Inactivation of Chemotactic Factor Inactivator by Cigarette Smoke: A Potential Mechanism of Modulating Neutrophil Recruitment to the Lung
Activation of the complement system with generation of the potent neutrophil chemotactic factor C5a has been proposed to play a significant role in the neutrophil accumulation in the lungs of cigarette smokers. Chemotactic factor inactivator (CFI) can inhibit C5a-directed neutrophil chemotaxis by binding to the C5a cochemotaxin GcGlobulin (GcG), a vitamin-D-binding protein, and inhibiting the capacity of GcG to enhance the chemotactic activity of C5a. Because cigarette smoke can inhibit the function of some proteins, a loss of CFI functional activity induced by cigarette smoke would allow an increased capacity of GcG to augment C5a-directed neutrophil chemotaxis. In order to test this hypothesis, cigarette smoke was bubbled through a CFI solution, and the solution was evaluated for its ability to inhibit the chemotactic activity of C5a and GcG. Smoke-treated CFI inhibited only 36% of the C5a-GcG chemotactic activity. In contrast, a CFI solution treated with air inhibited 62% of the chemotactic activity (p < 0.001). Consistent with these observations, smoke-treated CFI exhibited a decreased capacity to bind to GcG and a decreased capacity to inhibit the binding of C5a des Arg to GcG. CFI contained in the bronchial lavage fluids obtained from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease secondary to cigarette smoking and asymptomatic smokers exhibited a decreased capacity to inhibit C5a-GcG neutrophil chemotaxis and to bind to GcG (p < 0.05, both comparisons). Furthermore, smoke bubbled through normal bronchial lavage fluid decreased the capacity of CFI to bind to GcG. These data suggest that one mechanism accounting for an influx of neutrophils into the lungs of cigarette smokers may be a loss of functional activity of CFI secondary to cigarette smoke.