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Serum heat shock protein 47 levels are elevated in acute interstitial pneumonia

Tomoyuki Kakugawa1*, Shin-ichi Yokota2, Yuji Ishimatsu1, Tomayoshi Hayashi3, Shota Nakashima1, Shintaro Hara1, Noriho Sakamoto1, Hiroshi Kubota45, Mariko Mine6, Yasuhiro Matsuoka49, Hiroshi Mukae7, Kazuhiro Nagata48 and Shigeru Kohno1

Author Affiliations

1 Second Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki, Nagasaki 852-8501, Japan

2 Department of Microbiology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan

3 Department of Pathology, Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan

4 Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

5 Department of Life Science, Faculty and Graduate School of Engineering and Resource Science, Akita University, Akita, Japan

6 Biostatistics Section, Division of Scientific Data Registry, Atomic Bomb Disease Institute, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan

7 Department of Respiratory Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan

8 Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, Japan

9 Present address: Research Laboratories, Research & Development Division, Kyowa Medex Co., Ltd, Shizuoka, Japan

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2014, 14:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-48

Published: 21 March 2014



Heat shock protein (HSP) 47, a collagen-specific molecular chaperone, is involved in the processing and/or secretion of procollagen. We hypothesized that HSP47 could be a useful marker for fibrotic lung disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum levels of HSP47 in patients with various idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs).


Subjects comprised 9 patients with acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP), 12 with cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), 16 with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), 19 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and 19 healthy adult volunteers.


Patients with AIP had serum HSP47 levels that were significantly higher than those of COP, NSIP or IPF patients and those of healthy volunteers. In contrast, serum levels of HSP47 among patients with COP, NSIP, IPF, and healthy volunteers did not differ significantly. Receiver operating characteristic curves revealed that the cut-off level for HSP47 that resulted in the highest diagnostic accuracy for discriminating between AIP and COP, NSIP, IPF, and healthy controls was 859.3 pg/mL. The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy were 100.0%, 98.5%, and 98.7%, respectively.


The present results demonstrate that, among patients with various IIPs, serum levels of HSP47 were elevated specifically in patients with AIP.

Heat shock protein 47; Acute interstitial pneumonia; Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia