Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1186/s12890-017-0509-0
Title (Primary) Tobacco-smoking induced GPR15-expressing T cells in blood do not indicate pulmonary damage
Author Bauer, M.; Fink, B.; Seyfarth, H.-J.; Wirtz, H.; Frille, A.
Source Titel BMC Pulmonary Medicine
Year 2017
Department IMMU
Volume 17
Page From art. 159
Language englisch
Keywords GPR15; Tobacco-smokingcg; 05575921; Biomarker; Lung disease
UFZ wide themes RU3;


Recently, it was shown that chronic tobacco smoking evokes specific cellular and molecular changes in white blood cells by an excess of G protein-coupled receptor 15 (GPR15)-expressing T cells as well as a hypomethylation at DNA CpG site cg05575921 in granulocytes. In the present study, we aimed to clarify the general usefulness of these two biomarkers as putative signs of non-cancerous change in homeostasis of the lungs.


In a clinical cohort consisting of 42 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pneumonia and a control cohort of 123 volunteers, the content of GPR15-expressing blood cells as well as the degree of methylation at cg05575921 were analysed by flow-cytometry and pyrosequencing, respectively. Smoking behaviour was estimated by questionnaire and cotinine level in plasma.


Never-smoking patients could be distinguished from former and current smokers by both the proportion of GPR15-expressing T cells as well as cg05575921 methylation in granulocytes, with 100% and 97% specificity and 100% sensitivity, respectively. However, both parameters were not affected by lung diseases. The degrees of both parameters were not changed neither in non-smoking nor smoking patients, compared to appropriate control cohorts of volunteers.


The degree of GPR15-expressing cells among T cells as well as the methylation at cg05575921 in granulocytes in blood are both rather signs of tobacco-smoking induced systemic inflammation because they don’t indicate specifically non-cancerous pathological changes in the lungs.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Bauer, M., Fink, B., Seyfarth, H.-J., Wirtz, H., Frille, A. (2017):
Tobacco-smoking induced GPR15-expressing T cells in blood do not indicate pulmonary damage
BMC Pulm. Med. 17 , art. 159 10.1186/s12890-017-0509-0