Mendivil CO, Koziel H, Brain JD.
Our current understanding of hormone regulation in lung parenchyma is quite limited. We aimed to quantify a diverse array of biologically relevant protein mediators in alveolar lining fluid (ALF), compared to serum concentrations, and explore factors associated with protein compartmentalization on either side of the air-blood barrier.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:
Participants were 24 healthy adult non-smoker volunteers without respiratory symptoms or significant medical conditions, with normal lung exams and office spirometry. Cell-free bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and serum were analyzed for 24 proteins (including enteric and metabolic hormones, apolipoproteins, adipokines, and cytokines) using a highly sensitive multiplex ELISA. Measurements were normalized to ALF concentrations. The ALF:serum concentration ratios were examined in relation to measures of protein size, hydrophobicity, charge, and to participant clinical and spirometric values.
ALF measurements from 24 individuals detected 19 proteins, including adiponectin, adipsin, apoA-I, apoA-II, apoB, apoC-II, apoC-III, apoE, C-reactive protein, ghrelin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucagon, insulin, leptin, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, resistin, and visfatin. C-peptide and serpin E1 were not detected in ALF for any individual, and IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-alpha were not detected in either ALF or serum for any individual. In general, ALF levels were similar or lower in concentration for most proteins compared to serum. However, ghrelin, resistin, insulin, visfatin and GLP-1 had ALF concentrations significantly higher compared to serum. Importantly, elevated ALF:serum ratios of ghrelin, visfatin and resistin correlated with protein net charge and isoelectric point, but not with molecular weight or hydrophobicity.
Biologically relevant enteric and metabolic hormones, apolipoproteins, adipokines, and cytokines can be detected in the ALF of healthy individuals. For the proteins measured, charge may influence trafficking and compartmentalization to the alveolar airspace more than molecular weight or hydrophobicity. These data may have implications for homeostasis and drug delivery to the lung.