We update and summarize the recent findings in conventional treatment and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). We also summarize the contemporary view on when hematopoietic stem cell transplantation should be the preferred treatment of choice in CGD.
Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare X-linked or autosomal recessive primary immune deficiency characterized by recurrent, life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections. Mortality rates are high with conventional treatment. However, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers cure. Here, we compare the outcome of HSCT in 14 Swedish patients with CGD to that in 27 patients with CGD who were given conventional treatment.
Resolution of inflammation requires clearance of activated neutrophils by macrophages in a manner that prevents injury to adjacent tissues. Surface changes, including phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure, may target neutrophils for phagocytosis. In this study, we show that externalization of PS is defective in phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-activated neutrophils obtained from chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients with mutations in components of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. Moreover, activated neutrophils from CGD patients failed to undergo clearance upon cocultivation with macrophages from normal donors. In line with these results, treatment of donor neutrophils with diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, blocked PMA-induced PS oxidation and externalization and prevented their engulfment by macrophages. Furthermore, primary macrophages from CGD patients or human gp91(phox)-deficient PLB-985 cells differentiated into macrophage-like cells were defective for engulfment of apoptotic target cells. Pretreatment of normal macrophages with DPI also suppressed the subsequent ingestion of PS-positive target cells. Together, these data demonstrate that NADPH oxidase plays an important role in the process of macrophage disposal of target cells (programmed cell clearance). Thus we speculate that the lack of a functional NADPH oxidase results in impaired neutrophil clearance and the exaggerated inflammation that is characteristic for CGD.
CGD is an immunodeficiency caused by deletions or mutations in genes that encode subunits of the leukocyte NADPH oxidase complex. Normally, assembly of the NADPH oxidase complex in phagosomes of certain phagocytic cells leads to a "respiratory burst", essential for the clearance of phagocytosed micro-organisms. CGD patients lack this mechanism, which leads to life-threatening infections and granuloma formation. However, a clear picture of the clinical course of CGD is hampered by its low prevalence (approximately 1:250,000). Therefore, extensive clinical data from 429 European patients were collected and analyzed. Of these patients 351 were males and 78 were females. X-linked (XL) CGD (gp91(phox) deficient) accounted for 67% of the cases, autosomal recessive (AR) inheritance for 33%. AR-CGD was diagnosed later in life, and the mean survival time was significantly better in AR patients (49.6 years) than in XL CGD (37.8 years), suggesting a milder disease course in AR patients. The disease manifested itself most frequently in the lungs (66% of patients), skin (53%), lymph nodes (50%), gastrointestinal tract (48%) and liver (32%). The most frequently cultured micro-organisms per episode were Staphylococcus aureus (30%), Aspergillus spp. (26%), and Salmonella spp. (16%). Surprisingly, Pseudomonas spp. (2%) and Burkholderia cepacia (<1%) were found only sporadically. Lesions induced by inoculation with BCG occurred in 8% of the patients. Only 71% of the patients received antibiotic maintenance therapy, and 53% antifungal prophylaxis. 33% were treated with gamma-interferon. 24 patients (6%) had received a stem cell transplantation. The most prominent reason of death was pneumonia and pulmonary abscess (18/84 cases), septicemia (16/84) and brain abscess (4/84). These data provide further insight in the clinical course of CGD in Europe and hopefully can help to increase awareness and optimize the treatment of these patients.
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