Background: Interferon lambdas (IFNLs) have important anti-viral/bacterial and immunomodulatory functions in the respiratory tract. How do IFNLs impact COPD and its exacerbations? Methods: Five hundred twenty eight patients were recruited in a prospective observational multicentre cohort (PROMISE) study. The genetic polymorphisms (rs8099917 and rs12979860) within the IFNL3/4 gene region and circulating levels of IFNL3 in COPD patients were determined and associated with disease activity and outcome during a median follow-up of 24 months. Results: The GG genotype significantly influenced severe exacerbation rate (42 vs. 23%; p = 0.032) and time to severe exacerbation (HR = 2.260; p = 0.012). Compared to the TT or TG genotypes, the GG genotype was associated with severe dyspnoea (modified medical research council score ≥ median 3; 22 vs 42%, p = 0.030). The CC genotype of the rs12979860 SNP was associated with a poorer prognosis (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea and exercise capacity index ≥ median 4; 46 vs. 36% TC vs. 20.5% TT; p = 0.031). Patients with stable COPD and at exacerbation had significantly lower circulating IFNL3 compared to healthy controls (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Circulating IFNL3 correlated to post-bronchodilator FEV1%predicted and the tissue maturation biomarker Pro-collagen 3. Conclusion: IFNL3/4 polymorphisms and circulating IFNL3 may be associated with disease activity and outcomes in COPD.

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine

Egli, A. (Adrian), Mandal, J. (Jyotshna), Schumann, D.M. (Desiree M.), Roth, M. (Michael), Thomas, B. (Brad), Lorne Tyrrell, D. (D.), … Stolz, D. (Daiana). (2018). IFNΛ3/4 locus polymorphisms and IFNΛ3 circulating levels are associated with COPD severity and outcomes. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 18(1). doi:10.1186/s12890-018-0616-6