Decreased suppressor cell activity of alveolar macrophages in bronchial asthma

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984 Nov;130(5):875-8. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1984.130.5.875.


In 8 allergic asthmatic patients and 12 healthy volunteers, we investigated the effects of alveolar macrophages (AM) on lymphoproliferative responses to polyclonal T-cell mitogens of autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The AM were obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and mitomycin-treated autologous bronchoalveolar cells (BAC) were cocultured at various AM-to-PBMC ratios, and were stimulated or not by phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A. Half of AM expressed HLA-DR antigens in both the asthmatic and the control group. The BAC from normal subjects were able to modify the lymphoproliferative responses of autologous PBMC to cell mitogens. A dose-dependent effect was observed related to the number of BAC added to PBMC--suppressive at high ratios but enhancing at low ratios. In allergic bronchial asthma, there was a decreased suppressor cell activity of BAC. Among BAC the adherent cells were responsible for this effect. This abnormality could be a part of more general decreased functional activity of AM in allergic bronchial asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Concanavalin A / pharmacology
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / cytology


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Concanavalin A