Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cigarette smoke exposure lead to dysregulated MAIT cell activation by bronchial epithelial cells [article]

Megan E Huber, Emily Larson, Taylor N Lust, Chelsea M Heisler, Melanie J Harriff
2022 bioRxiv   pre-print
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with airway inflammation, increased infiltration by CD8+ T lymphocytes, and infection-driven exacerbations. COPD is most commonly caused by cigarette smoke (CS), however the mechanisms driving development of COPD in some smokers but not others are incompletely understood. Lung-resident mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells play a role in both microbial infections and inflammatory diseases. MAIT cell frequency is reduced in the
more » ... pheral blood of individuals with COPD, however the role of MAIT cells in COPD pathology is unknown. Here, we examined MAIT cell activation in response to CS-exposed primary human bronchial epithelial cells (BEC) from healthy, COPD, or smoker donors. We observed significantly higher MAIT cell responses to COPD BEC than healthy BEC. However, COPD BEC stimulated a smaller fold-increase in MAIT cell response despite increased microbial infection. For all donor groups, CS-exposed BEC elicited reduced MAIT cell responses; conversely, CS exposure increased ligand-mediated MR1 surface translocation in healthy and COPD BEC. Our data demonstrate MAIT cell activation is dysregulated in the context of CS and COPD. MAIT cells could contribute to CS- and COPD-associated inflammation through both inappropriate activation and reduced early recognition of bacterial infection, contributing to microbial persistence and COPD exacerbations.
doi:10.1101/2022.02.28.482383 fatcat:cu7ptk5clne2lgg7jjymxrqtnq