Neutrophil chemotactic activity produced by normal and activated human bronchoalveolar lavage cells

Yves Sibille, Gary P. Naegel, William W. Merrill, K. Randall Young, Steven B. Care, Herbert Y. Reynolds

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16 Scopus citations


Activated macrophages can secrete a number of mediators that can attract inflammatory cells and enhance secretion of phlogistic substances from these cells. The ultimate effect of activated bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells may be fibrotic lung injury. Inasmuch as pulmonary sarcoidosis is a disease associated with spontaneous activation of macrophages and lymphocytes among BAL cells, cells obtained from patients with sarcoidosis were compared with normal cells. We report that adherent BAL cells in culture from patients with sarcoidosis (n = 21) release during a resting period in vitro more chemotactic activity for neutrophils (PMNs) than do BAL cells from normal individuals (n = 14). After density fractionation of the respiratory cells by albumin gradient, cells from high-density fractions in the group with sarcoidosis secrete more chemotactic activity for neutrophils than cells from less dense fractions. The PMN chemotactic activity spontaneously released in vitro by BAL cells from patients with sarcoidosis correlates with the percentage of PMNs recovered by BAL. Immunochemical bioassay and high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analysis of BAL cell supernatants revealed a complex pattern of chemotactic factors to be present. Generally, three peaks of chemotactic activity were noted on HPLC I-60 separations at >20 kd, 8 to 10 kd, and <1 kd apparent molecular weights. Significantly, interleukin-1 was present in these supernatants, whereas complement components and leukotriene B4 were absent. Sarcoid BAL cells, principally alveolar macrophages, are activated in vivo as manifested by spontaneous secretion of chemotactic factors for PMNs in vitro. Interleukin-1 and other less well characterized molecules were detected. The presence of PMNs among the lavage cells of some patients with sarcoidosis appears to be an in vivo biologic correlate of this activation. These data provide additional criteria of BAL cell activation in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis and provide further evidence concerning factors that attract inflammatory cells into the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-633
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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