CD8 positive T cells express IL-17 in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseReport as inadecuate

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Respiratory Research

, 12:43

First Online: 01 December 2011Received: 26 August 2010Accepted: 10 April 2011


BackgroundChronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD is a progressive and irreversible chronic inflammatory disease of the lung. The nature of the immune reaction in COPD raises the possibility that IL-17 and related cytokines may contribute to this disorder. This study analyzed the expression of IL-17A and IL-17F as well as the phenotype of cells producing them in bronchial biopsies from COPD patients.

MethodsBronchoscopic biopsies of the airway were obtained from 16 COPD subjects GOLD stage 1-4 and 15 control subjects. Paraffin sections were used for the investigation of IL-17A and IL-17F expression in the airways by immunohistochemistry, and frozen sections were used for the immunofluorescence double staining of IL-17A or IL-17F paired with CD4 or CD8. In order to confirm the expression of IL-17A and IL-17F at the mRNA level, a quantitative RT-PCR was performed on the total mRNA extracted from entire section or CD8 positive cells selected by laser capture microdissection.

ResultsIL-17F immunoreactivity was significantly higher in the bronchial biopsies of COPD patients compared to control subjects P < 0.0001. In the submucosa, the absolute number of both IL-17A and IL-17F positive cells was higher in COPD patients P < 0.0001. After adjusting for the total number of cells in the submucosa, we still found that more cells were positive for both IL-17A P < 0.0001 and IL-17F P < 0.0001 in COPD patients compared to controls. The mRNA expression of IL-17A and IL-17F in airways of COPD patients was confirmed by RT-PCR. The expression of IL-17A and IL-17F was co-localized with not only CD4 but also CD8, which was further confirmed by RT-PCR on laser capture microdissection selected CD8 positive cells.

ConclusionThese findings support the notion that Th17 cytokines could play important roles in the pathogenesis of COPD, raising the possibility of using this mechanism as the basis for novel therapeutic approaches.

KeywordsChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease IL-17 Tc17 cells Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1465-9921-12-43 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Ying Chang - Jessica Nadigel - Nicholas Boulais - Jean Bourbeau - François Maltais - David H Eidelman - Qutayba Hamid


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