Clara cell protein-positive epithelial cells are reduced in small airways of asthmatics

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Sep;160(3):930-3. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.160.3.9803113.


Clara cell 10 kilodalton protein (CC10), the predominant product from nonciliated cells in the epithelial lining of bronchioles (Clara cells), has been shown to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity, and may play roles in controlling inflammation in the airway. This study was designed to examine immunohistochemical expression of CC10 in epithelial cells in small airways (perimeter < 6 mm) of asthmatic and control nonsmokers who underwent lung resection because of peripheral lung carcinoma and to compare CC10-positive epithelial cell proportions with numbers of inflammatory cells in small airways of asthmatics. Significantly decreased proportions of CC10-positive epithelial cells and significantly increased numbers of T cells, activated eosinophils, and mast cells in small airways of asthmatics were found compared with those of control subjects. CC10-positive epithelial cell proportions inversely correlated with numbers of T cells and mast cells in small airways of asthmatics. Decreases of CC10-producing cells may give an accelerating cause for further aggravation of inflammatory responses in chronic asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / metabolism*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Bronchi / immunology
  • Bronchi / metabolism*
  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Cell Count
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteins / immunology
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Uteroglobin*


  • Proteins
  • SCGB1A1 protein, human
  • Uteroglobin