Human Neutrophil Peptides sputum levels in symptomatic smokers and COPD patients

G. Paone, V. Conti, A. Leone, G. Schmid, G. Puglisi, G. Giannunzio, Claudio Terzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Human Neutrophil Peptides (HNP) are major neutrophils' products which may contribute to the airway inflammation and lung remodelling during chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We aimed to assess whether HNP sputum concentrations could be used as indicators of airway inflammation and progression towards pulmonary functional impairment, and correlate with the degree of airways obstruction. Materials and Methods: We measured, by ELISA tests, HNP concentrations from 37 symptomatic smokers and 34 COPD patients. All participants underwent pulmonary function tests. Sputum samples were collected at the enrolment, and 6 months after smoking cessation. Differences between groups and correlation coefficients between variables were determined using non parametric tests. Results: Sputum HNP concentrations were higher in COPD patients as compared to symptomatic smokers (14±1.5 μg/ml vs 1.6±0.4 μg/ml; p1 (rho= -0.38, p=0.02), and FEV1/FVC (rho= -0.42, p=0.01). No differences were found in HNP levels before and after 6 months of smoking withdrawal (1.1 μg/ml±0.3 vs 1.1 μg/ml±0.3 for symptomatic smokers, p=0.9, and 14.4 μg/ml± 1 vs 16 μg/ml±1.1 for COPD, p=0.6). Discussion: Sputum levels of HNP may represent a marker of severity of functional impairment in COPD. Our data support the hypothesis that HNP may have a role in smoking-and COPD-related lung inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-562
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Airway inflammation
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Human neutrophil peptides
  • Smoking
  • Sputum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Human Neutrophil Peptides sputum levels in symptomatic smokers and COPD patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this