Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Identification of Biologic Clusters and Their Biomarkers

Institute for Lung Health, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Impact Factor: 13). 06/2011; 184(6):662-71. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201104-0597OC
Source: PubMed


Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are heterogeneous with respect to inflammation and etiology.
Investigate biomarker expression in COPD exacerbations to identify biologic clusters and determine biomarkers that recognize clinical COPD exacerbation phenotypes, namely those associated with bacteria, viruses, or eosinophilic airway inflammation.
Patients with COPD were observed for 1 year at stable and exacerbation visits. Biomarkers were measured in sputum and serum. Viruses and selected bacteria were assessed in sputum by polymerase chain reaction and routine diagnostic bacterial culture. Biologic phenotypes were explored using unbiased cluster analysis and biomarkers that differentiated clinical exacerbation phenotypes were investigated. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 145 patients (101 men and 44 women) entered the study. A total of 182 exacerbations were captured from 86 patients. Four distinct biologic exacerbation clusters were identified. These were bacterial-, viral-, or eosinophilic-predominant, and a fourth associated with limited changes in the inflammatory profile termed “pauciinflammatory.” Of all exacerbations, 55%, 29%, and 28% were associated with bacteria, virus, or a sputum eosinophilia. The biomarkers that best identified these clinical phenotypes were sputum IL-1β, 0.89 (area under receiver operating characteristic curve) (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83–0.95); serum CXCL10, 0.83 (95% CI, 0.70–0.96); and percentage peripheral eosinophils, 0.85 (95% CI, 0.78–0.93), respectively.
The heterogeneity of the biologic response of COPD exacerbations can be defined. Sputum IL-1β, serum CXCL10, and peripheral eosinophils are biomarkers of bacteria-, virus-, or eosinophil-associated exacerbations of COPD. Whether phenotype-specific biomarkers can be applied to direct therapy warrants further investigation.

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    • "IL-1B expression in COPD neutrophils was correlated with disease severity as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)25. In addition, sputum IL-1B was showed to be a potential biomarker for bacteria-associated exacerbations of COPD26. IL-1B plays a central role in the regulation of immune responses and inflammatory processes, including promotion of the movement of inflammatory cells from the blood to inflamed tissues, regulation of the extracellular matrix, induction of the expression of a variety of inflammatory mediators such as IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-α(TNF-α), and promotion of the differentiation of inflammatory cells5. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interleukin-1 (IL-1) gene polymorphisms have been implicated in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk, but results are controversial. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to address this issue. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to investigate the strength of the association. The meta-analysis revealed no association between the IL1B (−511), (−31), (+3954) polymorphisms and COPD risk. However, stratification by ethnicity indicated that the T allele carriers of the IL1B (−511) polymorphism and the C allele carriers of the IL1B (−31) variant were associated with an increased risk for developing COPD in East Asians (OR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.13–2.31, Pz = 0.009 and OR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.14–2.11, Pz = 0.006, respectively). The meta-analysis revealed a significant association between the IL1RN (VNTR) polymorphism and COPD risk in all study subjects and East Asians under homozygote model (22 vs. LL: OR = 3.16, 95% CI: 1.23–8.13, Pz = 0.017 and OR = 3.20, 95% CI: 1.13–9.12, Pz = 0.029, respectively). Our meta-analysis suggests that the IL1B (−511), (−31) and IL1RN (VNTR) polymorphisms are associated with COPD risk in East Asians. There is no association between the IL1B (+3954) polymorphism and COPD risk. Further studies should be performed in other ethnic groups besides East Asians.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Scientific Reports
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    • "Clinical data and sputum cytospins were available from 196 subjects that had participated in an observational study of COPD exacerbations [17,18]. Subjects had undergone extensive clinical characterisation including clinical history, demographics, visual analogue symptom (VAS) scores, health status assessment using the chronic respiratory questionnaire (CRQ) and St George’s Respiratory questionnaires (SGRQ), spirometry before and after administration of a short-acting bronchodilator, sputum analysis for cellular profiles and microbiological assessment at baseline, 3 monthly stable follow-up visits and exacerbations for at least one year. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Eosinophilic airway inflammation is observed in 10-30% of COPD subjects. Whether increased eosinophils or impairment in their clearance by macrophages is associated with the severity and frequency of exacerbations is unknown. Methods We categorised 103 COPD subjects into 4 groups determined by the upper limit of normal for their cytoplasmic macrophage red hue (<6%), an indirect measure of macrophage efferocytosis of eosinophils, and area under the curve sputum eosinophil count (≥3%/year). Eosinophil efferocytosis by monocyte-derived macrophages was studied in 17 COPD subjects and 8 normal controls. Results There were no differences in baseline lung function, health status or exacerbation frequency between the groups: A-low red hue, high sputum eosinophils (n = 10), B-high red hue, high sputum eosinophils (n = 16), C-low red hue, low sputum eosinophils (n = 19) and D- high red hue, low sputum eosinophils (n = 58). Positive bacterial culture was lower in groups A (10%) and B (6%) compared to C (44%) and D (21%) (p = 0.01). The fall in FEV1 from stable to exacerbation was greatest in group A (ΔFEV1 [95 % CI] -0.41 L [-0.65 to -0.17]) versus group B (-0.16 L [-0.32 to -0.011]), C (-0.11 L [-0.23 to -0.002]) and D (-0.16 L [-0.22 to -0.10]; p = 0.02). Macrophage efferocytosis of eosinophils was impaired in COPD versus controls (86 [75 to 92]% versus 93 [88 to 96]%; p = 0.028); was most marked in group A (71 [70 to 84]%; p = 0.0295) and was inversely correlated with exacerbation frequency (r = -0.63; p = 0.006). Conclusions Macrophage efferocytosis of eosinophils is impaired in COPD and is related to the severity and frequency of COPD exacerbations.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC Pulmonary Medicine
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    • "It had been previously shown that exposure to smoke increases ATP levels in the BALF from mice [27] and that co exposure with smoke and the bacterial mimetic, LPS, led to an enhanced neutrophilic response which was similar in profile to that in exacerbating asthma and COPD sufferers [12], [13], [37], [38]. Together this suggested that the LPS exposure could be causing the release of EVs and the smoke-induced ATP could be causing the enhanced neutrophilia response via the release of enhanced levels of IL-1β/IL-18. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Infection-related exacerbations of respiratory diseases are a major health concern; thus understanding the mechanisms driving them is of paramount importance. Despite distinct inflammatory profiles and pathological differences, asthma and COPD share a common clinical facet: raised airway ATP levels. Furthermore, evidence is growing to suggest that infective agents can cause the release of extracellular vesicle (EVs) in vitro and in bodily fluids. ATP can evoke the P2X7/caspase 1 dependent release of IL-1β/IL-18 from EVs; these cytokines are associated with neutrophilia and are increased during exacerbations. Thus we hypothesized that respiratory infections causes the release of EVs in the airway and that the raised ATP levels, present in respiratory disease, triggers the release of IL-1β/IL-18, neutrophilia and subsequent disease exacerbations. Methods To begin to test this hypothesis we utilised human cell-based assays, ex vivo murine BALF, in vivo pre-clinical models and human samples to test this hypothesis. Results Data showed that in a murine model of COPD, known to have increased airway ATP levels, infective challenge causes exacerbated inflammation. Using cell-based systems, murine models and samples collected from challenged healthy subjects, we showed that infection can trigger the release of EVs. When exposed to ATP the EVs release IL-1β/IL-18 via a P2X7/caspase-dependent mechanism. Furthermore ATP challenge can cause a P2X7 dependent increase in LPS-driven neutrophilia. Conclusions This preliminary data suggests a possible mechanism for how infections could exacerbate respiratory diseases and may highlight a possible signalling pathway for drug discovery efforts in this area.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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