IgG Sensitization to Extracellular Vesicles in Indoor Dust Is Closely Associated With the Prevalence of Non-Eosinophilic Asthma, COPD, and Lung Cancer

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2016 May;8(3):198-205. doi: 10.4168/aair.2016.8.3.198.


Purpose: Recent experimental evidence shows that extracellular vesicles (EVs) in indoor dust induce neurtrophilic pulmonary inflammation, which is a characteristic pathology in patients with severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, COPD is known to be an important risk factor for lung cancer, irrespective of cigarette smoking. Here, we evaluated whether sensitization to indoor dust EVs is a risk for the development of asthma, COPD, or lung cancer.

Methods: Serum IgG antibodies against dust EVs were measured in 90 healthy control subjects, 294 asthmatics, 242 COPD patients, and 325 lung cancer patients. Serum anti-dust EV IgG titers were considered high if they exceeded a 95 percentile value of the control subjects. Age-, gender-, and cigarette smoke-adjusted multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to determine odds ratios (ORs) for asthma, COPD, and lung cancer patients vs the control subjects.

Results: In total, 4.4%, 13.6%, 29.3%, and 54.9% of the control, asthma, COPD, and lung cancer groups, respectively, had high serum anti-dust EV IgG titers. Adjusted multiple logistic regression revealed that sensitization to dust EVs (high serum anti-dust EV IgG titer) was an independent risk factor for asthma (adjusted OR, 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-10.0), COPD (adjusted OR, 8.0; 95% CI, 2.0-32.5) and lung cancer (adjusted OR, 38.7; 95% CI, 10.4-144.3).

Conclusions: IgG sensitization to indoor dust EVs appears to be a major risk for the development of asthma, COPD, and lung cancer.

Keywords: COPD; Extracellular vesicles; IgG sensitization; asthma; indoor dust; lung cancer.