Supplementary Material for: C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 15 May Be a Useful Biomarker for Predicting the Prognosis of Patients with Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Background: Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (CHP) is characterized by lymphocytic inflammation and progressive fibrosis of the lung caused by a variety of inhaled antigens. Due to the difficulty of accurately diagnosing CHP, and the poor prognosis associated with the condition, a novel clinical biomarker is urgently needed. Objective: To investigate the usefulness of C-C motif chemokine ligand 15 (CCL15), which had been demonstrated to highly express in the lungs of CHP patients, as a clinical biomarker for CHP. Method: Immunohistochemical investigations were performed on lung tissue from CHP patients, and CCL15 levels in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were measured via the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Immunohistochemistry investigations revealed high CCL15 expression in the lungs of CHP patients. Serum CCL15 levels in CHP patients (29.1 ± 2.1 μg/mL) were significantly higher than those of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients (19.7 ± 1.3 μg/mL, p = 0.01) and healthy subjects (19.5 ± 1.7 μg/mL, p = 0.003). When BALF CCL15 level was divided by BALF albumin (Alb) level (BALF CCL15/Alb), it was significantly inversely correlated with forced vital capacity (β = –0.47, p = 0.0006), percentage of predicted carbon monoxide diffusion capacity of the lung (β = –0.41, p = 0.0048), and BALF lymphocyte count (β = –0.34, p = 0.01) in CHP patients. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that high BALF CCL15/Alb and poor prognosis were statistically significantly independently correlated in CHP patients (HR 1.1, 95% CI 1.03–1.18, p = 0.004). Conclusion: The results of the current study suggest that CCL15 may be a useful prognostic biomarker for CHP. CCL15 was highly expressed in the lung tissue of CHP patients, and BALF CCL15/Alb was significantly associated with CHP prognosis.