Lidocaine in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) is an inhibitor of eosinophil-active cytokines

T. Ohnishi, H. Kita, A. N. Mayeno, S. Okada, S. Sur, D. H. Broide, G. J. Gleich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Eosinophils and eosinophil granule proteins may play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma. BALF from 40 patients with symptomatic asthma were analysed for cytokine activity by the eosinophil survival assay. BALF from 15 patients showed increased survival activity. Survival activities in BALF from four of these patients were almost completely blocked by anti-IL-5 MoAb, and the remaining activities were blocked by anti-granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), anti-IL-3 antibody, or both. Surprisingly, BALF samples from the other 25 patients decreased eosinophil viabilities below the levels of medium control. The inhibitory factor in these BALF was of low molecular weight, was heat-stable, was largely overcome by excess exogenously added cytokines, and was positively correlated with the concentrations of lidocaine in the BALF. Lidocaine itself inhibited eosinophil survival at concentrations less than those present in the BALF. These findings indicate that lidocaine is an inhibitor of cytokines in the eosinophil survival assay, and they suggest the need for caution in analyses of BALF containing lidocaine or other local anaesthetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchial asthma
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid
  • Eosinophil survival activity
  • IL-5 lidocaine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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