BACKGROUND: COPD represents a multifactorial lung disorder with high morbidity and mortality. Despite intensive research concerning the underlying disease mechanisms, the involvement of the CD200/CD200R axis in supporting or preventing the onset of COPD has not yet been addressed. Since the CD200/CD200R axis is crucially implicated in the maintenance of pulmonary immune homeostasis, we hypothesized that it might be involved in controlling the onset of COPD.
METHODS: To address this, we analyzed the serum samples from COPD patients and normal controls for soluble (s) CD200 and correlated the data to COPD-relevant clinical parameters. In addition, basic studies were conducted in CD200-deficient and wild-type mice in which COPD-like inflammation was induced with elastase/LPS followed by lung and serum component analysis.
RESULTS: We observed a positive correlation between serum sCD200 and IL-6 levels as well as a trend toward a negative correlation of sCD200 with vitamin D3 in COPD patients. Further investigations in mice revealed that despite elevated serum concentration of MMP-9 in CD200KO mice, the early onset of COPD-like lung inflammation was similar in CD200-deficient and wild-type animals in terms of immune cell infiltration, emphysematous changes, and mucus overproduction.
CONCLUSIONS: While our murine studies suggest that the co-inhibitory molecule CD200 does not appear to play a prominent role in the early onset of COPD-like features, correlation of sCD200 serum levels with COPD-related parameters in humans with established disease revealed that the CD200/CD200R axis may be mechanistically linked to the disease course in COPD patients.
- CD200/CD200R axis
- LPS/elastase model
- CD200-deficient mice