Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology with significant heterogeneity in organ manifestations and clinical course. Subjects with sarcoidosis share several features such as, non-necrotizing granuloma, hypergammaglobulinemia, increased local and circulating inflammatory cytokines. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pluripotent chemokine modulating cellular function. Study included healthy controls (n = 28) and sarcoidosis patients (n = 65). Sera and BAL of sarcoidosis patients were collected and patients were followed longitudinally for 3 years, and demographics, stages, pulmonary function tests, and organ involvements were recorded. We evaluated MIF in the serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of sarcoidosis patients in association with clinical features and cytokines, IL-18, IL-10, IL-6, IFN-γ. We found serum MIF had a positive correlation with IL-10 and IFN-γ and % predicted total lung capacity (%TLC). Serum IL-18 had a significant positive correlation with serum lysozyme, but a negative correlation with %TLC and %DLCO. We identified two groups of sarcoidosis subjects with distinct clinical and cytokine features. A group with prominent extrapulmonary involvement, and low serum MIF, IL-10 and IFN-γ and a group with elevated serum MIF, IL-10 and IFN-γ levels. Our work provides understanding of phenotypic diversity in association with heterogeneity in cytokine landscape in sarcoidosis.
© 2022. The Author(s).