Upregulation of Chitinase I in alveolar macrophages of HIV-infected smokers

Logue, E.C., Neff, C.P., Mack, D.G. et al.

Recent studies suggest that HIV infection is an independent risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that HIV infection and cigarette smoking synergize to alter the function of alveolar macrophages (AMs). To test this hypothesis, global transcriptome analysis was performed on purified AMs from 20 individuals split evenly between HIV-uninfected nonsmokers and smokers and untreated HIV-infected nonsmokers and smokers. Differential expression analysis identified 143 genes significantly altered by the combination of HIV infection and smoking. Of the differentially expressed genes, chitinase 1 (CHIT1) and cytochrome P450 family 1 subfamily B member 1 (CYP1B1), both previously associated with COPD, were among the most upregulated genes (5- and 26-fold, respectively) in the untreated HIV-infected smoker cohort compared with HIV-uninfected nonsmokers. Expression of CHIT1 and CYP1B1 correlated with the expression of genes involved in extracellular matrix organization, oxidative stress, immune response, and cell death. Using time-of-flight mass cytometry to characterize AMs, a significantly decreased expression of CD163, an M2 marker, was seen in HIV-infected subjects, and CD163 inversely correlated with CYP1B1 expression in AMs. CHIT1 protein levels were significantly upregulated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from HIV-infected smokers, and increased CHIT1 levels negatively correlated with lung function measurements. Overall, these findings raise the possibility that elevated CHIT1 and CYP1B1 are early indicators of COPD development in HIV-infected smokers that may serve as biomarkers for determining this risk.


Logue, E.C., Neff, C.P., Mack, D.G. et al. "Upregulation of Chitinase I in alveolar macrophages of HIV-infected smokers" Journal of Immunology (2019): 1,363-72