[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Only a subgroup of smokers develops COPD and it is unclear why these individuals are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of cigarette smoking. The risk to develop COPD is known to be higher in individuals with familial aggregation of COPD. This study aimed to investigate if acute systemic and local immune responses to cigarette smoke differentiate between individuals susceptible or non-susceptible to develop COPD, both at young (18-40 years) and old (40-75 years) age.Methods
All participants smoked three cigarettes in one hour. Changes in inflammatory markers in peripheral blood (at 0 and 3 hours) and in bronchial biopsies (at 0 and 24 hours) were investigated. Acute effects of smoking were analyzed within and between susceptible and non-susceptible individuals, and by multiple regression analysis.ResultsYoung susceptible individuals showed significantly higher increases in the expression of Fc¿RII (CD32) in its active form on neutrophils after smoking (p¿=¿0.016 and 0.028 respectively), independently of age, smoking status and expression of the respective markers at baseline. Smoking had no significant effect on mediators in blood or inflammatory cell counts in bronchial biopsies. In the old group, acute effects of smoking were comparable between healthy controls and COPD patients.Conclusions
We show for the first time that COPD susceptibility at young age associates with an increased systemic innate immune response to cigarette smoking. This suggests a role of systemic inflammation in the early induction phase of COPD.Trial registrationClinicaltrials.gov: NCT00807469.
Respiratory Research 10/2014; 15(1):121. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rationale: Cigarette smoking, the major causative factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is associated with neutrophilic airway inflammation. Cigarette smoke (CS) exposure can induce a switch from apoptotic to necrotic cell death in airway epithelium. Therefore, we hypothesized that CS promotes neutrophil necrosis with subsequent release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), including HMGB1, alarming the innate immune system. Methods: We studied the effect of smoking 2 cigarettes on sputum neutrophils in healthy individuals and of 5 days CS or air exposure on neutrophil counts, MPO and HMGB1 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of BALB/c mice. In human peripheral blood neutrophils, mitochondrial membrane potential, apoptosis/necrosis markers, caspase activity and DAMP release were studied after CS exposure. Finally, we assessed the effect of neutrophil-derived supernatants on the release of chemo-attractant CXCL8 in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells. Results: Cigarette smoking caused a significant decrease in sputum neutrophil numbers after 3 hours. In mice, neutrophil counts were significantly increased 16 hours after repeated CS exposure, but reduced 2 hours after an additional exposure. In vitro, CS induced necrotic neutrophil cell death, as indicated by mitochondrial dysfunction, inhibition of apoptosis and DAMP release. Supernatants from CS-treated neutrophils significantly increased the release of CXCL8 in NHBE cells. Conclusions: Together, we show for the first time that CS exposure induces neutrophil necrosis, leading to DAMP release, which may amplify CS-induced airway inflammation by promoting airway epithelial pro-inflammatory responses.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 09/2014; · 4.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protocadherin-1 (PCDH1) is a novel susceptibility gene for airway hyperresponsiveness, first identified in families exposed to cigarette smoke and is expressed in bronchial epithelial cells. Here, we asked how mouse Pcdh1 expression is regulated in lung structural cells in vivo under physiological conditions, and in both short-term cigarette smoke exposure models characterized by airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness and chronic cigarette smoke exposure models. Pcdh1 gene-structure was investigated by Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends. Pcdh1 mRNA and protein expression was investigated by qRT-PCR, western blotting using isoform-specific antibodies. We observed 87% conservation of the Pcdh1 nucleotide sequence, and 96% conservation of the Pcdh1 protein sequence between men and mice. We identified a novel Pcdh1 isoform encoding only the intracellular signalling motifs. Cigarette smoke exposure for 4 consecutive days markedly reduced Pcdh1 mRNA expression in lung tissue (3 to 4-fold), while neutrophilia and airway hyperresponsiveness was induced. Moreover, Pcdh1 mRNA expression in lung tissue was reduced already 6 hours after an acute cigarette-smoke exposure in mice. Chronic exposure to cigarette smoke induced loss of Pcdh1 protein in lung tissue after 2 months, while Pcdh1 protein levels were no longer reduced after 9 months of cigarette smoke exposure. We conclude that Pcdh1 is highly homologous to human PCDH1, encodes two transmembrane proteins and one intracellular protein, and is regulated by cigarette smoke exposure in vivo.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e98197. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rationale: Cigarette smoke is the major risk factor in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Lipidomics is a novel and emerging research field that may provide new insights in the origins of chronic inflammatory diseases like COPD. Objective: To investigate whether expression of the sputum lipidome is affected by COPD or cigarette smoking. Methods: Lipid expression was investigated with liquid chromatography and high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-MS) in induced sputum comparing smokers with and without COPD, and never-smokers. Changes in lipid expression after 2-month smoking cessation were investigated in smokers with and without COPD. Measurements and Main Results: >1500 lipid compounds were identified in sputum. The class of sphingolipids was significantly higher expressed in smokers with COPD than in smokers without COPD. At single compound level, 168 sphingolipids, 36 phosphatidylethanolamine lipids and 5 tobacco-related compounds were significantly higher expressed in smokers with COPD compared to smokers without COPD. The 13 lipids with a high fold change between smokers with and without COPD showed high correlations with lower lung function and inflammation in sputum. 20 (glyco)sphingolipids and 6 tobacco-related compounds were higher expressed in smokers without COPD compared to never-smokers. Two-month smoking cessation reduced expression of 26 sphingolipids in smokers with and without COPD. Conclusions: Expression of lipids from the sphingolipid pathway are higher in smokers with COPD compared to smokers without COPD. Considering their potential biological properties, they may play a role in the pathogenesis of COPD.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 05/2014; · 11.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aeroallergens such as house dust mite (HDM), cockroach, and grass or tree pollen are innocuous substances that can induce allergic sensitization upon inhalation. The serine proteases present in these allergens are thought to activate the protease-activated receptor (PAR)-2, on the airway epithelium, thereby potentially inducing allergic sensitization at the expense of inhalation tolerance. We hypothesized that the proteolytic activity of allergens may play an important factor in the allergenicity to house dust mite and is essential to overcome airway tolerance. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of PAR-2 activation in allergic sensitization and HDM-induced allergic airway inflammation. In our study, Par-2 deficient mice were treated with two different HDM extracts containing high and low serine protease activities twice a week for a period of 5 weeks. We determined airway inflammation through quantification of percentages of mononuclear cells, eosinophils and neutrophils in the bronchial alveolar lavage fluid and measured total IgE and HDM-specific IgE and IgG1 levels in serum. Furthermore, Th2 and pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-5, IL-13, Eotaxin-1, IL-17, KC, Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 17 (CCL17) and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), were measured in lung tissue homogenates. We observed that independent of the serine protease content, HDM was able to induce elevated levels of eosinophils and neutrophils in the airways of both wild-type (WT) and Par-2 deficient mice. Furthermore, we show that induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines by HDM exposure is independent of Par-2 activation. In contrast, serine protease activity of HDM does contribute to enhanced levels of total IgE, but not HDM-specific IgE. We conclude that, while Par-2 activation contributes to the development of IgE responses, it is largely dispensable for the HDM-induced induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and airway inflammation in an experimental mouse model of HDM-driven allergic airway disease.
PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e91206. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Th17-mediated neutrophilic airway inflammation has been implicated in decreased response to glucocorticoids in asthma. We aimed to investigate the effect of glucocorticoids on the airway epithelial release of the neutrophilic and Th17-cell chemoattractant CCL20.We studied CCL20 and CXCL8 sputum levels in asthmatic subjects using inhaled glucocorticoids or not, and the effect of budesonide on CCL20 and CXCL8 production in primary bronchial epithelial cells. The mechanism behind the effect of budesonide-induced CCL20 production was studied in 16HBE14o- cells using inhibitors for the glucocorticoid receptor, intracellular pathways and metalloproteases.We observed higher levels of CCL20, but not CXCL8, in the sputum of asthmatics who used inhaled glucocorticoids. CCL20 levels correlated with inhaled glucocorticoid dose and sputum neutrophils. Budesonide increased tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced CCL20 by primary bronchial epithelium, while CXCL8 was suppressed. In 16HBE14o- cells, similar effects were observed at the CCL20 protein and mRNA levels, indicating transcriptional regulation. Although TNF-α-induced CCL20 release was dependent on the ERK, p38 and STAT3 pathways, the increase by budesonide was not. Inhibition of glucocorticoid receptor or ADAM17 abrogated the budesonide-induced increase in CCL20 levels.We show that glucocorticoids enhance CCL20 production by bronchial epithelium, which may constitute a novel mechanism in Th17-mediated glucocorticoid-insensitive inflammation in asthma.
European Respiratory Journal 03/2014; 44(2). · 7.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We hypothesised that increased oxidative stress, as present in the airways of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, induces epithelial damage and reduces epithelial responsiveness to suppressive effects of corticosteroids on proinflammatory cytokine production and barrier function.
We induced oxidative stress by H2O2 and/or cigarette smoke extract (CSE) in human bronchial epithelial 16HBE cells and primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC) derived by brushings from asthma patients, COPD patients, and smoking and non-smoking control individuals. We investigated effects of budesonide on barrier function (electrical resistance) and TNF-α-induced proinflammatory cytokine production (IL-8/CXCL8, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF)).
We observed that H2O2 and CSE reduce epithelial resistance. Budesonide significantly counteracted this effect, likely by protection against epidermal growth factor receptor-dependent cell-cell contact disruption. Furthermore, budesonide suppressed proinflammatory cytokine production. H2O2 pretreatment reduced this effect of budesonide on cytokine production in both 16HBE cells and PBECs. Importantly, PBECs from asthma and COPD patients were less sensitive to budesonide with respect to cytokine production and barrier function than PBECs from control subjects.
Together, our data indicate that budesonide suppresses epithelial proinflammatory responses and barrier dysfunction and that oxidative stress reduces these effects in airway epithelium from asthma and COPD patients. Therefore, restoration of corticosteroid responsiveness in asthma and COPD may act to improve the airway epithelial barrier.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: House dust mite (HDM) affects the immunological and physical barrier function of airway epithelium, leading to allergic sensitization, airway remodeling, and eosinophilic inflammation in mouse models, although the mechanisms are still largely unknown.
Given the implications for adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent Ca(2+) signaling in allergic sensitization in mice, we sought to determine the role of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+) ]i ) in HDM-induced barrier dysfunction and pro-inflammatory activity of bronchial epithelium.
We investigated the effect of HDM on accumulation of [Ca(2+) ]i levels, barrier function, and CCL20 release in human bronchial epithelial 16HBE cells and primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBECs) from healthy subjects and asthma patients. Involvement of ATP-dependent activation of purinergic receptors and downstream Ca(2+) influx was studied, using the ATP hydrolyzing agent apyrase, the purinergic receptor agonist PPADS, the calcium chelator BAPTA-AM, and calpain inhibitors.
Asthma PBECs were more susceptible to HDM-induced barrier dysfunction, CCL20 secretion, and Ca(2+) influx than healthy PBECs. Furthermore, we show that the HDM-induced increase in CCL20 in PBECs and 16HBE cells and the HDM-induced barrier dysfunction in 16HBE cells are dependent on [Ca(2+) ]i accumulation. Additionally, we demonstrate that [Ca(2+) ]i accumulation is initiated partly through the activation of purinergic receptors, which contributes to HDM-induced epithelial barrier dysfunction by disruption of cell-cell contacts, but not CCL20 secretion.
Our data show for the first time that Ca(2+) signaling plays a crucial role in barrier dysfunction and the pro-inflammatory response of bronchial epithelium upon HDM exposure and may thus have important implications for the development of allergic asthma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rationale: The molecular basis for airway epithelial fragility in asthma has remained unclear. We aimed to investigate whether loss of caveolin-1, the major component of caveolae and known stabilizer of adherens junctions, contributes to epithelial barrier dysfunction in asthma. Methods: We studied expression of caveolin-1 and adhesion molecules E-cadherin and β-catenin in airway sections and cultured bronchial epithelial cells from asthma patients and healthy controls. To determine the functional role of caveolin-1, we investigated the effects of caveolin-1 up- and down-regulation on E-cadherin expression, barrier function and pro-allergic activity in the human bronchial epithelial cell lines 16HBE and BEAS-2B. Results: Membrane expression of caveolin-1 was significantly lower in airway epithelium from asthma patients than non-asthmatics, which was maintained in vitro upon air-liquid interface and submerged culture. Importantly, reduced caveolin-1 expression was accompanied by loss of junctional E-cadherin and β-catenin expression, disrupted epithelial barrier function and increased levels of the pro-allergic cytokine Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). Furthermore, E-cadherin redistribution upon exposure to EGF or house dust mite was paralleled by internalization of caveolin-1 in 16HBE cells. These effects appear to be causally related since siRNA downregulation of caveolin-1 resulted in delocalization of E-cadherin and barrier dysfunction in 16HBE cells. Moreover, caveolin-1 overexpression improved barrier function and reduced TSLP expression in BEAS-2B cells. Conclusions: Together, our data demonstrate a crucial role for caveolin-1 in epithelial cell-cell adhesion, with important consequences for epithelial barrier function and the promotion of Th2 responses in asthma.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 06/2013; · 4.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) is the only treatment for allergic diseases that targets allergen-specific T helper type 2 (Th2) cells, which are the cause of the disease. There is an unmet requirement for adjuvants that increase the clinical efficacy of SIT allowing application of lower doses of the allergen, thereby reducing the risk of anaphylactic reactions. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4-immunoglobulin (CTLA-4-Ig) has been shown to induce immunological tolerance in autoimmunity and allograft transplantation by blocking T cell co-stimulation and induction of the immunoregulatory enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO). Previously, we showed that CTLA-4-Ig treatment at the time of allergen inhalation induced tolerance to subsequent allergen exposure in a mouse model of asthma. In this study, we test the hypothesis that CTLA-4-Ig acts as an adjuvant for experimental SIT. We evaluated the adjuvant effects of CTLA-4-Ig on SIT in a mouse model of ovalbumin-driven asthma. We used both wild-type and IDO-deficient mice to assess the role of IDO in the adjuvant effects of CTLA-4-Ig. Co-administration of CTLA-4-Ig strongly increased SIT-induced suppression of airway hyperreactivity (AHR), specific IgE in serum, airway eosinophilia and Th2 cytokine levels. Moreover, we found that CTLA-4-Ig, as an adjuvant for SIT, is equally effective in IDO-deficient and wild-type mice, demonstrating that the effect of CTLA-4-Ig is independent of IDO expression. We show that CTLA-4-Ig acts as a potent adjuvant to augment the therapeutic effects of SIT. As the adjuvant activity of CTLA-4-Ig is independent of IDO, we conclude that it acts by blocking CD28-mediated T cell co-stimulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable airway obstruction and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). The T regulatory (Treg) cell subset is critically important for the regulation of immune responses. Adoptive transfer of Treg cells has been shown to be sufficient for the suppression of airway inflammation in experimental allergic asthma. Intervention strategies aimed at expanding the Treg cell population locally in the airways of sensitized individuals are therefore of high interest as a potential therapeutic treatment for allergic airway disease. Here, we aim to test whether long-term suppression of asthma manifestations can be achieved by locally expanding the Treg cell subset via intranasal administration of a TLR-2 agonist. To model therapeutic intervention aimed at expanding the endogenous Treg population in a sensitized host, we challenged OVA-sensitized mice by OVA inhalation with concomitant intranasal instillation of the TLR-2 agonist Pam3Cys, followed by an additional series of OVA challenges. Pam3Cys treatment induced an acute but transient aggravation of asthma manifestations, followed by a reduction or loss of AHR to methacholine, depending on the time between Pam3Cys treatment and OVA challenges. In addition, Pam3Cys-treatment induced significant reductions of eosinophils and increased numbers of Treg cells in the lung infiltrates. Our data show that, despite having adverse acute effects, TLR2 agonist treatment as a therapeutic intervention induces an expansion of the Treg cell population in the lungs and results in long-term protection against manifestation of allergic asthma upon subsequent allergen provocation. Our data indicate that local expansion of Tregs in allergic airway disease is an interesting therapeutic approach that warrants further investigation.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e55307. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease with pulmonary and extra-pulmonary manifestations. Although COPD is a complex disease, diagnosis and staging are still based on simple spirometry measurements. Different COPD phenotypes exist based on clinical, physiological, immunological and radiological observations. Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for COPD, but only 15-20% of smokers develop the disease, suggesting a genetic predisposition. Unfortunately, little is known about the pathogenesis of COPD, and even less on the very first steps that are associated with an aberrant response to smoke exposure. This study aims to investigate the underlying local and systemic inflammation of different clinical COPD phenotypes, and acute effects of cigarette smoke exposure in individuals susceptible and non-susceptible for the development of COPD. Furthermore, we will investigate mechanisms associated with corticosteroid insensitivity. Our study will provide valuable information regarding the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the natural course of COPD. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This cross-sectional study will include young and old individuals susceptible or non-susceptible to develop COPD. At a young age (18-40 years) 60 'party smokers' will be included who are called susceptible or non-susceptible based on COPD prevalence in smoking family members. In addition, 30 healthy smokers (age 40-75 years) and 110 COPD patients will be included. Measurements will include questionnaires, pulmonary function, low-dose CT scanning of the lung, body composition, 6 min walking distance and biomarkers in peripheral blood, sputum, urine, exhaled breath condensate, epithelial lining fluid, bronchial brushes and biopsies. Non-biased approaches such as proteomics will be performed in blood and epithelial lining fluid. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This multicentre study was approved by the medical ethical committees of UMC Groningen and Utrecht, the Netherlands. The study findings will be presented at conferences and will be reported in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00807469 (study 1) and NCT00850863 (study 2).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: WNT signalling is activated during lung tissue damage and inflammation. We investigated whether lung epithelial expression of WNT ligands, receptors (frizzled; FZD) or target genes is dysregulated on cigarette smoking and/or in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). METHODS: We studied this in human lung epithelial cell lines and primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC) from COPD patients and control (non-)smokers, at baseline and on cigarette smoke extract (CSE) exposure. RESULTS: CSE significantly decreased WNT-4, WNT-10B and FZD2 and increased WNT-5B mRNA expression in 16HBE, but did not affect WNT-4 protein. The mRNA expression of WNT-4, but not other WNT ligands, was lower in PBEC from smokers than non-smokers and downregulated by CSE in PBEC from all groups, yet higher in PBEC from COPD patients than control smokers. Moreover, PBEC from COPD patients displayed higher WNT-4 protein expression than both smokers and non-smokers. Exogenously added WNT-4 significantly increased CXCL8/IL-8, IL-6, CCL5/RANTES, CCL2/MCP-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion in 16HBE, but did not affect the canonical WNT target genes MMP-2, MMP-9, fibronectin, β-catenin, Dickkopf and axin-2, and induced activation of the non-canonical signalling molecule p38. Moreover, WNT-4 potentiated the CSE-induced upregulation of IL-8 and VEGF. CONCLUSIONS: WNT-4 mRNA and protein levels are higher in PBEC from COPD patients than control (non-)smokers, while cigarette smoke downregulates airway epithelial WNT-4 mRNA, but not protein expression. As WNT-4 further increases CSE-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release in bronchial epithelium, we propose that higher epithelial WNT-4 levels in combination with cigarette smoking may have important implications for the development of airway inflammation in COPD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) has been used since 1911, yet its mechanism of action remains to be elucidated. There is evidence indicating that CD4(+) FOXP3(+) regulatory T cells (Treg cells) are induced during SIT in allergic patients. However, the contribution of these cells to SIT has not been evaluated in vivo.
To evaluate the in vivo contribution of (i) CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells during SIT and of (ii) SIT-generated inducible FOXP3(+) Treg cells during allergen exposure to SIT-mediated suppression of asthmatic manifestations.
We used a mouse model of SIT based on the classical OVA-driven experimental asthma. Treg cells were quantified by flow cytometry 24 and 96 h post SIT treatment. We depleted CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells prior to SIT, and CD4(+) FOXP3(+) T cells prior to allergen challenges to study their contribution to the suppression of allergic manifestations by SIT treatment.
Our data show that depletion of CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells at the time of SIT treatment reverses the suppression of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), but not of airway eosinophilia and specific IgE levels in serum. Interestingly, the number of CD4(+) CD25(+) FOXP3(+) T cells is transiently increased after SIT in the spleen and blood, suggesting the generation of inducible and presumably allergen-specific Treg cells during treatment. Depletion of CD4(+) FOXP3(+) Treg cells after SIT treatment partially reverses the SIT-induced suppression of airway eosinophilia, but not of AHR and serum levels of specific IgE.
We conclude that SIT-mediated tolerance induction towards AHR requires CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells at the time of allergen injections. In addition, SIT generates CD4(+) CD25(+) FOXP3(+) T cells that contribute to the suppression of airway eosinophilia upon allergen challenges. Therefore, enhancing Treg cell number or their activity during and after SIT could be of clinical relevance to improve the therapeutic effects of SIT.