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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Mar;161(3 Pt 1):1016-21.

Goblet cell hyperplasia and epithelial inflammation in peripheral airways of smokers with both symptoms of chronic bronchitis and chronic airflow limitation.

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  • 1Institute of Occupational Medicine, University of Padova, Italy. saetta@ux1.unipd.it

Abstract

To quantify the number of goblet cells and inflammatory cells in the epithelium of peripheral airways in smokers with both symptoms of chronic bronchitis and chronic airflow limitation, we examined surgical specimens obtained from 25 subjects undergoing lung resection for localized pulmonary lesions: 10 smokers with symptoms of chronic bronchitis and chronic airflow limitation, six asymptomatic smokers with normal lung function, and nine nonsmoking control subjects. Peripheral airways were examined with histochemical methods to identify goblet cells and with immunohistochemical methods to identify total leukocytes (CD45(+) cells), neutrophils, macrophages, CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells in the epithelium. When compared with nonsmokers, smokers with both symptoms of chronic bronchitis and chronic airflow limitation had an increased number of goblet cells (p < 0.01), CD45(+) cells (p < 0. 01), macrophages (p < 0.05), and CD8(+) cells (p < 0.01) in the epithelium of peripheral airways. When all the smokers were grouped together, they showed an increased number of neutrophils (p < 0.05) along with an increased number of goblet cells, CD45(+) cells, macrophages and CD8(+) cells (p < 0.05) compared with nonsmokers. In conclusion, smokers with both symptoms of chronic bronchitis and chronic airflow limitation have an increased number of goblet cells and inflammatory cells in the epithelium of peripheral airways.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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