2009, Number 3
Distribution of myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells from bronchoalveolar lavage of patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis
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ABSTRACTBackground: Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a diffuse inflammatory disease of lung parenchyma resulting from repetitive inhalation of organic particles. Dendritic cells and their precursors play an important role not only as antigen presenting cells but also as part of an immunoregulatory network. Depending on their lineage and stage of differentiation and activation, dendritic cells can promote a strong T-lymphocytes-mediated immunological response or an anergy state.
Objective: To phenotypically characterize myeloid (mDCs) and plasmacitoid (pDCs) dendritic cells recovered in bronchoalveolar lavage from patients with subacute or chronic HP, and to compare the results with that obtained in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and healthy controls.
Methods: BAL cells from 8 patients with subacute HP, 8 with chronic HP, 8 with IPF and 4 healthy subjects were used. The phenotype of dendritic cells subpopulations were characterized by means of flow cytometry.
Results: In all studied groups a predominance of mDCs (HLA-DR+D11c+), as compared with pDCs, was observed. A lower frequency of both mDCs and pDCs was documented in subacute HP patients vs. healthy controls (5.1 ± 1.1% [mean ± SD] vs. 30.4 ± 5.2%, p ‹ 0.01, and 0.5 ± 0.2% vs. 5.8 ± 2.4%, p ‹ 0.05, respectively). Compared with healthy subjects, in the cell populations from HP and IPF patients there was no expression of activation markers CD40 and CD80.
Conclusions: The low frequency of mDCs and pDCs, along with the absence of activation or maturation markers, suggests that patients with HP, mainly in the subacute form, present a T lymphocyte anergy state.
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