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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Sep;160(3):930-3.

Clara cell protein-positive epithelial cells are reduced in small airways of asthmatics.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Clara cell 10 kilodalton protein (CC10), the predominant product from nonciliated cells in the epithelial lining of bronchioles (Clara cells), has been shown to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity, and may play roles in controlling inflammation in the airway. This study was designed to examine immunohistochemical expression of CC10 in epithelial cells in small airways (perimeter < 6 mm) of asthmatic and control nonsmokers who underwent lung resection because of peripheral lung carcinoma and to compare CC10-positive epithelial cell proportions with numbers of inflammatory cells in small airways of asthmatics. Significantly decreased proportions of CC10-positive epithelial cells and significantly increased numbers of T cells, activated eosinophils, and mast cells in small airways of asthmatics were found compared with those of control subjects. CC10-positive epithelial cell proportions inversely correlated with numbers of T cells and mast cells in small airways of asthmatics. Decreases of CC10-producing cells may give an accelerating cause for further aggravation of inflammatory responses in chronic asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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