Background: Lung epithelial damage, activation of the wound healing cascade, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) play a major role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The pro-peptide of type VI collagen has been identified as the hormone endotrophin. Endotrophin has been shown to promote fibrosis and inflammation, whereas von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a crucial part of wound healing initiation. Here, we assessed the released and activated form of VWF and endotrophin, the pro-peptide of type VI collagen, serologically to investigate their association with mortality in COPD subjects alone or in combination.
Methods: One thousand COPD patients with 3 years of clinical follow-up from the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE) cohort were included. Serum and heparin plasma were collected at 6 months and 1 year, respectively. Competitive ELISA utilizing specific monoclonal antibodies assessed endotrophin/type VI collagen formation (PRO-C6), VWF release (VWF-N), and activated VWF (VWF-A). Biomarker levels were dichotomized into high and low as defined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves based on mortality data. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to determine hazard ratios for all-cause mortality for biomarkers alone or in combination.
Results: High levels of PRO-C6, VWF-A, and VWF-N have previously been shown to be individually associated with a higher risk of mortality with hazard ratios of 5.6 (95% CI 2.4-13.1), 3.7 (1.8-7.6), and 4.6 (2.2-9.6), respectively. The hazard ratios increased when combining the biomarkers: PRO-C6*VWFA 8.8 (2.8-27.7) and PRO-C6*VWFN 13.3 (5.6-32.0). Notably, PRO-C6*VWF-N increased more than 2-fold.
Conclusion: We demonstrated that by combining two pathological relevant aspects of COPD, tissue remodeling, and wound healing, the predictive value of biomarkers for mortality increased notably.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or other inquiries.