL12, chemokines important for fibrocyte recruitment. In contrast, mouse adenovirus infection did not exacerbate collagen deposition.
Conclusions: These data provide a new model for gammaherpesvirus exacerbation of established pulmonary fibrosis. The up-regulation of chemokines during viral infection and subsequent recruitment of fibrocytes to the lung likely contribute to augmentation of pulmonary fibrosis.
chemokine; fibrocyte; Th1/Th2 cytokines; interstitial lung disease
Rationale: Tissue fibrosis is considered a dysregulated wound-healing response. Fibronectin containing extra type III domain A (EDA) is implicated in the regulation of wound healing. EDA-containing fibronectin is deposited during wound repair, and its presence precedes that of collagen.
Objectives: To investigate the role of EDA-containing fibronectin in lung fibrogenesis.
Methods: Primary lung fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or from patients undergoing resection for lung cancer were assessed for EDA-containing fibronectin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression. Mice lacking the EDA domain of fibronectin and their wild-type littermates were challenged with the bleomycin model of lung fibrosis. Primary lung fibroblasts from these mice were assayed in vitro to determine the contribution of EDA-containing fibronectin to fibroblast phenotypes.
Measurements and Main Results: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis lung fibroblasts produced markedly more EDA-containing fibronectin and α-SMA than control fibroblasts. EDA-null mice failed to develop significant fibrosis 21 days after bleomycin challenge, whereas wild-type controls developed the expected increase in total lung collagen. Histologic analysis of EDA-null lungs after bleomycin showed less collagen and fewer α-SMA–expressing myofibroblasts compared with that observed in wild-type mice. Failure to develop lung fibrosis in EDA-null mice correlated with diminished activation of latent transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and decreased lung fibroblast responsiveness to active TGF-β in vitro.
Conclusions: The data show that EDA-containing fibronectin is essential for the fibrotic resolution of lung injury through TGF-β activation and responsiveness, and suggest that EDA-containing fibronectin plays a critical role in tissue fibrogenesis.
fibrosis; fibronectin; TGF-β; myofibroblast
Rationale: Prostaglandin (PG) E2, a cyclooxygenase-derived lipid mediator, is a potent down-regulator of fibroblast activation in normal lung fibroblasts. Although fibroblasts from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are known to exhibit a defect in PGE2 synthesis, there is little information about their responsiveness to this lipid mediator.
Objectives: To compare responses to PGE2 in normal, usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), and other diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD) fibroblasts.
Methods: Fibroblasts were grown in vitro from well characterized control (n = 7), UIP (n = 17), or other DPLD (n = 13) lung tissue. The effects of PGE2 on fibroblast proliferation and collagen expression were determined.
Measurements and Main Results: Only 3 of 12 UIP fibroblast lines exhibited PGE2-mediated inhibition of both collagen synthesis and cell proliferation, as opposed to 6 of 6 nonfibrotic control cell lines. The degree of PGE2 resistance in DPLD fibroblasts was quite variable, with UIP cells exhibiting the greatest degree of resistance to PGE2, whereas other DPLD fibroblasts manifested a degree of resistance intermediate to control and UIP. The resistance to suppression of collagen expression correlated with worse lung function. Molecular mechanisms for resistance included altered E prostanoid receptor profiles and diminished expression of the downstream kinase, protein kinase A.
Conclusions: The recognition that UIP fibroblasts manifest variable refractoriness to PGE2 suppression sheds new light on the activation phenotype of these cells and on the pathogenesis of fibrotic lung disease.
collagen; cAMP; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; nonspecific interstitial pneumonia; proliferation
Rationale: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), defined by loss of lung function, develops in the majority of lung transplant recipients. However, there is a paucity of information on the subsequent course of lung function in these patients.
Objectives: To characterize the course of FEV1 over time after development of BOS and to determine the predictors that influence the rate of functional decline of FEV1.
Methods: FEV1% predicted (FEV1%pred) trajectories were studied in 111 lung transplant recipients with BOS by multivariate, linear, mixed-effects statistical models.
Measurements and Main Results: FEV1%pred varied over time after BOS onset, with the steepest decline typically seen in the first 6 months (12% decline; p < 0.0001). Bilateral lung transplant recipients had significantly higher FEV1%pred at BOS diagnosis (71 vs. 47%; p < 0.0001) and at 24 months after BOS onset (58 vs. 41%; p = 0.0001). Female gender and pretransplant diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were associated with a steeper decline in FEV1%pred in the first 6 months after BOS diagnosis (p = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively). A fall in FEV1 greater than 20% in the 6 months preceding BOS (termed “rapid onset”) was associated with shorter time to BOS onset (p = 0.01), lower FEV1%pred at BOS onset (p < 0.0001), steeper decline in the first 6 months (p = 0.03), and lower FEV1%pred at 2 years after onset (p = 0.0002).
Conclusions: Rapid onset of BOS, female gender, pretransplant diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and single-lung transplantation are associated with worse pulmonary function after BOS onset.
bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; FEV1; pulmonary function; prognosis
Rationale: Treatment and prognoses of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases (DPLDs) varies by diagnosis. Obtaining a uniform diagnosis among observers is difficult.
Objectives: Evaluate diagnostic agreement between academic and community-based physicians for patients with DPLDs, and determine if an interactive approach between clinicians, radiologists, and pathologists improved diagnostic agreement in community and academic centers.
Methods: Retrospective review of 39 patients with DPLD. A total of 19 participants reviewed cases at 2 community locations and 1 academic location. Information from the history, physical examination, pulmonary function testing, high-resolution computed tomography, and surgical lung biopsy was collected. Data were presented in the same sequential fashion to three groups of physicians on separate days.
Measurements and Main Results: Each observer's diagnosis was coded into one of eight categories. A κ statistic allowing for multiple raters was used to assess agreement in diagnosis. Interactions between clinicians, radiologists, and pathologists improved interobserver agreement at both community and academic sites; however, final agreement was better within academic centers (κ = 0.55–0.71) than within community centers (κ = 0.32–0.44). Clinically significant disagreement was present between academic and community-based physicians (κ = 0.11–0.56). Community physicians were more likely to assign a final diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis compared with academic physicians.
Conclusions: Significant disagreement exists in the diagnosis of DPLD between physicians based in communities compared with those in academic centers. Wherever possible, patients should be referred to centers with expertise in diffuse parenchymal lung disorders to help clarify the diagnosis and provide suggestions regarding treatment options.
academic; community; diagnosis; nonspecific interstitial pneumonia; usual interstitial pneumonia
The natural history of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has been characterized as a steady, predictable decline in lung function over time. Recent evidence suggests that some patients may experience a more precipitous course, with periods of relative stability followed by acute deteriorations in respiratory status. Many of these acute deteriorations are of unknown etiology and have been termed acute exacerbations of IPF. This perspective is the result of an international effort to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding acute exacerbations of IPF. Acute exacerbations of IPF are defined as acute, clinically significant deteriorations of unidentifiable cause in patients with underlying IPF. Proposed diagnostic criteria include subjective worsening over 30 days or less, new bilateral radiographic opacities, and the absence of infection or another identifiable etiology. The potential pathobiological roles of infection, disordered cell biology, coagulation, and genetics are discussed, and future research directions are proposed.
acute exacerbation; pulmonary fibrosis; diagnosis; definition
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that is characterized by fibroblast accumulation and activation in the distal airspaces of the lung. We hypothesized that fibrotic lung fibroblasts migrate/invade across basement membranes by integrin-mediated mechanisms as a means of entering alveoli. We demonstrate that in lung fibroblasts derived from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, fibronectin signaling is both necessary and sufficient for basement membrane migration/invasion across basement membranes. This effect is mediated through the α5β1 integrin because blockade of fibronectin-α5 integrin ligation attenuated this response. In contrast, ligation of α4β1 integrin inhibits basement membrane invasion by normal lung fibroblasts but not by fibrotic lung fibroblasts. This phenotypic difference is not related to surface expression of the α4β1 integrin, as demonstrated by flow cytometry. In normal lung fibroblasts but not in fibrotic lung fibroblasts, we show that ligation of α4β1 integrin induces a significant increase in phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) activity. Fibrotic lung fibroblasts express constitutively less PTEN mRNA and protein as well as phosphatase activity in comparison to normal lung fibroblasts. Together, these data suggest that a loss of α4β1 signaling via PTEN confers a migratory/invasive phenotype to fibrotic lung fibroblasts. Furthermore, this study implicates a loss of PTEN function in the pathophysiology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
pulmonary fibrosis; extracellular matrix; fibronectins; cell movement
Rationale and Hypothesis: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal disease with a variable rate of progression. We hypothesized that changes in distance walked and quantity of desaturation during a six-minute-walk test (6MWT) would add prognostic information to changes in FVC or diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide.
Methods: One hundred ninety-seven patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were evaluated. Desaturation during the 6MWT was associated with increased mortality even if a threshold of 88% was not reached. Baseline walk distance predicted subsequent walk distance but was not a reliable predictor of subsequent mortality in multivariate survival models. The predictive ability of serial changes in physiology varied when patients were stratified by the presence/absence of desaturation ⩽ 88% during a baseline 6MWT. For patients with a baseline saturation ⩽ 88% during a 6MWT, the strongest observed predictor of mortality was serial change in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide. For patients with saturation > 88% during their baseline walk test, serial decreases in FVC and increases in desaturation area significantly predicted subsequent mortality, whereas decreases in walk distance and in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide displayed less consistent statistical evidence of increasing mortality in our patients.
Conclusion: These data highlight the importance of stratifying patients by degree of desaturation during a 6MWT before attributing prognostic value to serial changes in other physiologic variables.
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; six-minute-walk test; prognosis; pulmonary function; survival
Rationale: Early diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is critical in understanding pathogenesis and devising therapeutic trials. Although potential-BOS stage (BOS 0-p), encompassing early changes in FEV1 and forced expiratory flow, midexpiratory phase (FEF25–75%), has been proposed, there is a paucity of data validating its utility in single-lung transplantation. Objective: The aim of this study was to define the predictive ability of BOS 0-p in single-lung transplantation. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed spirometric data for 197 single-lung recipients. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of BOS 0-p were examined over time using Kaplan-Meier methodology. Results: BOS 0-p FEV1 was associated with higher sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value than the FEF25–75% criterion over different time periods investigated. The probability of testing positive for BOS 0-p FEV1 in patients with BOS (sensitivity) was 71% at 2 years before the onset of BOS. The probability of being free from development of BOS 0-p FEV1 in patients free of BOS at follow-up (specificity) was 93% within the last year. Of patients who met the BOS 0-p FEV1 criterion, 81% developed BOS or died within 3 years. The specificity and positive predictive value curves for the BOS 0-p FEV1 were significantly different between patients with underlying restrictive versus obstructive physiology (p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: The FEV1 criterion for BOS 0-p provides useful predictive information regarding the risk of development of BOS or death in single-lung recipients. The predictive value of this criterion is higher in patients with underlying restriction and is superior to the FEF25–75% criterion.
bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; diagnosis; lung transplantation; staging