Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

GSF scientists examine the role of small sputum macrophages in the widespread disease chronic obstructive bronchitis

10.01.2005


COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is one of the most common fatal diseases worldwide. In Germany alone, there are about 3-5 million patients affected. COPD includes both chronic obstructive bronchitis and emphysema. Both represent irreversible changes of the central and lower respiratory tract which are accompanied by coughing, mucus production and difficulty in breathing.



The increased production of mucus is induced by the immigration of neutrophilic granulocytes and macrophages. This can be further accompanied by the destruction of the bronchial epithelium and the alveolar septae and thus lead to emphysema. The disease progresses in episodic bursts; although it cannot be cured, early diagnosis and appropriate therapy allow it to bring the symptoms under control.

Macrophages play a central role in the air passages and the lung periphery (the alveoli). Macrophages originate in the bone marrow. Before entering the blood stream, these cells differentiate through precursor myelomonocytes to monocytes which migrate into the tissues and are then called macrophages. One of the major tasks of macrophages is to take up foreign particles, like bacteria, viruses, and aerosol particles, by phagocytosis.


Light microscope investigations of the leucocyte populations in induced sputum showed that in COPD patients up to 84% of the cells are neutrophils with macrophages comprising only 15%, whereas in healthy people macrophages form the majority (60%) of the leucocytes and only 36%, are neutrophils. The GSF clinical cooperation group "Inflammatory Lung Diseases" led by Marion Frankenberger has now succeeded in identifying a discrete new population of macrophages, smaller than the macrophages seen previously, among the cells in induced sputum from COPD patients.

The scientists have named this population "small sputum macrophages". In healthy controls, this population constitutes only a small proportion, around 7%, of all macrophages, whereas in COPD patients it can rise to 90% of all macrophages during an acute episode. The first results indicate that the small sputum macrophages can contribute to the differential diagnosis of COPD and asthma, since they are only slightly increased in asthma patients compared to controls.

The inflammatory process in COPD remains poorly understood. It is possible that the small sputum macrophages play a central role in the pathogenesis of COPD. These cells exhibit characteristics of strongly activated inflammatory cells and might therefore play a crucial role in the inflammation of the respiratory tract in COPD.

Michael van den Heuvel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gsf.de/Aktuelles/Presse/copd-2005-en.phtml
http://www.gsf.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>