Molecular Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 1–2, pp 36–44 | Cite as

Neutrophils in Cystic Fibrosis Display a Distinct Gene Expression Pattern

  • Minou Adib-Conquy
  • Thierry Pedron
  • Anne-France Petit-Bertron
  • Olivier Tabary
  • Harriet Corvol
  • Jacky Jacquot
  • Annick Clément
  • Jean-Marc Cavaillon
Research Article


We compared gene expression in blood neutrophils (polymorphonuclear leukocytes, or PMNs) collected from healthy subjects with those of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients devoid of bacterial colonization. Macroarray analysis of 1050 genes revealed upregulation of 62 genes and downregulation expression of 27 genes in CF blood PMNs. Among upregulated genes were those coding for vitronectin, some chemokines (particularly CCL17 and CCL18), some interleukin (IL) receptors (IL-3, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12), all three colony-stimulating factors (G-, M-, GM-CSF), numerous genes coding for molecules involved in signal transduction, and a few genes under the control of γ-interferon. In contrast, none of the genes coding for adhesion molecules were modulated. The upregulation of six genes in CF PMNs (coding for thrombospondin-1, G-CSF, CXCL10, CCL17, IKKε, IL-10Ra) was further confirmed by qPCR. In addition, the increased presence of G-CSF, CCL17, and CXCL10 was confirmed by ELISA in supernatants of neutrophils from CF patients. When comparison was performed between blood and airway PMNs of CF patients, there was a limited difference in terms of gene expression. Only the mRNA expression of amphiregulin and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor p55 were significantly higher in airway PMNs. The presence of amphiregulin was confirmed by ELISA in the sputum of CF patients, suggesting for the first time a role of amphiregulin in cystic fibrosis. Altogether, this study clearly demonstrates that blood PMNs from CF patients display a profound modification of gene expression profile associated with the disease, suggesting a state of activation of these cells.



The authors thank Marie-Agnès Dilliès, Plate-Forme 2 — Puces à ADN, for her help in the analysis of the macroarrays. This work was supported by the Association Vaincre la Mucoviscidose and in part by an APEX grant fund from INSERM to Thierry Pedron. The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.


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Copyright information

© Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minou Adib-Conquy
    • 1
  • Thierry Pedron
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anne-France Petit-Bertron
    • 1
  • Olivier Tabary
    • 4
  • Harriet Corvol
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jacky Jacquot
    • 4
  • Annick Clément
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jean-Marc Cavaillon
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit Cytokines & InflammationInstitut PasteurParisFrance
  2. 2.Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne MoléculaireInstitut PasteurParisFrance
  3. 3.INSERM, U786ParisFrance
  4. 4.Faculté de Médecine Saint-AntoineINSERM U 719 and Université Pierre & Marie CurieParisFrance
  5. 5.AP-HP, Service de Pédiatrie-PneumologieHôpital Armand TrousseauParisFrance

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