Alpha-1 antitrypsin substitution for extrapulmonary conditions in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficient patients

Boris M. Baranovski, Ronen Schuster, Omer Nisim, Ido Brami, Yotam Lior, Eli C. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a genetic disorder which most commonly manifests as pulmonary emphysema. Accordingly, alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) augmentation therapy aims to reduce the progression of emphysema, as achieved by life-long weekly slow-drip infusions of plasma-derived affinity-purified human AAT. However, not all AATD patients will receive this therapy, due to either lack of medical coverage or low patient compliance. To circumvent these limitations, attempts are being made to develop lung-directed therapies, including inhaled AAT and locally-delivered AAT gene therapy. Lung transplantation is also an ultimate therapy option. Although less common, AATD patients also present with disease manifestations that extend beyond the lung, including vasculitis, diabetes and panniculitis, and appear to experience longer and more frequent hospitalization times and more frequent pneumonia bouts. In the past decade, new mechanism-based clinical indications for AAT therapy have surfaced, depicting a safe, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and tissueprotective agent. Introduced to non-AATD individuals, AAT appears to provide relief from steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease, from bacterial infections in cystic fibrosis and from autoimmune diabetes; preclinical studies show benefit also in multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, acute myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as ischemia-reperfusion injury and aberrant wound healing processes. While the current augmentation therapy is targeted towards treatment of emphysema, it is suggested that AATD patients may benefit from AAT augmentation therapy geared towards extrapulmonary pathologies as well. Thus, development of mechanism-based, context-specific AAT augmentation therapy protocols is encouraged. In the current review, we will discuss extrapulmonary manifestations of AATD and the potential of AAT augmentation therapy for these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Autoimmunity
  • Bone-marrow transplantation
  • Cell survival
  • Diabetes
  • Immune system
  • Inflammation
  • Leukemia
  • Organ transplantation
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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