Exploring the time dependence of serum clara cell protein as a biomarker of pulmonary injury in humans

Chest. 2006 Sep;130(3):672-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.130.3.672.


We have previously demonstrated Clara cell protein (CC16) [secretoglobin 1A1] in serum to be a highly sensitive biomarker of altered lung epithelial permeability after ozone challenge. As a previous experimental study has indicated a diurnal variation in serum CC16 in humans, the aims of the present investigation were to confirm this observation and to attempt to model the diurnal variation in CC16 concentrations. In 18 healthy nonsmoking subjects, peripheral blood samples were drawn at six sampling points over a 15-h period and repeated twice within 3 to 4 weeks. A clear within-day variation was revealed in serum CC16 concentrations, falling significantly from baseline levels between the 11:30 am and 10:00 pm time points (p = 0.000). Furthermore, it was shown that this within-day variation was reproducible regardless of subject or day, enabling the diurnal variation in serum CC16 to be modeled and fitted a second-degree polynomial for the observed time span. In conclusion, the present data demonstrate a pronounced time-dependent diurnal variation in serum levels of CC16, which can be mathematically compensated for, when addressing the issue of an air pollution-induced effect on CC16 in field studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / blood
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Ozone / adverse effects*
  • Ozone / pharmacology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / drug effects
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / physiopathology
  • Respiratory System / injuries*
  • Respiratory System / pathology
  • Respiratory System / physiopathology
  • Uteroglobin / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • SCGB1A1 protein, human
  • Ozone
  • Uteroglobin