Clara cell 16 protein in COPD sputum: A marker of small airways damage?

Allergy and Respiratory Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa, Pad. Maragliano, Largo R. Benzi, 10 16132 Genova, Italy.
Respiratory Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 10/2007; 101(10):2119-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.rmed.2007.05.023
Source: PubMed


The development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in smokers and their susceptibility to infections is not fully understood. Recent evidences suggest that Clara cells play a part in host defense, immunomodulatory response and airways remodelling through the production of specific factors such as Clara cell 16 (CC-16). This protein has never been related to patients' lung function tests, blood gases parameters and diseases severity.
To evaluate a possible correlation between CC-16 expression in sputum, measured by a new methodological approach, and the degree of severity in patients with moderate and severe COPD. We also analyzed possible correlations between CC-16 and cytological sputum population, arterial blood gases and lung function.
We analyzed 20 patients, mean age 72.95, classified on the basis of the global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease guidelines (GOLD 2006). The samples were processed for cytological analysis and CC-16 levels were assessed by Western blot. We found lower levels of CC-16 in severe COPD compared to moderate ones (p<0.027). No statistically significant differences were found between CC-16 expression and sputum cellularity (except for macrophages), arterial blood gases, and spirometric parameters. Multiple linear regression analysis of CC-16 versus functional and cytological parameters showed no significance.
We found a significantly different expression of CC-16 in COPD patients, according to their stage of severity, as defined by the GOLD 2006 guidelines. Considering CC-16 properties in innate immunity, a possible link between protein expression, innate immune system, and COPD infectious exacerbations may be hypothesized but further investigation are needed.

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    • "Regarding Uteroglobin we expected to find a smoking-induced reduction as chronic smoking has been associated with a lower number of Clara cells in the bronchial tree [37] as well as with lower levels in BAL fluid [38]–[41]. Moreover, reduced Uteroglobin protein levels have been demonstrated in BAL [41] and serum [41], [42] of COPD patients, whereas severe COPD patients demonstrated lower levels in sputum than moderate COPD patients [43]. In line, 2 proteomic studies demonstrated decreased levels in BAL fluid of asymptomatic smokers [40] and in induced sputum of smokers and COPD patients [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), yet only a subset of smokers develops COPD. Family members of patients with severe early-onset COPD have an increased risk to develop COPD and are therefore defined as "susceptible individuals". Here we perform unbiased analyses of proteomic profiles to assess how "susceptible individuals" differ from age-matched "non-susceptible individuals" in response to cigarette smoking. Epithelial lining fluid (ELF) was collected at baseline and 24 hours after smoking 3 cigarettes in young individuals susceptible or non-susceptible to develop COPD and older subjects with established COPD. Controls at baseline were older healthy smoking and non-smoking individuals. Five samples per group were pooled and analysed by stable isotope labelling (iTRAQ) in duplicate. Six proteins were selected and validated by ELISA or immunohistochemistry. After smoking, 23 proteins increased or decreased in young susceptible individuals, 7 in young non-susceptible individuals, and 13 in COPD in the first experiment; 23 proteins increased or decreased in young susceptible individuals, 32 in young non-susceptible individuals, and 11 in COPD in the second experiment. SerpinB3 and Uteroglobin decreased after acute smoke exposure in young non-susceptible individuals exclusively, whereas Peroxiredoxin I, S100A9, S100A8, ALDH3A1 (Aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1) decreased both in young susceptible and non-susceptible individuals, changes being significantly different between groups for Uteroglobin with iTRAQ and for Serpin B3 with iTRAQ and ELISA measures. Peroxiredoxin I, SerpinB3 and ALDH3A1 increased in COPD patients after smoking. We conclude that smoking induces a differential protein response in ELF of susceptible and non-susceptible young individuals, which differs from patients with established COPD. This is the first study applying unbiased proteomic profiling to unravel the underlying mechanisms that induce COPD. Our data suggest that SerpinB3 and Uteroglobin could be interesting proteins in understanding the processes leading to COPD.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e102037. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102037 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "In our opinion, the possible explanation for this discrepancy is the fact that our asthmatic controls group comprised exclusively subjects with mild disease well controlled on anti-inflammatory treatment. Therefore, it is possible that that changes in serum CC16 level reflect the grade of airway inflammation in asthma, similarly as it was observed in regard to sputum CC16 in subjects with COPD [26]. Our data suggest that the issue of CC16 in chronic asthma be extensively studied in a well-defined population. "
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    ABSTRACT: Respiratory epithelium integrity impairment caused by intensive exercise may lead to exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Clara cell protein (CC16) has anti-inflammatory properties and its serum level reflects changes in epithelium integrity and airway inflammation. This study aimed to investigate serum CC16 in elite athletes and to seek associations of CC16 with asthma or allergy, respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and immune response to respiratory pathogens. The study was performed in 203 Olympic athletes. Control groups comprised 53 healthy subjects and 49 mild allergic asthmatics. Serum levels of CC16 and IgG against respiratory viruses and Mycoplasma pneumoniae were assessed. Allergy questionnaire for athletes was used to determine symptoms and exercise pattern. Current versions of ARIA and GINA guidelines were used when diagnosing allergic rhinitis and asthma, respectively. Asthma was diagnosed in 13.3% athletes, of whom 55.6% had concomitant allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis without asthma was diagnosed in 14.8% of athletes. Mean CC16 concentration was significantly lower in athletes versus healthy controls and mild asthmatics. Athletes reporting frequent RTIs had significantly lower serum CC16 and the risk of frequent RTIs was more than 2-fold higher in athletes with low serum CC16 (defined as equal to or less than 4.99 ng/ml) . Athletes had significantly higher anti-adenovirus IgG than healthy controls while only non-atopic athletes had anti-parainfluenza virus IgG significantly lower than controls. In all athletes weak correlation of serum CC16 and anti-parainfluenza virus IgG was present (R = 0.20, p < 0.01). In atopic athletes a weak positive correlations of CC16 with IgG specific for respiratory syncytial virus (R = 0.29, p = 0.009), parainfluenza virus (R = 0.31, p = 0.01) and adenovirus (R = 0.27, p = 0.02) were seen as well. Regular high-load exercise is associated with decrease in serum CC16 levels. Athletes with decreased CC16 are more susceptible to respiratory infections. Atopy may be an additional factor modifying susceptibility to infections in subjects performing regular high-load exercise.
    Respiratory research 04/2014; 15(1):45. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-15-45 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "The latter observation has been demonstrated in a recent study too, where the authors reported that an exposure to major urban streets increases the cell oxidative stress [27]. Lung inflammation in COPD is also related to lipid cell membrane peroxidation [28,29], so the previous evidence appears in line with our data and may explain the possible increase in COPD bronchial inflammation during exposure to pollutants. Moreover, interesting too SO2 appears to play a role in increasing ERAs for COPD exacerbations (OR 1.20). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Environmental pollution is a known risk factor for multiple diseases and furthermore increases rate of hospitalisations. We investigated the correlation between emergency room admissions (ERAs) of the general population for respiratory diseases and the environmental pollutant levels in Milan, a metropolis in northern Italy. Methods We collected data from 45770 ERAs for respiratory diseases. A time-stratified case-crossover design was used to investigate the association between air pollution levels and ERAs for acute respiratory conditions. The effects of air pollutants were investigated at lag 0 to lag 5, lag 0–2 and lag 3–5 in both single and multi-pollutant models, adjusted for daily weather variables. Results An increase in ozone (O3) levels at lag 3–5 was associated with a 78% increase in the number of ERAs for asthma, especially during the warm season. Exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) proved to be a risk factor for pneumonia at lag 0–2 and in the warm season increased the risk of ERA by 66%. A significant association was found between ERAs for COPD exacerbation and levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), CO, nitrate dioxide (NO2), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). The multipollutant model that includes all pollutants showed a significant association between CO (26%) and ERA for upper respiratory tract diseases at lag 0–2. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, only CO (OR 1.19) showed a significant association. Conclusions Exposure to environmental pollution, even at typical low levels, can increase the risk of ERA for acute respiratory diseases and exacerbation of obstructive lung diseases in the general population.
    Respiratory research 10/2012; 13(1):95. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-13-95 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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