To study the associations between exposure to bioaerosols and work-related symptoms, lung function and biomarkers of airway inflammation in compost workers.
Personal full-shift exposure measurements were performed on 47 workers employed at five windrow plants (n=20) and five reactor plants (n=27). Samples were analyzed for endotoxins, bacteria, fungal and actinomycetes spores. Health examinations were performed on workers and 37 controls before and after work on the day exposure was measured. The examinations included symptoms recorded by questionnaire, lung function by spirometry and nasal dimensions by acoustic rhinometry (AR). The pneumoproteins CC16, SP-D and SP-A were measured in a blood sample drawn at the end of the day.
The levels of endotoxins (median 3 EU/m(3), range 0-730 EU/m(3)) and actinomycetes spores (median 0.2 ? 10(6) spores/m(3), range 0-590 ? 10(6) spores/m(3)) were significantly higher in reactor plants compared to windrow plants. However, windrow composting workers reported more symptoms than reactor composting workers, probably due to use of respiratory protection. Exposure-response relationships between actinomycetes spores exposure and respiratory effects, found as cough and nose irritation during a shift, was significantly increased (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.1-16, OR 6.1, 95% CI 1.5-25, respectively, p
Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a defense collectin with inflammation-modulating properties. SP-D deficiency inhibits atherosclerosis in vivo, and the circulatory SP-D levels have been previously associated with cardiovascular disease mortality. We hypothesized that plasma SP-D (pSP-D) and SP-D gene (SFTPD) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are risk factors for atherosclerosis.
We evaluated individuals who were all 60 years old and participated in The Glostrup Population Study. Subclinical atherosclerosis was diagnosed based on the ultrasonographic measurement of intima-media thickness (IMT) and protruding plaques in the right carotid artery. Associations between cardiovascular traits and the levels of pSP-D (n = 687) or two coding SFTPD SNPs rs3088308 and rs721917 (n = 396) were investigated using multiple linear regressions and logistic regressions.
There was no significant association between pSP-D and the presence of plaques or IMT. The SFTPD SNP rs3088308 was nominally associated with the presence of plaques, and rs721917 was nominally associated with IMT. The directions of effects of associations were markedly dependent on current smoking status.
The results do not support that pSP-D levels influence the development of subclinical atherosclerosis. However, the SFTPD SNP data support previous observations from animal studies that SP-D plays a role in the etiology of atherosclerotic disease development. The nominal significant effects are likely to be mediated by structural variant SP-D modulation of effects of tobacco smoking and are independent of pSP-D levels. The data warrant confirmation in larger cohorts.
Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is produced in the lungs and additional mucosal surfaces. Systemic SP-D levels are previously associated to aging-related- and lifestyle-related disorders and predicts mortality in cardiovascular and lung diseases. However, the association between higher serum SP-D levels and mortality in the general population is unknown. We hypothesized that increased systemic levels of SP-D may be used as prognostic factor for assessing the mortality in the elderly.
SP-D serum levels were measured in 689 elderly subjects and mortality ratios were investigated after a 13-year follow-up period. Survival analysis showed that increasing quartiles of serum SP-D levels were associated to mortality in 70+ year old women (hazard ratio [HR], 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.93-1.78; p = 0.032) adjusted for age, smoking and BMI. Women with SP-D levels above 2100 ng/ml had significantly increased mortality when compared to elderly women with SP-D levels equal to or below 2100 ng/ml (HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.12-1.88; p = 0.005). The likelihood that the female twin with the highest SP-D level died first increased with increasing SP-D levels (p = 0.031) - that is, the bigger intra-pair difference in SP-D level, the higher the probability that the twin with the highest measure died first (odds ratio [OR], 1.66; p = 0.047).
The study demonstrates that higher circulating SP-D levels are associated with increased mortality rate in elderly women in this population-based cohort study. SP-D may serve as a biomarker to track the cardio-pulmonary health status in elderly women.
Small studies have suggested that inhaled corticosteroids can suppress systemic inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
To determine the effect of inhaled corticosteroids with or without long-acting beta(2)-adrenergic agonist on systemic biomarkers of inflammation.
We conducted a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial across 11 centers (n = 289 patients with FEV(1) of 47.8 +/- 16.2% of predicted) to compare the effects of inhaled fluticasone alone or in combination with salmeterol against placebo on circulating biomarkers of systemic inflammation over 4 weeks. The primary endpoint was C-reactive protein (CRP) level. Secondary molecules of interest were IL-6 and surfactant protein D (SP-D).
Neither fluticasone nor the combination of fluticasone/salmeterol had a significant effect on CRP or IL-6 levels. There was, however, a significant reduction in SP-D levels with fluticasone and fluticasone/salmeterol compared with placebo (P = 0.002). Health status also improved significantly in both the fluticasone and fluticasone/salmeterol groups compared with placebo, driven mostly by improvements in the symptom scores. Changes in the circulating SP-D levels were related to changes in health status scores. FEV(1) improved significantly only in the fluticasone/salmeterol group compared with placebo.
ICS in conjunction with long-acting beta(2)-adrenergic agonist do not reduce CRP or IL-6 levels in serum of patients with COPD over 4 weeks. They do, however, significantly reduce serum SP-D levels. These data suggest that these drugs reduce lung-specific but not generalized biomarkers of systemic inflammation in COPD.
Comment In: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Jun 1;177(11):1177-818487618
Comment In: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Jan 15;179(2):170; author reply 170-119119152
Major cause of prematurity is spontaneous preterm birth (PTB) associated with intrauterine inflammation. Our aim was to establish a model of endotoxin Lipopolysaccharide-induced PTB of live-born pups and to study early immune activation in fetal and maternal compartments. Expression of several proteins that bind microbes (Toll-like receptors TLR4, TLR2; surfactant proteins SP-A, SP-D) was analyzed. At 16 or 17 d of gestation, C57BL/6 dams received a single dose of intraperitoneal LPS, leading to PTB within 17 h. Cytokine levels increased in maternal serum, followed by a modest increase in fetal serum and in amniotic fluid. In uterus, placenta, and fetal membranes, LPS mostly increased the expressions of TLR, SPs, and cytokines. The number of TLR2-positive macrophages increased in labyrinthine placenta. In fetal lung, intestine, liver, and brain there were modest changes in cytokine expressions. In fetal lung, SP and TLR mRNAs decreased and TLR2-positive macrophages redistributed around vessels. LPS-induced fetal deaths associated with early age (16 d gestation) rather than with proinflammatory activation. Here we propose that maternal LPS response leads to PTB and acute decrease of immune proteins in epithelial lining of fetal lung. Instead, acceleration of lung maturity has been previously observed in intraamniotic inflammation.
The PROTECCT-M study: a cohort study investigating associations between novel specific biomarkers, patient-related, healthcare system markers and the trajectory of COPD patients treated in primary care.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the most common severe chronic disease in primary care. It is typically diagnosed at a late stage, and it is also difficult to predict its trajectory and hence to tailor treatment and rehabilitation. The overall aim is to study determinants of exacerbations of COPD treated in primary care and to study, if the prognosis is related to patient-related, healthcare system markers or levels of the potential biomarkers such as microfibrillar-associated protein 4 (MFAP4) and surfactant protein D (SP-D). Furthermore, we aim to establish a cohort of COPD patients treated in Danish primary care comprising register data, data captured from the GPs' electronic patient record system (EPR) and a biobank in order to make analyses on factors associated with different tractories of COPD treated in primary care.
A cohort study of incident and prevalent COPD patients treated and followed by their GPs using data capture, which is a computer system collecting data from the GPs' own EPR and transferring them to the Danish General Practice Research Database. The participating COPD patients were investigated at a baseline consultation by their own GP, and the results were registered using a pop-up menu by the GP. During the consultation blood samples were taken and the patients were given a questionnaire. The patients will then be followed prospectively at yearly consultations and in between these consultations by means of the data capture system. The collected data will also be combined with register data from other sources. The data collection started in December 2012, and so far 30 practices with 77 GPs have included about 350 patients. The study aims to include 2000 patients till the end of 2016, and after that to continue to collect data on these patients using the data capture system.
The GP currently lacks tools to predict trajectory of their COPD patients. The measurement of lung function only reflects loss of lung capacity and not disease activity. Use of biomarkers for detection of early COPD could be a possible way of predicting trajectory to aid both the GP and his/her patients. This study aims to provide evidence of determinants of a COPD trajectory, including novel specific biomarkers and other patient- and healthcare system-related markers.
In a previous study on smelter workers we, found significant relationship between exposure to dust and accelerated annual decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). In this cross-sectional study at the end of a follow-up, we aimed to investigate the possible association between annual decline in FEV1 and markers of airways, and systemic inflammation in smelter workers.
Employees (n=76 (27 current smokers)) who had been part of a longitudinal study (9-13 years) that included spirometry (>6 measurements) and respiratory questionnaires, performed induced sputum, exhaled NO and had blood drawn. Participants with annual decline in FEV1=45 mL were compared with participants with annual decline
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the major respiratory tract pathogen in infancy. Host-related differences in susceptibility to severe RSV infection suggest that genetic factors may play a role. In this study, a candidate-gene approach was used to study whether the surfactant protein D (SP-D) gene polymorphism associates with severe RSV infection. DNA samples from 84 infants hospitalized for the treatment of RSV bronchiolitis and 93 healthy controls were analyzed. The controls were matched with the cases on the basis of sex, hospital district, date of birth (+/-2 wk) and gestational age at birth (+/-2 wk). Three biallelic SP-D gene polymorphisms were genotyped. Significant differences were observed in the SP-D allele frequencies for amino acid 11 between the RSV infants and their matched controls. The frequency of the allele coding for Met 11 (p = 0.033) was increased in the severe RSV group. The frequency of the homozygous genotype Met/Met for amino acid 11 was increased in the RSV group relative to the controls, whereas the heterozygous genotype tended to be less frequent among the RSV cases than in the matched controls. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to study whether the confounders, i.e. smoking and number of children in the family, influence the association between the homozygous SP-D genotype for methionine 11 and the risk of RSV bronchiolitis. The results further confirmed this association (p = 0.028). To our knowledge, the present report provides the first evidence of a specific gene associated with susceptibility to severe RSV infection.
Variation in surfactant protein D (SP-D) is associated with lung function in tobacco smoke-induced chronic respiratory disease. We hypothesized that the same association exists in the general population and could be used to identify individuals sensitive to smoke-induced lung damage. The association between serum SP-D (sSP-D) and expiratory lung function was assessed in a cross-sectional design in a Danish twin population (n = 1,512, 18-72 yr old). The adjusted heritability estimates for expiratory lung function, associations between SP-D gene (SFTPD) single-nucleotide polymorphisms or haplotypes, and expiratory lung function were assessed using twin study methodology and mixed-effects models. Significant inverse associations were evident between sSP-D and the forced expiratory volume in 1 s and forced vital capacity in the presence of current tobacco smoking but not in nonsmokers. The two SFTPD single-nucleotide polymorphisms, rs1923536 and rs721917, and haplotypes, including these single-nucleotide polymorphisms or rs2243539, were inversely associated with expiratory lung function in interaction with smoking. In conclusion, SP-D is phenotypically and genetically associated with lung function measures in interaction with tobacco smoking. The obtained data suggest sSP-D as a candidate biomarker in risk assessments for subclinical tobacco smoke-induced lung damage. The data and derived conclusion warrant confirmation in a longitudinal population following chronic obstructive pulmonary disease initiation and development.
Surfactant protein (SP) A and SP-D are collectins that have roles in host defense. The Eustachian tube (ET) maintains the patency between the upper airways and the middle ear. Dysfunction of local mucosal immunity in ET may predispose infants to recurrent otitis media. We recently described preliminary evidence of the expression of SP-A and SP-D in the ET. Our present aim was to establish the sites of SP-A and SP-D expression within the epithelium of the ET in vivo. With in situ hybridization, electron microscopy, and immunoelectron microscopy, the cells responsible for SP-A and SP-D expression and storage were identified. SP-A expression was localized within the ET epithelium, and the protein was found in the electron-dense granules of microvillar epithelial cells. Being concentrated in the epithelial lining, only a few cells revealed intracellular SP-D, and it was not associated with granules. The SP-A and SP-D immunoreactivities in ET lavage fluid, as shown by Western blot analyses, were similar to those in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We propose that there are specialized cells in the ET epithelium expressing and secreting SP-A and SP-D. SP-A and SP-D may be important for antibody-independent protection of the middle ear against infections.