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Immuno-genetics and immuno-phenotypes of chronic lung disease: Revealing the immunological dys-regulations that characterize Asthma, COPD and IPF
September 25-26, 2008
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened a meeting of investigators on September 25-26 2008, in Bethesda, Maryland. The purpose was to identify opportunities for joint research in basic and clinical immunological aspects of Asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and IPF (Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis). The group focused on individual immuno-genetic and -phenotypic characteristics that could reveal immune dysfunctions important for disease definition, patient sub-type classification and therapy in these chronic lung diseases.
Several experts in basic and clinical research from both the immunology and lung communities reported on how the enormous progress achieved in recent years in understanding and manipulating immune responses represents an invaluable asset that may be leveraged, not only to better understand the basic pathogenetic mechanisms of chronic lung disease, but also to explore new, targeted, therapeutic approaches. Asthma, has long been known to have an immunological basis, and other chronic lung conditions, including COPD and IPF, have recently been shown to have an immune determinant in their pathophysiology. Additionally, all three diseases manifest signs of systemic involvement during their progression. The group assessed how the relationship between the immunological phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of individual patients may determine the natural history of disease and the response to therapies. The participants reviewed available studies and recommended future research to clarify known immune pathogenetic mechanisms and identify immuno-genetic and -phenotypic characteristics that will establish common grounds for disease definition, patient sub-type classification and to explore new specific therapeutic opportunities. The workshop started with a series of presentations that address how new immunological and technological discoveries are influencing our understanding of human pathology. The following questions were discussed: Which research directions should the research community take? What are the implications for the study of chronic lung diseases? Are there steps that can be taken to increase the translational potential of the new findings? What is the role of –omics and systems biology? Are there useful parallels with the intestinal mucosal or other systems?
A General Discussion on "Moving the field from basic knowledge to practical application of phenotyping to diagnostic and therapeutic purposes" followed.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants urged the research community to identify the pathophysiologic processes that lead to the establishment of immunopathologic phenotypes of Asthma, COPD or IPF in humans. They also encouraged the use of multidisciplinary and systems biology approaches to analyze the role of adaptive immunity, autoimmunity and abnormalities in lymphocyte homing in the initiation and progression of these lung diseases, while examining the influences of environmental exposure, treatments, and disease progression.
Last Updated: November 2013