Lung allograft donors with excessive alcohol use have increased levels of human antimicrobial peptide LL-37. Journal Article


Authors: Camargo Moreno, M; Lewis, JB; Kovacs, EJ; Lowery, EM
Article Title: Lung allograft donors with excessive alcohol use have increased levels of human antimicrobial peptide LL-37.
Abstract: The relatively low long-term survival rate of lung transplants as compared to other organ recipients serves as an impetus to identify potential lung dysfunction as early as possible. There is an association between donor heavy alcohol use and acute lung injury in the lung allograft after transplant, known as primary graft dysfunction. Excessive alcohol use (EAU) can induce pulmonary immune dysregulation in response to an infection. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an important component of the innate immune response to pulmonary infections, but the impact of EAU on AMPs in the allograft lung has not been evaluated. Our hypothesis is that specific lung AMPs, LL-37, a-defensin-1,2,3, and ß-defensin-2, are dysregulated in the lungs from organ donors who had EAU. In this prospective observational investigation, we measured AMPs via ELISA and inflammatory cytokines via multiplex bead array, in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of lung allograft donors, comparing results based on their alcohol consumption. LL-37 levels in lung donors with EAU were found to be increased compared to nondrinker (ND) donors [median 7.7 ng/ml (IQR 4.1-37.0) vs 2.3 ng/ml (IQR 1.1-7.9), p=0.004] whereas a-defensins-1,2,3 was decreased only in the presence of an infection in donors with EAU compared to ND donors [median 2.2 ng/ml (IQR 1.6-2.4) vs 3.2 ng/ml (IQR 2.3-3.8), p=0.049]. There was no difference in ß-defensin-2 levels. Gene expression levels of these AMPs were not different. Elevated levels of CXCL8 were noted in bronchial washings of donors with EAU compared to ND donors, [median 4372 pg/ml (IQR 3352-13180) vs 867.3 pg/ml (IQR 163.6-3675), p=0.04] suggesting a potentially heightened inflammatory response. At 1 month post-transplant, LL-37 and CXCL8 levels are decreased compared to levels at time of transplant. In lung donors with EAU, LL-37 and a-defensins-1,2,3 dysregulated levels in the presence of an infection may be a harbinger of dysfunction of the lungs through the transplant process.
Journal Title: Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.)
ISSN: 1873-6823; 0741-8329
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2018
LUC Authors
  1. Erin Lowery
    17 Lowery
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