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Title
Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation characterises stable and exacerbated COPD and correlates with airflow limitation
AuthorGrabcanovic-Musija, Fikreta ; Obermayer, Astrid ; Stoiber, Walter ; Krautgartner, Wolf-Dietrich ; Steinbacher, Peter ; Winterberg, Nicole ; Bathke, Arne Cornelius ; Klappacher, Michaela ; Studnicka, Michael
Published in
Respiratory Research, London, 2015, Vol. 2015, Issue 1, page 1-12
PublishedBioMed Central, 2015
LanguageEnglish
Document typeJournal Article
ISSN1465-993X
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-3122 Persistent Identifier (URN)
DOI10.1186/s12931-015-0221-7 
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 The work is publicly available
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Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation characterises stable and exacerbated COPD and correlates with airflow limitation [1.78 mb]
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Abstract (English)

<span>Background: COPD is a progressive disease of the airways that is characterized by </span><span class="searchterm">neutrophilic</span><span> inflammation, a condition known to promote the excessive formation of </span><span class="searchterm">neutrophil</span><span> extracellular traps (NETs). The presence of large amounts of NETs has recently been demonstrated for a variety of inflammatory lung diseases including cystic fibrosis, asthma and exacerbated COPD. Objective: We test whether excessive NET generation is restricted to exacerbation of COPD or whether it also occurs during stable periods of the disease, and whether NET presence and amount correlates with the severity of airflow limitation. Patients, materials and methods: Sputum samples from four study groups were examined: COPD patients during acute exacerbation, patients with stable disease, and smoking and non-smoking controls without airflow limitation. Sputum induction followed the ECLIPSE protocol. Confocal laser microscopy (CLSM) and electron microscopy were used to analyse samples. Immunolabelling and fluorescent DNA staining were applied to trace NETs and related marker proteins. CLSM specimens served for quantitative evaluation. Results: Sputum of COPD patients is clearly characterised by NETs and NET-forming </span><span class="searchterm">neutrophils</span><span>. The presence of large amounts of NET is associated with disease severity ( p < 0.001): over 90 % in exacerbated COPD, 45 % in stable COPD, and 25 % in smoking controls, but less than 5 % in non-smokers. Quantification of NET-covered areas in sputum preparations confirms these results. Conclusions: NET formation is not confined to exacerbation but also present in stable COPD and correlates with the severity of airflow limitation. We infer that NETs are a major contributor to chronic inflammatory and lung tissue damage in COPD.</span>

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CC-BY-License (4.0)Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License