Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Respir Med. 2004 Jan;98(1):57-65.

Induced sputum CD8+ T-lymphocyte subpopulations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Author information

Department of Thoracic Medicine, University of Crete, Medical School, P.O. Box 1352, Heraklion 71110, Crete, Greece.



Previous studies have shown that the inflammatory response to cigarette smoking differs between smokers who develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and those who do not and that the CD8+ T-lymphocytes have been identified as a key player in this process. The aim of this study was to investigate further the role of CD8+ cells and their subtypes in sputum cells.


Sputum induction was performed in 36 COPD patients, 25 smokers without COPD and 10 non-smoking healthy controls. After stimulation of sputum lymphocytes with phorbol-myristate-acetate, we used double immunocytochemical methods to identify CD4+, CD8+ cells and CD8+ INFgamma or IL4 cells (Tc1,Tc2).


COPD patients had an increased number of CD8+ cells in sputum as compared with smokers without COPD (P = 0.0001) and control subjects (P = 0.001). CD8+-IL4 cells were reduced both in COPD and in smokers without COPD compared to controls (P = 0.0001), while CD8+-IFNgamma cells were significantly reduced only in COPD (P = 0.001) as compared with controls. A significant (P = 0.02) relationship between the CD8+-IL4/CD8+-IFNgamma ratio and FEV1 (% pred) was found only in COPD patients.


These findings suggest that an imbalance both in T-lymphocyte subpopulation (CD4/CD8) and in CD8+ cell subsets (Tc1/Tc2) characterizes the inflammatory responses of smokers with established COPD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center