Lian Wu

Publications

1 Pro-inflammatory Phenotype of COPD Fibroblasts not Compatible with Repair in COPD Lung

Authors: Jing Zhang, Lian Wu, Jie-ming Qu, Chun-xue Bai, Mervyn J Merrilees, Peter N Black

Abstract:

COPD is characterized by loss of elastic fibers from small airways and alveolar walls, with the decrease in elastin increasing with disease severity. It is unclear why there is a lack of repair of elastic fibers. We have examined fibroblasts cultured from lung tissue from normal and COPD subjects to determine if the secretory profile explains lack of tissue repair. In this study, fibroblasts were cultured from lung parenchyma of bronchial carcinoma patients with varying degrees of COPD; controls (non-COPD, n=5), mild COPD (GOLD 1, n=5) and moderate-severe COPD (GOLD 2-3, n=12). Measurements were made of proliferation, senescence-associated beta-galactosidase-1, mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-1, tropoelastin and versican, and protein levels for IL-6, IL-8, PGE2, tropoelastin, insoluble elastin, and versican. It was found that GOLD 2-3 fibroblasts proliferated more slowly (p<0.01) and had higher levels of senescence-associated beta-galactosidase-1 (p<0.001) than controls (non-COPD). GOLD 2-3 fibroblasts showed significant increases in mRNA and/or protein for IL-6, IL-8, MMP-1, PGE2, versican (p<0.01) and tropoelastin (p<0.05). mRNA expression and/or protein levels of tropoelastin (p<0.01), versican (p<0.02), IL-6 (p<0.05) and IL-8 (p<0.05) were negatively correlated with FEV1%. Insoluble elastin was not increased. In summary, fibroblasts from moderate to severe COPD subjects display a secretory phenotype with up-regulation of inflammatory molecules including the matrix proteoglycan versican, and increased soluble, but not insoluble, elastin. Versican inhibits assembly of tropoelastin into insoluble elastin and we conclude that the pro-inflammatory phenotype of COPD fibroblasts it is not compatible with repair elastic fibers.

Keywords: COPD, elastin, pulmonary fibroblasts, pro-inflammatory phenotype, versican

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Abstracts

1 Clara Cell Secretory Protein 16 Serum Level Decreases in Patients with Non-Smoking-Related Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)

Authors: Lian Wu, Mervyn Merrilees

Abstract:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a worldwide problem, characterized by irreversible and progressive airflow obstruction. In New Zealand, it is currently the 4th commonest cause of death and exacerbations of COPD are a frequent cause of admission to hospital. Serum levels of Clara cell secretory protein-16 (CC-16) are believed to represent Clara cell toxicity. More recently, CC-16 has been found to be associated with smoker COPD. It is produced almost exclusively by non-ciliated Clara cells in the airways, and its primary function is to protect the lungs against oxidative stress and carcinogenesis. After acute exposure to cigarette smoke, serum levels of CC-16 become elevated. CC16 is a potent natural immune-suppressor and anti-inflammatory agent. In vitro, CC16 inhibits both monocyte and polymorphonuclear neutrophils chemotaxis and phagocytosis. CC16 also inhibits fibroblast chemotaxis. However, the role of CC-16 in non-smoking related COPD is still not clear. In this study, we investigated serum CC-16 levels in non-smoking related COPD. Methods: We compared non-smoker patients with COPD (FEV1<60% of predicted, FEV1/FVC <0.7, n=100) and individuals with normal lung function FEV1≥ 80% of predicted and FEV1/FVC≥ 0.7, n=80). All subjects had no smoking history. CC-16 was measured by ELISA. Results and conclusion: Serum CC-16 levels are reduced in individuals with non-smoking related COPD, and there is a weak correlation with disease severity in non-smoking related COPD group compared to non-smoker controls.

Keywords: COPD, ELISA, CC-16, non-smoking-related COPD

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