Our primary objective is to perform intervention studies using follicle disrupting reagents (e.g. anti-CXCL13 & BAFFR-Fc) in a chronic cigarette smoke mouse model (6 months exposure) to establish whether there is a link between the presence of lymphoid follicles and associated COPD-like pathologies (i.e. emphusema, airway remodeling and inflammation). Since intervention studies in the 6 months cigarette smoke mouse model of COPD are very labour-intensive, we will focus on the therapeutic effect of two lymphoid follicle disrupting reagents in two independent biologic experiments:
1) Anti-mouse CXCL13 monoclonal antibody;
2) BAFFR-Fc soluble receptor.
Phenotypic analysis of the cellular composition of the peribronchial and perivascular lymphoid follicles will be performed in mouse lung tissue samples. Furthermore, whether the location of these lymphoid follicles are associated with overt changes in the alveolar wall or bronchial mucosal phenotype will be addressed.