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Association of innate defense proteins BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 with disease severity in COPD

Authors De Smet EG, Seys LJM, Verhamme FM, Vanaudenaerde BM, Brusselle GG, Bingle CD, Bracke KR

Received 16 June 2017

Accepted for publication 9 October 2017

Published 19 December 2017 Volume 2018:13 Pages 11—27


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Elise G De Smet,1 Leen JM Seys,1,2 Fien M Verhamme,1 Bart M Vanaudenaerde,3 Guy G Brusselle,1 Colin D Bingle,4 Ken R Bracke1

1Laboratory for Translational Research in Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; ²Laboratory of Immunoregulation and Mucosal Immunology, VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research, Ghent, Belgium; 3Laboratory for Respiratory Diseases, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 4Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by an abnormal inflammatory response in the lungs caused by the inhalation of noxious particles and gases. The airway epithelium has a protective function against these harmful agents by maintaining a physical barrier and by secreting defensive proteins, such as bactericidal/permeability-increasing fold-containing (BPIF) proteins, BPIFA1 and BPIFB1. However, inconsistent data regarding BPIFA1 expression in smokers and COPD patients have been reported to date. Therefore, we investigated the expression of BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 in a large cohort of never-smokers and smokers with and without COPD, both on the messenger RNA (mRNA) level in lung tissue and on the protein level in airway epithelium. Furthermore, we examined the correlation between BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 levels, goblet cell hyperplasia, and lung function measurements. BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 mRNA expressions were significantly increased in stage III–IV COPD patients compared with stage II COPD patients and subjects without COPD. In addition, protein levels in COPD patients were significantly increased in comparison with subjects without COPD. BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 levels were inversely correlated with measurements of airflow limitation and positively correlated with goblet cell hyperplasia. In addition, by the use of immunofluorescence double staining, we demonstrated the expression of BPIFB1 in goblet cells. In conclusion, we show that BPIFA1 and BPIFB1 levels are elevated in COPD patients and correlate with disease severity.

Keywords: BPIFA1, BPIFB1, COPD

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