11 April 2018
smoking, airway hyperresponsiveness, alveolar macrophage, matrix metalloproteinase-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase
Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is associated with airway inflammation and a rapid decline in lung function and is a predictor of future risk of COPD among smokers. Alveolar macrophages (AMs) from patients with COPD release a greater amount of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9. We hypothesized that the imbalance between MMP-9 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) is related to AHR in smokers.
Healthy smokers with AHR (AHR + S) or smokers without AHR (AHR − S; divided according to a methacholine challenge test) and nonsmokers without AHR (AHR − NS) were enrolled. Spirometry was performed during enrollment and repeated after 5 years. Initially, AMs recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were cultured in the presence of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor (SB203580), MAPK kinase (MEK) 1/2 (the MEK of extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK] inhibitor, PD98059), or medium alone for 24 h. The release of MMP-9 and TIMP-1 in culture supernatants was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
A greater reduction in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV 1)/forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV 1 (as a percentage of the predicted value [%pred]), and maximal mid-expiratory flow (MMEF) was observed among AHR + S in the 5-year period. There was a higher proportion of neutrophils and a lower proportion of AMs in BAL fluid recovered from AHR + S. Compared to AMs from AHR − NS and AHR − S, AMs from nonsmokers with AHR (AHR + NS) released more MMP-9 and less TIMP-1, with an increase in MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios. The MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio in smokers was positively correlated with the annual decline in FEV 1%pred, FVC%pred, and MMEF%pred. Both SB203580 and PD98059 significantly reduced MMP-9, but not TIMP-1, from AMs of smokers.