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Abstract No.: MoP-218
Session: Proteomics: General
Presentation date: Mon, Aug 28, 2006
Presentation time: 14:30 – 16:00

Protein Profiling of Human Bronchoalveolar Lavage of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients

Silvia Catinella1, Valentina Mileo1, Roberta Seraglia2, Paolo Antonioli3, Paola Puccini1, Gabriella Di Cola4, Pier Giorgio Righetti3, Francesco Amadei1

1 Chiesi Farmaceutici Spa, Parma, Italy
2 C. N. R., Istm, Padova, Italy
3 Politecnico Di Milano, Milano, Italy
4 Bio-tech Biotechnology Laboratories, Parma, Italy

Correspondence address: Silvia Catinella, Chiesi Farmaceutici Spa, Analytical Chemistry, Via Palermo 26/A, Parma, Italy, 43100 Italy.

Keywords: Electrophoresis, 2D; MALDI; MS/MS, Liquid Chromatography; Protein.

Novel aspect: The course of lung disorders can be investigated by studiyng cellular and molecular changes in BAL. Profiling of soluble and insoluble proteins/peptides in BAL form COPD patients, coud provide deeper knowledge of the mechanisms of the disease.


Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), commonly obtained by washing out the alveolar compartment of the lung with a sterile saline solution, is a complex fluid containing cells and a wide variety of soluble components (lipids, nucleic acids and proteins/peptides).
Chemical, physical and biological exposure as well as lung diseases, are able to induce modifications in its composition making it ideal for investigating many respiratory tract disorders. In particular, the protein and peptide composition of BAL is currently under major investigation: the identification of up- or down-regulated, modified or secreted proteins/peptides during the course of the disease may give important information about the mechanisms involved and possibly provide new targets for its treatment.
Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is a generic term that embraces several debilitating inflammatory pathologies and is characterised by a slowly progressive and irreversible deterioration in lung function. Of all respiratory disorders in the world, COPD is the most common with a rising global prevalence. However, COPD is heavily under-diagnosed (may be as much as 50%) and thus all reported figures are underestimated. Cigarette smoking is firmly established as the major cause of COPD, but only a minority of smokers (15%) develops symptomatic COPD. At present, routine diagnosis and management of COPD is based on clinical/pulmonary function parameters and respiratory medicine still needs to achieve a full characterisation.
The final aim of our investigation is to create a BAL protein database to be used as a basis for a future search of COPD biomarkers which may be used to perform a more accurate and, ideally, rapid determination of disease phenotype. Better characterisation is also needed because COPD shows a high degree of clinical heterogeneity which has an impact on response to treatment.
In addition, a better understanding of the relationship between biological markers and clinical outcomes may be crucial for identifying potentially new therapeutic targets.
In the present study, in order to achieve a general pattern of BAL protein components, samples coming from smoker and non-smoker COPD patients were combined and then analysed following a classical analytical approach, i.e. a combination of 2D-gel electrophoresis, MALDI/MS and LC/MS techniques.
Investigations are in progress. However, results so far on large number of separated spots, have led us to identify a series of species belonging to: plasma proteins, tissue repair and proliferation proteins, lipids metabolism as well as immunological response and inflammation proteins. Species with unknown function were also detected and are now matter of in-depth evaluations.