Intrapulmonary Autoantibodies to HSP72 Are Associated with Improved Outcomes in IPF

Ross Mills, Abhinav Mathur, Lisa M. Nicol, Jeremy J. Walker, Alexander A. Przybylski, Alison C. Mackinnon, Sarah E. M. Howie, William A. H. Wallace, Ian Dransfield, Nik Hirani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Rationale. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive fibrotic interstitial lung disease, with high mortality. Currently, the aetiology and the pathology of IPF are poorly understood, with both innate and adaptive responses previously being implicated in the disease pathogenesis. Heat shock proteins (Hsp) and antibodies to Hsp in patients with IPF have been suggested as therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers, respectively. We aimed to study the relationship between the expression of Hsp72 and anti-Hsp72 antibodies in the BAL fluid and serum Aw disease progression in patients with IPF. Methods. A novel indirect ELISA to measure anti-Hsp72 IgG was developed and together with commercially available ELISAs used to detect Hsp72 IgG, Hsp72 IgGAM, and Hsp72 antigen, in the serum and BALf of a cohort of IPF () and other interstitial lung disease (ILD) patients (). Immunohistochemistry was used to detect Hsp72 in lung tissue. The cytokine expression from monocyte-derived macrophages was measured by ELISA. Results. Anti-Hsp72 IgG was detectable in the serum and BALf of IPF () and other ILDs (). Total immunoglobulin concentrations in the BALf showed an excessive adaptive response in IPF compared to other ILDs and healthy controls (). Immunohistochemistry detection of C4d and Hsp72 showed that these antibodies may be targeting high expressing Hsp72 type II alveolar epithelial cells. However, detection of anti-Hsp72 antibodies in the BALf revealed that increasing concentrations were associated with improved patient survival (adjusted HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.45-0.85; ). In vitro experiments demonstrate that anti-Hsp72 complexes stimulate macrophages to secrete CXCL8 and CCL18. Conclusion. Our results indicate that intrapulmonary anti-Hsp72 antibodies are associated with improved outcomes in IPF. These may represent natural autoantibodies, and anti-Hsp72 IgM and IgA may provide a beneficial role in disease pathogenesis, though the mechanism of action for this has yet to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalJournal of Immunology Research
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2019


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