Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency (AATD) has traditionally been thought of as a genetic disorder characterized by lung destruction and early emphysema in a low AAT, and high neutrophil elastase (NE) environment in the lungs of affected individuals. Recently, a growing body of evidence has emerged to support the hypothesis that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is essential in the pathogenesis of both genetic AATD and non-genetic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Reports have highlighted the importance of TNF-α driven immune cell dysfunction in the development of lung disease in AATD. The authors discuss the role of AAT as a key modulator of TNF-α signaling firstly in the setting of AATD and secondly in other conditions where AAT augmentation therapy has potential utility as a novel therapy.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->