Eosinophils, basophils and type 2 immune microenvironments in COPD-affected lung tissue Academic Article uri icon

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  • Although elevated blood or sputum eosinophils are present in many patients with COPD, uncertainties remain regarding the anatomical distribution pattern of lung-infiltrating eosinophils. Basophils have remained virtually unexplored in COPD. This study mapped tissue-infiltrating eosinophils, basophils and eosinophil-promoting immune mechanisms in COPD-affected lungs.Surgical lung tissue and biopsies from major anatomical compartments were obtained from COPD patients with severity grades Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stages I–IV; never-smokers/smokers served as controls. Automated immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation identified immune cells, the type 2 immunity marker GATA3 and eotaxins (CCL11, CCL24).Eosinophils and basophils were present in all anatomical compartments of COPD-affected lungs and increased significantly in very severe COPD. The eosinophilia was strikingly patchy, and focal eosinophil-rich microenvironments were spatially linked with GATA3+ cells, including type 2 helper T-cell lymphocytes and type 2 innate lymphoid cells. A similarly localised and interleukin-33/ST2-dependent eosinophilia was demonstrated in influenza-infected mice. Both mice and patients displayed spatially confined eotaxin signatures with CCL11+ fibroblasts and CCL24+ macrophages.In addition to identifying tissue basophilia as a novel feature of advanced COPD, the identification of spatially confined eosinophil-rich type 2 microenvironments represents a novel type of heterogeneity in the immunopathology of COPD that is likely to have implications for personalised treatment.


  • Jogdand, Prajakta
  • Siddhuraj, Premkumar
  • Mori, Michiko
  • Sanden, Caroline
  • Jönsson, Jimmie
  • Walls, Andrew F
  • Kearley, Jennifer
  • Humbles, Alison A
  • Kolbeck, Roland
  • Bjermer, Leif
  • Newbold, Paul
  • Erjefält, Jonas S

publication date

  • May 2020