Sep 1, 1976

Inflammatory reaction and airway damage in cystic fibrosis

The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
A D BartonS G Weiss


In cystic fibrosis there is chronic infection and inflammatory reaction in the airways, accompanied by destruction and shedding of airway epithelium. Leukocytes migrate into the airways and some disintegrate, liberating deoxyribonucleoprotein that is incorporated into the gel structure of the bronchial mucus. We compared the status of these processes in cystic fibrosis with that in chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis, by examining the sputum raised from the lower airways. Measurements also were made on sputum induced in normal subjects. The results indicate that migration of leukocytes into the airways and shedding of damaged airway epithelium were minimal in the normal subjects; they were significant in the patients with chronic bronchitis, higher in those with bronchiectasis, and still higher in those with cystic fibrosis. The large increases found in the total content of DNA and solids in the cystic fibrosis sputum were due to increases in the insoluble fraction containing the whole leukocytes and particulate debris that remained when the sputum mucus gel was solubilized with mercaptoethanol. Despite the large increases in the total content of DNA and solids, the contents of mucus gel components and of deoxyribonucleoprote...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Bronchitis, Chronic
Gamma-glutamyl transferase
Insoluble Fraction
White Blood Cell Count Procedure
Sputum, Induced
Cystic Fibrosis

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