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Annexin A1 is elevated in patients with COPD and affects lung fibroblast function

Authors Lai TW, Li YY, Mai ZJ, Wen XX, Lv YY, Xie ZQ, Lv QC, Chen M, Wu D, Wu B

Received 23 August 2017

Accepted for publication 25 November 2017

Published 5 February 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 473—486


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai

Tianwen Lai,1,* Yanyu Li,1,* Zongjiong Mai,2 Xiaoxia Wen,1 Yingying Lv,1 Zhanqing Xie,3 Quanchao Lv,1 Min Chen,1 Dong Wu,1 Bin Wu1

1Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2Department of Oncology, 3Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Fibrosis in peripheral airways is responsible for airflow limitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Annexin A1 modulates several key biological events during inflammation. However, little is known about its role in airway fibrosis in COPD. We investigated whether levels of Annexin A1 were upregulated in patients with COPD, and whether it promoted airway fibrosis.
Methods: We quantified serum Annexin A1 levels in never-smokers (n=12), smokers without COPD (n=11), and smokers with COPD (n=22). Correlations between Annexin A1 expression and clinical indicators (eg, lung function) were assessed. In vitro, human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells were exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and Annexin A1 expression was assessed. Primary human lung fibroblasts were isolated from patients with COPD and effects of Annexin A1 on fibrotic deposition of lung fibroblasts were evaluated.
Results: Serum Annexin A1 was significantly higher in patients with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines stage III or IV than in those with GOLD stages I or II (12.8±0.8 ng/mL versus 9.8±0.7 ng/mL; p=0.016). Annexin A1 expression was negatively associated with airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in one second % predicted; r=−0.72, p<0.001). In vitro, Annexin A1 was significantly increased in CSE-exposed HBE cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Annexin A1 promoted lung fibroblasts proliferation, migration, differentiation, and collagen deposition via the ERK1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.
Conclusion: Annexin A1 expression is upregulated in patients with COPD and affects lung fibroblast function. However, more studies are needed to clarify the role of Annexin A1 in airway fibrosis of COPD.

Keywords: COPD, Annexin A1, tissue fibrosis, disease severity

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