Studies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using animal models and patient plasma indicate dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism, but data in COPD lungs are sparse. Mass spectrometric and immunostaining measurements of lungs from 69 COPD, 16 smokers without COPD and 13 subjects with interstitial lung disease identified decoupling of lung ceramide and sphingosine-1 phosphate (S1P) levels and decreased sphingosine kinase-1 (SphK1) activity in COPD. The correlation of ceramide abundance in distal COPD lungs with apoptosis and the inverse correlation between SphK1 activity and presence of emphysema suggest that disruption of ceramide-to-S1P metabolism is an important determinant of emphysema phenotype in COPD.
- COPD pathology
- tobacco and the lung
- interstitial fibrosis
- COPD exacerbations mechanisms
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