Cytokine production at the site of disease in chronic eosinophilic pneumonitis

Hirohito Kita, Sanjiv Sur, Loren W. Hunt, Eric S. Edell, Debbie A. Weiler, Mark C. Swanson, Richard W. Samsel, John S. Abrams, Gerald J. Gleich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Chronic eosinophilic pneumonitis (CEP) is characterized by longstanding respiratory symptoms accompanied by a massive pulmonary eosinophil infiltration. We hypothesized that cytokine(s) produced in the disease sites are implicated in the pathophysiology of CEP. We studied peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) obtained from two lung segments of a patient with CEP. Seventy times more eosinophils were found in the BALF from an involved lung segment (showing patchy opacification on a chest roentgenogram) than from an uninvolved segment. The eosinophil-active cytokines interleukin-5 (IL-5), IL-6, and IL-10 were strikingly elevated in the BALF from the involved lung segment, whereas no or minimal levels of these cytokines were detectable in the BALF from the uninvolved segment or serum, respectively. Leukocytes in the involved lung segment, but not those in peripheral blood, expressed messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) for IL-5, IL-6, and IL-10. In contrast, IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were not detected in any sample. These findings suggest that increased production of several cytokines, such as IL-5, IL-6, and IL- 10, in the involved lung segment, but not in the uninvolved lung segment or peripheral blood, is a critical pathophysiologic feature of CEP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1441
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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