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The modifications of the subsets of circulating lymphocytes were evaluated in a group of patients with COPD undergoing treatment with a polyvalent mechanical bacterial lysate (PMBL), a drug that is able to significantly modify the natural history of these patients. Using multicolor immune-florescence and flow cytometry, T, B subsets and NK cells were extensively studied both in the group of treated patients and in a disease and age matched controls. Despite the age, in treated patients, T and NK cells were significantly increased in numbers of circulating cells, but not in percentages, while B cells remained unmodified. CD3+4+T cells were increased in treated patients, while CD3+CD8T cells were unmodified by the treatment. Activated T cells were increased but Treg, resulted reduced both in percentage than in absolute numbers. Transitional B cells resulted increased (in percentage and in absolute numbers) in their late maturation step (T3), while only early Naïve B cells were increased by the treatment, while other naïve subpopulations were unmodified. Memory B cells were reduced in percentage (but remained unmodified as absolute numbers), while the most immature form of memory B cells was significantly increased. Finally, both switch memory B cells and plasma cells resulted unmodified by the PMBL treatment. These results clearly indicated that the administration of the PMBL, even in elderly patients with COPD, was able to induce a significant immune-stimulation and these results, at cellular level, clearly support the evidence that the mechanism of action of PMBL is strictly related to a direct effect on immune-competent cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Giulia Lanzilli, Elisabetta Traggiai, Fulvio Braido, Valentina Garelli, Chiara Folli, Alessandra Chiappori, Anna Maria Riccio, Gyada Bazurro, Alessia Agazzi, Alessandra Magnani, Giorgio Walter Canonica, Giovanni Melioli. Administration of a polyvalent mechanical bacterial lysate to elderly patients with COPD: Effects on circulating T, B and NK cells. Immunology letters. 2013 Jan;149(1-2):62-7

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PMID: 23206888

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