Increased number of alveolar macrophages expressing adhesion molecules of the leukocyte adhesion molecule family in smoking subjects. Association with cell-binding ability and superoxide anion production

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Nov;146(5 Pt 1):1287-93. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/146.5_Pt_1.1287.


This study was designed to investigate whether the expression and functional properties of leukocyte adhesion molecules (LeuCAM; CD11/CD18) are altered in human alveolar macrophages (AM) from smokers. Cells were obtained from 38 smokers (S) and 27 nonsmokers (NS) by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Expression of LeuCAM on freshly isolated cells was studied using a sensitive peroxidase-antiperoxidase method with monoclonal antibodies (mAB) against CD11a, CD11b, CD11c, and CD18. The functional properties of the adhesion molecules were studied by measuring in vitro the binding of AM to the intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on human umbilical-vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). The influence of LeuCAM on the increased superoxide anion production (O2-) of smoker AM was quantified after blocking the CD18 molecule by a mAB. Compared with nonsmoker AM, significantly more AM from smokers expressed CD11b (p < 0.001), CD11c (p < 0.001), CD18 (p < 0.001), and CD11a (p < 0.004), whereas there was no difference in the expression of other common epitopes of human macrophages such as CD68, CD71, CD45, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DR. The number of AM expressing CD11a, CD11c, and CD18 showed a correlation to the total number of AM obtained by BAL (p < 0.001). Adherence of AM to HUVEC was higher for smoker than for nonsmoker AM (p < 0.05). The increased binding of smoker AM to endothelial cells could be inhibited by treating the HUVEC with a mAB against ICAM-1. The mAB anti-CD18 reduced O2- release from smoker AM by 42 +/- 5% after 120 min.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / chemistry*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Leukocyte-Adhesion / chemistry*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / genetics
  • Smoking / pathology*
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / epidemiology
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / etiology
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / pathology*
  • Superoxides / chemistry
  • Umbilical Veins


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Receptors, Leukocyte-Adhesion
  • Superoxides