Immunologic Research

, Volume 55, Issue 1–3, pp 48–57 | Cite as

COPD is associated with production of autoantibodies to a broad spectrum of self-antigens, correlative with disease phenotype

  • Thomas A. Packard
  • Quan Z. Li
  • Gregory P. Cosgrove
  • Russell P. Bowler
  • John C. CambierEmail author
Immunology in Colorado


The role of autoimmune pathology in development and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is becoming increasingly appreciated. In this study, we identified serum autoantibody reactivities associated with chronic bronchitis or emphysema, as well as systemic autoimmunity and associated lung disease. Using autoantigen array analysis, we demonstrated that COPD patients produce autoantibodies reactive to a broad spectrum of self-antigens. Further, the level and reactivities of these antibodies, or autoantibody profile, correlated with disease phenotype. Patients with emphysema produced autoantibodies of higher titer and reactive to an increased number of array antigens. Strikingly, the autoantibody reactivities observed in emphysema were increased over those detected in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and included similar reactivities to those associated with lupus. These findings raise the possibility that autoantibody profiles may be used to determine COPD risk, as well as provide a diagnostic and prognostic tool. They shed light on the heterogeneity of autoantibody reactivities associated with COPD phenotype and could be of use in the personalization of medical treatment, including determining and monitoring therapeutic interventions.


COPD SLE RA ILD Autoantibodies Antigen array 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Steve Groshong for his contribution to histological analyses, and the patients of National Jewish Health for their blood donations. This work was funded by the NJC COPD Institutional Program and the generous donation by Joel Farkas to National Jewish Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Packard
    • 1
  • Quan Z. Li
    • 2
  • Gregory P. Cosgrove
    • 3
  • Russell P. Bowler
    • 3
  • John C. Cambier
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, University of Colorado School of MedicineNational Jewish HealthDenverUSA
  2. 2.Department of ImmunologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineNational Jewish HealthDenverUSA

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