Smokers with CT Detected Emphysema and No Airway Obstruction Have Decreased Plasma Levels of EGF, IL-15, IL-8 and IL-1ra


Low-grade inflammation and emphysema have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. However, the systemic inflammatory response in patients with emphysema is still unknown.To compare the plasma cytokine profiles in two groups of current or former smokers without airway obstruction: a control group of individuals without computed tomography (CT) detected emphysema vs. a study group of individuals with CT detected emphysema.Subjects underwent a chest CT, spirometry, and determination of EGF, IL-15, IL-1ra, IL-8, MCP-1, MIP-1β, TGFα, TNFα, and VEGF levels in plasma. Cytokine levels in each group were compared adjusting for confounding factors.160 current smokers and former smokers without airway obstruction participated in the study: 80 without emphysema and 80 subjects with emphysema. Adjusted group comparisons revealed significant reductions in EGF (−0.317, p = 0.01), IL-15 (−0.21, p = 0.01), IL-8 (−0.180, p = 0.02) and IL-1ra (−0.220, p = 0.03) in subjects with emphysema and normal spirometry.Current or former smokers expressing a well-defined disease characteristic such as emphysema, has a specific plasma cytokine profile. This includes a decrease of cytokines mainly implicated in activation of apoptosis or decrease of immunosurveillance. This information should be taken into account when evaluated patients with tobacco respiratory diseases

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This paper was published in Public Library of Science (PLOS).

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