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      Responsiveness of blood and sputum inflammatory cells in Japanese COPD patients, non-COPD smoking controls, and non-COPD nonsmoking controls

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          To compare pulmonary and systemic inflammatory mediator release, pre- and poststimulation, ex vivo, in cells from Japanese patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), non-COPD smoking controls, and non-COPD nonsmoking controls (NSC).

          Patients and methods

          This was a nontreatment study with ten subjects per group. Inflammatory biomarker release, including interleukin (IL)-6 and -8, matrix metalloproteinase-9, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and sputum cells with and without lipopolysaccharide or TNF-α stimulation.


          In PBMC, basal TNF-α release (mean ± standard deviation) was significantly different between COPD (81.6±111.4 pg/mL) and nonsmoking controls (9.5±5.2 pg/mL) ( P<0.05). No other significant differences were observed. Poststimulation biomarker release tended to increase, with the greatest changes in the COPD group. The greatest mean increases were seen in the lipopolysaccharide-induced release of matrix metalloproteinase-9, TNF-α, and IL-6 from PBMC. Pre- and poststimulation data from sputum samples were more variable and less conclusive than from PBMC. In the COPD group, induced sputum neutrophil levels were higher and macrophage levels were lower than in either control group. Significant correlations were seen between the number of sputum cells (macrophages and neutrophils) and biomarker levels (IL-8, IL-6, and TNF-α).


          This was the first study to compare cellular inflammatory mediator release before and after stimulation among Japanese COPD, smoking controls, and nonsmoking controls populations. Poststimulation levels tended to be higher in patients with COPD. The results suggest that PBMC are already preactivated in the circulation in COPD patients. This provides further evidence that COPD is a multicomponent disease, involving both airway and systemic inflammation.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Mediators of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

           Peter Barnes (2004)
          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major and increasing global health problem that is now a leading cause of death. COPD is associated with a chronic inflammatory response, predominantly in small airways and lung parenchyma, which is characterized by increased numbers of macrophages, neutrophils, and T lymphocytes. The inflammatory mediators involved in COPD have not been clearly defined, in contrast to asthma, but it is now apparent that many lipid mediators, inflammatory peptides, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors are involved in orchestrating the complex inflammatory process that results in small airway fibrosis and alveolar destruction. Many proteases are also involved in the inflammatory process and are responsible for the destruction of elastin fibers in the lung parenchyma, which is the hallmark of emphysema. The identification of inflammatory mediators and understanding their interactions is important for the development of anti-inflammatory treatments for this important disease.
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            Indices of airway inflammation in induced sputum: reproducibility and validity of cell and fluid-phase measurements.

            Methods to examine sputum for indices of airway inflammation are evolving. We have examined the repeatability and the validity of an improved method to measure sputum cells and fluid-phase eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), major basic protein (MBP), eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), albumin, fibrinogen, tryptase, and interleukin-5 (IL-5). Sputum was induced with hypertonic saline twice within 6 d in 10 healthy subjects, 19 stable asthmatics, and 10 smokers with nonobstructive bronchitis. The method included the processing of freshly expectorated sputum separated from saliva, treatment with a fixed proportion of dithiothreitol 0.1% followed by Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline, making cytospins, and collecting the supernatant. The reproducibility of measurements, calculated by the intraclass correlation coefficient, was high for all indices measured with the exception of total cell counts and proportion of lymphocytes. Asthmatics, in comparison with healthy subjects and smokers with bronchitis, had a higher proportion of sputum eosinophils (median percent 5.2 versus 0.5 and 0.3), metachromatic cells (0.3 versus 0.07 and 0.08), ECP (1,040 micrograms/L versus 288 and 352), MBP (1,176 micrograms/L versus 304 and 160), and EDN (1,512 micrograms/L versus 448 and 272). Asthmatics differed from healthy subjects, but not from smokers with bronchitis, in the proportion of neutrophils (46.9% versus 24.1%), albumin (704 versus 288 micrograms/mL), and fibrinogen (2,080 versus 440 ng/mL). Smokers with bronchitis showed a trend for a higher neutrophil count and levels of albumin and fibrinogen than healthy subjects. The proportion of sputum eosinophils correlated positively with ECP, MBP, EDN, albumin and fibrinogen levels, and metachromatic cell counts correlated with tryptase. In asthmatics, IL-5 correlated with eosinophil counts. There was a significant negative correlation between sputum indices and expiratory flows and methacholine PC20. Thus, the methods of measuring cell and fluid phase markers in induced sputum used in this study are reproducible and valid. They can therefore be used to reliably measure these indices of airway inflammation.
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              Role of TNFα in pulmonary pathophysiology

              Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) is the most widely studied pleiotropic cytokine of the TNF superfamily. In pathophysiological conditions, generation of TNFα at high levels leads to the development of inflammatory responses that are hallmarks of many diseases. Of the various pulmonary diseases, TNFα is implicated in asthma, chronic bronchitis (CB), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In addition to its underlying role in the inflammatory events, there is increasing evidence for involvement of TNFα in the cytotoxicity. Thus, pharmacological agents that can either suppress the production of TNFα or block its biological actions may have potential therapeutic value against a wide variety of diseases. Despite some immunological side effects, anti-TNFα therapeutic strategies represent an important breakthrough in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and may have a role in pulmonary diseases characterized by inflammation and cell death.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                10 February 2016
                : 11
                : 295-303
                [1 ]Division of Respirology, Neurology, and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Fukuoka Sanno Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan
                [3 ]Biomedical Data Science Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
                [4 ]Medical Affairs Respiratory Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
                [5 ]Respiratory Global Franchise, GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tomoyuki Hayamizu, Medical Affairs Respiratory Department, GlaxoSmithKline, 6-15 Sendagaya 4-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151 8566 Japan, Tel +81 3 5786 5336, Fax +81 3 5786 5229, Email tomoyuki.3.hayamizu@
                © 2016 Kawayama et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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