The Aging Human Lung Mucosa: A Proteomics Study.

Garcia-Vilanova, Andreu, Angélica M Olmo-Fontánez, Juan I Moliva, Anna Allué-Guardia, Harjinder Singh, Robert E Merritt, Diego J Maselli, et al. 2022. “The Aging Human Lung Mucosa: A Proteomics Study”. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 77 (10): 1969-74.


The older adult population, estimated to double by 2050, is at increased risk of respiratory infections and other pulmonary diseases. Biochemical changes in the lung alveolar lining fluid (ALF) and in alveolar compartment cells can alter local immune responses as we age, generating opportunities for invading pathogens to establish successful infections. Indeed, the lung alveolar space of older adults is a pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidative, dysregulated environment that remains understudied. We performed an exploratory, quantitative proteomic profiling of the soluble proteins present in ALF, developing insight into molecular fingerprints, pathways, and regulatory networks that characterize the alveolar space in old age, comparing it to that of younger individuals. We identified 457 proteins that were significantly differentially expressed in older adult ALF, including increased production of matrix metalloproteinases, markers of cellular senescence, antimicrobials, and proteins of neutrophilic granule origin, among others, suggesting that neutrophils in the lungs of older adults could be potential contributors to the dysregulated alveolar environment with increasing age. Finally, we describe a hypothetical regulatory network mediated by the serum response factor that could explain the neutrophilic profile observed in the older adult population.

Last updated on 02/14/2023