An insight into COPD morphopathogenesis: Chronic inflammation, remodeling, and antimicrobial defense

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Background and Objectives: Intercellular signaling networks with high complexity cause a spectrum of mechanisms achieving chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that still question many uncertainties. Materials and Methods: Immunoreactive cells in bronchial tissue obtained from 40 COPD patients and 49 healthy control subjects were detected by biotin-streptavidin immunohistochemistry method for the following markers of IL-1α, IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, TNF-α, MMP-2, TIMP-2, TGF-β1, Hsp-70, hBD-2, hBD-3, hBD-4. Results: Overall the highest numbers (from mostly moderate (++) to abundance (++++)) of IL-1α, IL-4, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, MMP-2, TIMP-2, TGF-β1 immunoreactive cells were marked increasingly in the blood vessel wall, connective tissue, and bronchial epithelium of COPD-affected lung, respectively. We found statistically significant (p < 0.05) higher numbers of immunoreactive cells positive for all of examined interleukins, TNF-α, MMP-2, TIMP-2, TGF-β1, hBD-2, and hBD-3 in the COPD-affected lung compared to the control group, but not for Hsp-70 and hBD-4. Conclusions: COPD-affected lung tissue exhibits mostly inflammatory response patterns of increased IL-1α, IL-4, IL-8, IL-12, and TNF-α, especially in the airway epithelium. Increased MMP-2 and TGF-β1, but decreased Hsp-70, proposes pronounced tissue damage and remodeling in COPD. High numbers of hBD-2 and hBD-3 immunoreactive cells may highlight antimicrobial activity in COPD within stable regulation of local immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number496
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Airways
  • Chronic inflammation
  • COPD
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tissue

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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