Differential expression of vitamin e and selenium-responsive genes by disease severity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Gene Expression Profiling
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Antioxidant nutritional status is hypothesized to influence chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility and progression. Although past studies relate antioxidants to gene expression, there are no data in patients with COPD. This study investigated the hypothesis that antioxidant status is compromised in patients with COPD, and antioxidant-responsive genes differentially express in a similar pattern. Lung tissue samples from patients with COPD were assayed for vitamin E and gene expression. Selenium and vitamin E were assayed in corresponding plasma samples. Discovery based genome-wide expression analysis compared moderate, severe, and very severe COPD (GOLD II-IV) patients to mild and at-risk/normal (GOLD 0-I). Hypotheses-driven analyses assessed differential gene expression by disease severity for vitamin E-responsive and selenium-responsive genes. GOLD II-IV COPD patients had 30% lower lung tissue vitamin E levels compared to GOLD 0-I participants (p = 0.0082). No statistically significant genome-wide differences in expression by disease severity were identified. Hypothesis-driven analyses of 109 genes found 16 genes differentially expressed (padjusted < 0.05) by disease severity including 6 selenium-responsive genes (range in fold-change -1.39 to 2.25), 6 vitamin E-responsive genes (fold-change -2.30 to 1.51), and 4 COPD-associated genes. Lung tissue vitamin E in patients with COPD was associated with disease severity and vitamin E-responsive genes were differentially expressed by disease severity. Although nutritional status is hypothesized to contribute to COPD risk, and is of therapeutic interest, evidence to date is mainly observational. The findings reported herein are novel, and support a role of vitamin E in COPD progression.