Neutrophil Dysfunction In The Pathogenesis Of Cystic Fibrosis

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Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) figure prominently in host defense against infection and in noninfectious inflammation. Mobilized early in an inflammatory response, PMNs mediate immediate cellular defense against microbes and orchestrate events that culminate in cessation of inflammation and restoration of homeostasis. Failure to terminate the inflammatory response and its causes can fuel exuberant inflammation characteristic of many human diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF), an autosomal recessive genetic disease caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator. CF affects multiple end organs, with persistent bacterial infection and chronic neutrophilic inflammation in airways predominating the clinical picture. To match the diverse microbial challenges that they may encounter, PMNs possess a variety of antimicrobial systems to slow or kill invading microorganisms confined in their phagosomes. Prominent among PMN defense systems is their ability to generate hypochlorous acid, a potent microbicide, by reacting oxidants generated by the NADPH oxidase with myeloperoxidase (MPO) released from azurophilic granules in the presence of chloride (Cl−). Products of the MPO-H2O2-Cl system oxidize susceptible biomolecules and support robust antimicrobial action against many, but not all, potential human pathogens. Underscoring that the MPO-H2O2-Cl system is integral to optimal host defense and proper regulation of inflammation, individuals with defects in any component of this system, as seen in chronic granulomatous disease or MPO deficiency, incur increased rates or severity of infection and signs of dysregulated inflammatory responses. We focus attention in this review on the molecular basis for and the clinical consequences of defects in the MPO-H2O2-Cl system because of the compromised Cl transport seen in CF. We will discuss first how the MPO-H2O2-Cl system in healthy PMNs participates in host defense and resolution of inflammation and then review how a defective MPO-H2O2-Cl system contributes to the increased susceptibility to infection and dysregulated inflammation associated with the clinical manifestations of CF.

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