Flow cytometric detection of cell-associated interleukin-8 in alveolar macrophages in vivo from patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis and sarcoidosis

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In comparison with neutrophil-mediated lung diseases, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, the involvement of IL-8 in lymphocyte-mediated lung diseases has not been fully investigated. Several reports have shown a slight increase in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) IL-8 in patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) and sarcoidosis (SAR), but the source of the IL-8 has not been clarified. In the present study, the in vivo production of IL-8 by alveolar macrophages (AMs) is examined in these patients by analyzing the cell-associated IL-8, using the flow cytometric method adopted previously. The IL-8 levels in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) were also assessed. Initially, slight, but significant, increased levels of ELF IL-8 in HP and SAR were confirmed. Using flow cytometric analysis, a significant increase was found in the cell-associated IL-8 of the freshly isolated AMs in HP, but not in SAR, indicating in vivo production of IL-8 by AMs in HP. The cell-associated IL-8 of the AMs cultured with or without lipopolysaccharide was also analyzed. However, in contrast to previous findings in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, no differences were found between SAR and HP patients and control subjects. Based on these findings, it is speculated that ELF IL-8 levels are slightly increased in HP and SAR, and they may contribute to the accumulation of neutrophils and possibly lymphocytes. However, the source of IL-8 may be different and AMs are the candidate source of IL-8 in HP, but not in SAR. The flow cytometric method may be useful in assessing cytokines production by AMs.

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