Research

Paths are made by walking them – Franz Kafka

The Foundation supports the research project bronchiolitis obliterans(BO) at the children’s hospital of the Goethe University in Frankfurt/M, Germany by Prof. Dr. Stefan Zielen, Prof. Dr. Ralf Schubert and Dr. Martin Rosewich.

With this project we want to gather informations on the incidence, causes and the courses of BO in children and adolescents. With these informations we aim to alleviate the life of affected patients and try to develop new therapeutic concepts in the future.

First results have been published recently:

Cytokine. 2015 Mar 5;73(1):156-162. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2014.10.026. Airway inflammation in children and adolescents with bronchiolitis obliterans. Rosewich M1, Zissler UM2, Kheiri T3, Voss S3, Eickmeier O3, Schulze J3, Herrmann E4, Dücker RP3, Schubert R3, Zielen S3. BACKGROUND: Airway inflammation plays a major role in the progression of chronic lung diseases. The features of airway inflammation are not well defined among patients with cases of bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) that began in childhood. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the sputum cell and cytokine profiles of stable cases of BO regarding lung function and the involvement of small airway disease (SAD). METHODS: Twenty patients with BO (median age=14.5, range=7-23years) and 22 healthy controls (median age=16.5years, range=7-24years) were investigated. Lung function parameters and bronchial reversibility testing as well as sputum cell and cytokine profiles (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, IL-5, IFN-γ, and NFκB regulation) were analysed using quantitative RT-PCR and cytometric bead assay (CBA) in induced sputum. RESULTS: Patients with BO had significantly lower lung function values, including FVC, forced expiratory volume (FEV1), the Tiffeneau index (FEV1/VC), and MEF25, but increased functional residual capacity (RV/TLC) values. Bronchial reversibility was found in five patients (25%). Moreover, airway inflammation (as indicated by total cells, neutrophils, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and NFκB) was significantly increased among patients with BO compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: BO is predominantly a neutrophilic disease of the small bronchioles featuring elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to tissue remodelling and fibrosis of the small airways. Future therapies for patients with BO should more efficiently target the small airways. Author information

  • 1Department of Paediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Cystic Fibrosis, Children’s Hospital, Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany. Electronic address: Martin.Rosewich@kgu.de.
  • 2Center of Allergy and Environment (ZAUM), Technical University and Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany.
  • 3Department of Paediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Cystic Fibrosis, Children’s Hospital, Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 4Institute of Biostatistics and Mathematical Modelling, Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.