COPD and Its Immunological Component

Document Type


Publication Date



Objective: This is a literature review of articles comparing lymphocytes of smokers, non-smokers, ex-smokers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) subjects. Research question: Are there any specific differences of a certain T/B lymphocyte to include their cytokines in serum or lung samples in COPD, asymptomatic smokers and healthy non-smoker individuals? Review of Literature: A systematic search of current literature involving COPD and the immune system was conducted through the University of South Dakota (USD). Conclusion: There are many articles out there looking at a possible autoimmune component to COPD but not many seem to align with testing style. The generalized consensus when it comes to T-cells, is that there is an up-regulation of anti-inflammatory cells and a down-regulation pro-inflammatory cells in smokers without COPD. It has been proposed that those that develop COPD aren’t able to down-regulate the increased number of destructive T-cells. Some of the literature found increased levels of anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA), antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and anti-smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA), similar to autoimmune diseases. Overall, there is some trend pointing to a maladaptive immune system in those with COPD.

First Advisor

William Schweinle

Research Area

Physician Assistant Studies

This document is currently not available here.