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