Expression of the T helper 17-associated cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F in asthma and COPD

Institute for Lung Health, University of Leicester, Clinical Sciences Wing, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Rd, Leicester, LE3 9QP, England.
Chest (Impact Factor: 7.48). 11/2010; 138(5):1140-7. DOI: 10.1378/chest.09-3058
Source: PubMed


Asthma and COPD are characterized by airway dysfunction and inflammation. Neutrophilic airway inflammation is a common feature of COPD and is recognized in asthma, particularly in severe disease. The T helper (Th) 17 cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F have been implicated in the development of neutrophilic airway inflammation, but their expression in asthma and COPD is uncertain.
We assessed IL-17A and IL-17F expression in the bronchial submucosa from 30 subjects with asthma, 10 ex-smokers with mild to moderate COPD, and 27 nonsmoking and 14 smoking control subjects. Sputum IL-17 concentration was measured in 165 subjects with asthma and 27 with COPD.
The median (interquartile range) IL-17A cells/mm² submucosa was increased in mild to moderate asthma (2.1 [2.4]) compared with healthy control subjects (0.4 [2.8]) but not in severe asthma (P = .04). In COPD, IL-17A(+) cells/mm² submucosa were increased (0.5 [3.7]) compared with nonsmoking control subjects (0 [0]) but not compared with smoking control subjects (P = .046). IL-17F(+) cells/mm² submucosa were increased in severe asthma (2.7 [3.6]) and mild to moderate asthma (1.6 [1.0]) compared with healthy controls subjects (0.7 [1.4]) (P = .001) but was not increased in subjects with COPD. IL-17A and IL-17F were not associated with increased neutrophilic inflammation, but IL-17F was correlated with the submucosal eosinophil count (rs = 0.5, P = .005). The sputum IL-17 concentration in COPD was increased compared with asthma (2 [0-7] pg/mL vs 0 [0-2] pg/mL, P < .0001) and was correlated with post-bronchodilator FEV₁% predicted (r = -0.5, P = .008) and FEV(1)/FVC (r = -0.4, P = .04).
Our findings support a potential role for the Th17 cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F in asthma and COPD, but do not demonstrate a relationship with neutrophilic inflammation.

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Available from: Vijay Mistry, Sep 18, 2014
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    • "A significant increase in eosinophil and neutrophil cell counts (Eldridge and Peden, 2000) and of airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in asthmatics (Boehlecke et al., 2003) was observed following combined dust mite and LPS challenges. Associated with neutrophilia are increases in cytokines such as IL-8 and IL-17 (Doe et al., 2010). "
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