Elevated BALF concentrations of alpha- and beta-defensins in patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.Respir Med. 2007 Apr; 101(4):715-21.RM
Defensins are endogenous antibiotics and regulators of inflammation, immunity and wound repair. Their concentrations are substantially increased in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of patients with infectious lung diseases. alpha-defensin (HAD) levels are also elevated in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and correlated with the decline in pulmonary function tests, suggesting the association of defensins with the pathogenesis of interstitial lung diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the profile of defensins in interstitial lung diseases. Serum and BALF levels of HAD and beta-defensin 1 and 2 (HBD-1, and -2) were measured by radioimmunoassay in 63 patients with interstitial lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), IPF, nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) and pulmonary sarcoidosis, and in 9 healthy volunteers as controls. Levels of HAD in BALF of patients with PAP were significantly higher than those in controls and patients with COP and sarcoidosis. Serum levels of HAD in all groups were significantly higher than those in controls. Levels of HBD-1 and -2 in BALF of patients with PAP were extremely high in all subjects. Serum levels of HBD-1 were higher in all patient groups, with the exception of those with PAP, and those of HBD-2 were also higher in patients with IPF and sarcoidosis, compared with controls. BALF of PAP patients, but not IPF patients and controls, expressed antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Our findings suggest different kinetics of HAD and HBD-1 and -2 in serum and BALF of interstitial lung diseases and that these antimicrobial peptides in the airway lumen may contribute to prevention of bacterial airway infections in PAP.