Human neutrophil defensins and secretory leukocyte proteinase inhibitor in squamous metaplastic epithelium of bronchial airways.Inflamm Res. 2004 Jun; 53(6):230-8.IR
The aim of this study was to analyze a possible contribution of human neutrophil defensins and secretory leukocyte proteinase inhibitor (SLPI) to the induction of airway epithelial changes such as squamous cell metaplasia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The presence of these molecules and the number of proliferating (Ki-67-positive) epithelial cells was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in bronchial epithelium from subjects with (n = 15) or without (n = 14) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Our data demonstrate higher numbers of defensin-positive (p = 0.0001), elastase-positive (p = 0.0001) and Ki-67-positive (p = 0.0001) cells in areas with squamous cell metaplasia as compared to areas with intact or damaged epithelium, while the reverse was observed for SLPI expression (p = 0.002). No differences were observed between subjects with or without COPD, nor between current smokers and those that had stopped smoking.
These data are in line with a role of defensins in the hyperproliferative phenotype of squamous metaplastic lesions in the airways. This role does not seem to be restricted to patients with COPD.