+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Innate Immunity and Cell Surface Receptors in the Pathogenesis of COPD: Insights from Mouse Smoking Models

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is mainly associated with smoking habit. Inflammation is the major initiating process whereby neutrophils and monocytes are attracted into the lung microenvironment by external stimuli present in tobacco leaves and in cigarette smoke, which promote chemotaxis, adhesion, phagocytosis, release of superoxide anions and enzyme granule contents. A minority of smokers develops COPD and different molecular factors, which contribute to the onset of the disease, have been put forward. After many years of research, the pathogenesis of COPD is still an object of debate. In vivo models of cigarette smoke-induced COPD may help to unravel cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of COPD. The mouse represents the most favored animal choice with regard to the study of immune mechanisms due to its genetic and physiological similarities to humans, the availability of a large variability of inbred strains, the presence in the species of several genetic disorders analogous to those in man, and finally on the possibility to create models “made-to-measure” by genetic manipulation. The review outlines the different response of mouse strains to cigarette smoke used in COPD studies while retaining a strong focus on their relatability to human patients. These studies reveal the importance of innate immunity and cell surface receptors in the pathogenesis of pulmonary injury induced by cigarette smoking. They further advance the way in which we use wild type or genetically manipulated strains to improve our overall understanding of a multifaceted disease such as COPD. The structural and functional features, which have been found in the different strains of mice after chronic exposure to cigarette smoke, can be used in preclinical studies to develop effective new therapeutic agents for the different phenotypes in human COPD.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 95

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema: a distinct underrecognised entity.

          The syndrome resulting from combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema has not been comprehensively described. The current authors conducted a retrospective study of 61 patients with both emphysema of the upper zones and diffuse parenchymal lung disease with fibrosis of the lower zones of the lungs on chest computed tomography. Patients (all smokers) included 60 males and one female, with a mean age of 65 yrs. Dyspnoea on exertion was present in all patients. Basal crackles were found in 87% and finger clubbing in 43%. Pulmonary function tests were as follows (mean+/-sd): total lung capacity 88%+/-17, forced vital capacity (FVC) 88%+/-18, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 80%+/-21 (% predicted), FEV1/FVC 69%+/-13, carbon monoxide diffusion capacity of the lung 37%+/-16 (% predicted), carbon monoxide transfer coefficient 46%+/-19. Pulmonary hypertension was present in 47% of patients at diagnosis, and 55% during follow-up. Patients were followed for a mean of 2.1+/-2.8 yrs from diagnosis. Survival was 87.5% at 2 yrs and 54.6% at 5 yrs, with a median of 6.1 yrs. The presence of pulmonary hypertension at diagnosis was a critical determinant of prognosis. The authors hereby individualise the computer tomography-defined syndrome of combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema characterised by subnormal spirometry, severe impairment of gas exchange, high prevalence of pulmonary hypertension, and poor survival.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            The current epidemic of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has produced a worldwide health care burden, approaching that imposed by transmittable infectious diseases. COPD is a multidimensional disease, with varied intermediate and clinical phenotypes. This Review discusses the pathogenesis of COPD, with particular focus on emphysema, based on the concept that pulmonary injury involves stages of initiation (by exposure to cigarette smoke, pollutants, and infectious agents), progression, and consolidation. Tissue damage entails complex interactions among oxidative stress, inflammation, extracellular matrix proteolysis, and apoptotic and autophagic cell death. Lung damage by cigarette smoke ultimately leads to self-propagating processes, resulting in macromolecular and structural alterations - features similar to those seen in aging.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Ceramide upregulation causes pulmonary cell apoptosis and emphysema-like disease in mice.

              Alveolar cell apoptosis is involved in the pathogenesis of emphysema, a prevalent disease primarily caused by cigarette smoking. We report that ceramide, a second messenger lipid, is a crucial mediator of alveolar destruction in emphysema. Inhibition of enzymes controlling de novo ceramide synthesis prevented alveolar cell apoptosis, oxidative stress and emphysema caused by blockade of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors in both rats and mice. Emphysema was reproduced with intratracheal instillation of ceramide in naive mice. Excessive ceramide triggers a feed-forward mechanism mediated by activation of secretory acid sphingomyelinase, as suggested by experiments with neutralizing ceramide antibody in mice and with acid sphingomyelinase-deficient fibroblasts. Concomitant augmentation of signaling initiated by a prosurvival metabolite, sphingosine-1-phosphate, prevented lung apoptosis, implying that a balance between ceramide and sphingosine-1-phosphate is required for maintenance of alveolar septal integrity. Finally, increased lung ceramides in individuals with smoking-induced emphysema suggests that ceramide upregulation may be a crucial pathogenic element and a promising target in this disease that currently lacks effective therapies.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                20 May 2020
                : 15
                : 1143-1154
                [1 ]Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena , Siena, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Giuseppe Lungarella Email
                © 2020 De Cunto et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 110, Pages: 12


                Comment on this article