Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

COPD could be a problem with autoimmunity

22.11.2010
Moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be an auto-immunity problem, according to researchers in Spain, who studied the presence of auto-antibodies in patients with COPD and compared them to levels of control subjects. They found that a significant number of patients with COPD had significant levels of auto-antibodies circulating in their blood, about 5 to 10 times the level in controls.

The findings were published online ahead of the print edition of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"We showed that between one third and one quarter of patients with clinically stable COPD present abnormal levels of circulating auto-antibodies in the blood," said Jaume Sauleda M.D., coordinator of respiratory medicine department, Hospital Universitari Son Dureta, Palma Mallorca, Spain. "Our findings provide further support for the hypothesis that the pathogenesis of COPD involves an auto-immune component."

The researchers recruited 328 patients with clinically stable COPD three months after hospitalization for the first time with an exacerbation of the disease at nine participating hospitals in Spain, and 67 healthy volunteers from primary care clinics, blood donors and hospital workers. They collected information on current and past smoking habits, comorbidities, and data such as body mass index, degree of dyspnea and six-minute walk distance. They tested lung function with spirometry.

They then took blood samples and tested the blood for antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-tissue antibodies (AT) including mitochondrial (AMA), liver-kidney microsomal (LKM), smoothmuscle (SMA), and parietal gastric cell (PGC) antibodies. The serum levels of C-reactive protein were also tested in patients.

"We wanted to quantify the levels of auto-antibodies in COPD with respect to the patients' lung function and disease severity. By doing so, we hoped to determine whether in fact COPD had an auto-immune aspect," said Dr. Sauleda. "COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in the world, and is becoming increasingly common in the developing world as generations of heavy smokers age. Understanding its pathogenesis is key to developing effective treatments that go beyond symptom palliation."

The researchers found that, overall, 34 percent of COPD patients had abnormally high levels of ANA titer—a prevalence 11 times higher than seen in the control group, and 7 times higher than reported in healthy subjects in previous studies. Furthermore, 26 percent of the patients were positive for AT, a prevalence 4.5 times higher than in the controls, and 4 times higher than reported in healthy subjects in other studies.

Patients with AT tended to be younger and active smokers, and the level of these auto-antibodies was related to impairment of lung function. There were no other associations between auto-antibodies and other patient characteristics.

The much higher prevalence of auto-antibodies in COPD patients has several implications and possible explanations. Other studies have found that patients with "severe bronchitis" (which would probably be characterized as COPD today) had high levels of circulating ANA, and these results confirm those earlier findings. Recent reports have also suggested that circulating antibodies are directed against components of the lung matrix and epithelium in patients with COPD.

"We can only speculate on the mechanisms underlying the observed associations," said Dr. Sauleda. "The prevalence of ANA and AT may be non-specific markers of an ongoing auto-immune response or may be directly involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. However, these alternatives are not mutually exclusive. "Future longitudinal studies in general population evaluating the relationships between these auto-antibodies and lung function during several years can help us to unravel this issue."

Dr. Sauleda continued, "If future research confirms the suspected auto-immune component of COPD, it raises the possibility of future clinical trials evaluating possible new therapies for this disease, for instance, immunomodulators."

Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.thoracic.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

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

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>