Lymphoid follicles in (very) severe COPD: beneficial or harmful?

G. G. Brusselle*, T. Demoor, K. R. Bracke, C-A. Brandsma, W. Timens

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

98 Citaten (Scopus)


Inflammation is a main pathogenetic factor in the development and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Recently, it has become clear that not only the innate, but also the specific immune response plays a role. A striking finding, in particular in lungs of patients with severe COPD, often with a predominant emphysema phenotype, is the presence of B-cell follicles. As seen in other tissues, these follicles are the result of lymphoid neogenesis. The finding of oligoclonality in B-cell follicles in COPD suggests that they play a role in local antigen specific immune responses. To date, it is not known which antigens may be involved; microbial antigens, cigarette smoke-derived antigens and antigens from extracellular matrix breakdown products have been suggested. Consequently, the pathogenetic role of this follicular B-cell response is not yet clear. It might be protective against microbial colonisation and infection of the lower respiratory tract and, therefore, beneficial, or it could be of a more harmful (autoimmune) nature, directed against lung tissue components. It is necessary to determine the specific antigen(s) and to explore the exact role of the COPD related B-cell response in order to include modulation of this response and develop therapeutic options.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)219-230
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftEuropean Respiratory Journal
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - jul-2009

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