Resource Logo

Peripheral blood lymphocyte cell subsets in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: association with smoking, IgE and lung function.


Respir Med. 1997 Feb;91(2):67-76. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

In contrast to the numerous studies which show that lymphocytes play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma, few studies have investigated the role of lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of the present study was to investigate lymphocyte subsets in peripheral venous blood of smoking and non-smoking COPD patients and healthy controls. The interaction of smoking and IgE has also been assessed, and it was investigated whether a lower level of FEV1 was associated with changes in lymphocyte subsets. In the present study, peripheral venous blood lymphocyte subsets were investigated in 42 smoking and non-smoking, non-atopic subjects with a clear diagnosis of COPD (43-74 years) who all used bronchodilator therapy only, and in 24 normal, healthy control subjects (40-72 years). No significant differences in lymphocyte subsets were found when either total groups or smoking subjects of both groups were compared. However, the percentage of CD8+ lymphocytes (suppressor/ cytotoxic T-cells) was significantly higher in the non-smoking COPD subjects compared with the non-smoking, healthy control subjects (P < 0.05). In addition, within the group of non-smoking COPD subjects, a higher CD4:CD8 ratio was associated with a higher FEV1 as a percentage of predicted (% pred.) (r = 0.55, P = 0.01) and a lower total serum IgE (r = -0.45, P = 0.04). Within the group of smoking COPD subjects, a higher FEV1 % pred. was associated with a higher percentage of CD19+ lymphocytes (B-cells) (r = 0.65, P < 0.01). The present study provides further evidence that the changes in the balance of T-cell subsets and IgE synthesis possibly plays a role in the pathogenesis of COPD.

*IgE/BLOOD *Lung/PHYSIOPATHOLOGY *Lung Diseases, Obstructive/IMMUNOLOGY *Smoking/IMMUNOLOGY *T-Lymphocyte Subsets


Information in this article was accurate in June 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.