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Modulatory Effects of Aspergillus Colonization and Abpa on Blood and Sputum Granulocytes in CF
Saturday, March 5, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Yael Gernez, Jeffrey Waters, Colleen E. Dunn, Zoe Davies, Cassie Everson, Rabindra Tirouvanziam, Leonore Herzenberg, Richard B. Moss, MD
Rationale: Fifteen to sixty percent of CF patients are colonized with Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) [CF-AC] and are at risk for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis [CF-ABPA]. Although airways inflammation in CF is typically characterized by neutrophilia, ABPA-associated inflammation is defined by eosinophilia. We hypothesized that blood basophil and blood and sputum eosinophils and/or neutrophils may be primed or activated in CF-ABPA or CF-AC patients when compared to CF patients without Af colonization or ABPA [CF].

Methods: Using flow cytometry, we measured surface CD63 and CD203c on basophil and Dectin 1, CD16, CD63 and CD66b on blood and induced sputum neutrophils as well as surface CCR3 (eotaxin receptor) on eosinophils from CF-ABPA (N=11), CF-AC (N=9), and CF (N=10) patients. We also studied the blood granulocytes from patients with celiac disease as controls. We measured serum IL-17 by Elisa.

Results: No differences were observed within the three groups of CF patients in any activation surface markers on blood neutrophils or on IL-17 levels. Levels of surface CCR3 on blood eosinophils and CD203c on basophils were increased in CF-ABPA patients compared to CF-AC (0.04 and <10-3respectively). In the sputum, the levels of surface CD66b were higher on the neutrophils from patients with CF compared to CF-AC (P=0.03).

Conclusions: Blood neutrophil activation profiles are similar in CF, CF-AC and CF-ABPA patients, while the observed increased expression of CCR3 on blood eosinophils from patients with CF-ABPA indicates the systemic immunopathology of this complication, complements our previously described activation of blood basophils in CF-ABPA (ERJ accepted).