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Identification of two immune system changes that may contribute to infectious pathology in cystic fibrosis


Roddam, LF and Mulcahy, E and Hudson, JB and Beggs, S and Griffin, P and Cooley, MA, Identification of two immune system changes that may contribute to infectious pathology in cystic fibrosis, BacPath 2013, October 2013, Moreton Island, Australia (2013) [Conference Extract]

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) affects 80,000 individuals worldwide and is caused by either abnormal or nonfunctional cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulatory (CFTR) protein, which is normally expressed by epithelial cells and lymphocytes and primarily functions as a chloride channel. CFTR deficiency in respiratory epithelial cells has been well studied and results in the accumulation of thick and sticky mucus lining the airways, promoting infection and preventing normal function of the mucociliary escalator and cough clearance. Despite a vigorous immune response in people with CF, chronic respiratory tract infections, particularly with Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the major cause of morbidity and mortality. We have identified two types of changes in the immune systems of people with CF that may contribute to their inability to clear respiratory infections.

PPARγ is an important anti-inflammatory transcriptional regulator. We have demonstrated a reduced level of PPARγ in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell pellets from children with CF was specifically associated with P. aeruginosa infection rather than with infection in general. We propose this decrease is a consequence of PPARγ antagonism by the major Pseudomonas quorum sensing regulator, 3OC12HSL.

The role of CFTR-deficient lymphocytes in disease pathology is poorly understood yet evidence suggests a systemic hyperinflammatory state exists in CF implying an intrinsic failure to control inflammation. We hypothesised that a primary CFTR-mediated defect in T cells alters their function. Using flow cytometry we identified normal levels of CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood of people with CF but altered proportions of regulatory CD4 T cell subsets. We found a significantly higher level of FoxP3+ Tregs and IL-10 producing and TGFβ-producing CD4+ T cells in people with CF than in healthy controls and a significant positive correlation between increased levels of TGFβ-producing CD4+ T cells and P. aeruginosa infection.

In conclusion, understanding changes in the immune response of people with CF has the potential to identify new therapeutic targets.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:cystic fibrosis, immunity, lung infection, inflammation
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Infectious diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Roddam, LF (Dr Louise Roddam)
UTAS Author:Mulcahy, E (Miss Emily Mulcahy)
UTAS Author:Hudson, JB (Ms Jo Hudson)
UTAS Author:Beggs, S (Dr Sean Beggs)
UTAS Author:Griffin, P (Dr Phoebe Griffin)
UTAS Author:Cooley, MA (Associate Professor Margaret Cooley)
ID Code:108313
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2016-04-18
Last Modified:2016-05-30

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