Expression of adhesion molecules and G proteins in circulating neutrophils in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Nov;158(5 Pt 1):1664-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.158.5.9712092.


We investigated the expression of adhesion molecules in circulating neutrophils (lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 [LFA-1], Mac-1, and L-selectin) and endothelial cells (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1[sICAM-1]) in 23 patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 18 subjects with exacerbated COPD, and 23 healthy volunteers. Also, in these circulating neutrophils, we assessed the expression of two G protein subunits (Galphas and Galphai1/2). Compared with control subjects, patients with stable COPD showed increased expression of Mac-1 (p < 0.001) and lower levels of sICAM-1 (p = 0.002); LFA-1 and L-selectin expression was similar in patients and control subjects. During exacerbations, compared with stable patients, the expression of Mac-1 and LFA-1 was reduced (p < 0.001). Finally, the expression of Galphas (but not Galphai1/2) was also reduced (p < 0.001) in circulating neutrophils of patients with COPD, irrespective of the clinical condition of the patient. These results indicate that in patients with COPD: (1) the expression of some neutrophil adhesion molecules (Mac-1) is abnormal, and that this pattern changes during exacerbations; (2) there may be a form of endothelial dysfunction, as suggested by the low sICAM-1 levels; (3) the expression of G protein subunit (Galphas) in circulating neutrophils is downregulated, irrespective of their clinical conditions. Overall, these results indicate the presence of significant systemic abnormalities in COPD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cell Separation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / analysis*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis*
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • L-Selectin / analysis*
  • L-Selectin / genetics
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / metabolism*
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / analysis*
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / genetics
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / analysis*
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / genetics
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / metabolism


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • L-Selectin
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate