Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) is the major limitation of long-term survival after lung transplantation. CLAD manifests as bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) or restrictive allograft syndrome (RAS). Alloimmune reactions and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition have been suggested in BOS. However, little is known regarding the role of allogenicity in epithelial cell differentiation. Primary human bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) were treated with activated T cells in the presence or absence of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. The expression of epithelial and mesenchymal markers was investigated. The secretion of inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 was measured in culture supernatants and in plasma from lung transplant recipients (LTRs): 49 stable, 29 with BOS, and 16 with RAS. We demonstrated that C-C motif chemokine 2 secreted by T cells supports TGF-β–induced MMP-9 production by BECs after binding to C-C chemokine receptor type 2. Longitudinal investigation in LTRs revealed a rise in plasma MMP-9 before CLAD onset. Multivariate analysis showed that plasma MMP-9 was independently associated with BOS (odds ratio [OR] = 6.19, p = 0.002) or RAS (OR = 3.9, p = 0.024) and predicted the occurrence of CLAD 12 months before the functional diagnosis. Thus, immune cells support airway remodeling through the production of MMP-9. Plasma MMP-9 is a potential predictive biomarker of CLAD.