Granzyme K: a novel mediator in acute airway inflammation

Bratke, K.; Klug, A.; Julius, P.; Kuepper, M.; Lommatzsch, M.; Sparmann, G.; Luttmann, W.; Virchow, J. C.
November 2008
Thorax;Nov2008, Vol. 63 Issue 11, p1006
Academic Journal
Background: Granzymes are a subfamily of serine proteases involved in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory disorders. In contrast with granzyme A and B, the role of granzyme K (GrK) in human lung diseases is unknown. Therefore, the release and expression of GrK in allergic asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchopneumonia were investigated. Methods: Soluble GrK was quantified using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with allergic asthma (before and after segmental allergen challenge), and in patients with mild COPD, pneumonia and in healthy controls. The molecular form of GrK was analysed by western blot. Flow cytometry was performed to determine the cellular expression of GrK. Results: Compared with healthy controls, there were normal levels of soluble GrK in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with COPD, and patients with allergic asthma before allergen challenge. In contrast, soluble GrK was strongly increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with acute bronchopneumonia. In patients with allergic asthma, there was a significant increase in soluble GrK as well as in GrK expressing CD8+ T cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 24 h and 72 h after allergen challenge. After allergen challenge, soluble GrK correlated with the percentage of GrK expressing CD8+ T cells. Finally, it was shown that the endobronchial release of the CCR5 ligand CCL3 might be a mechanism for the recruitment of GrK+CD8+ T cells after allergen challenge. Conclusion: These data provide the first evidence that expression of GrK is upregulated in acute airway inflammation, both in infectious and non-infectious diseases.


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