Increased number of alveolar macrophages expressing surface molecules of the CD11/CD18 family in sarcoidosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is related to the production of superoxide anions by these cells

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Jun;147(6 Pt 1):1507-13. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/147.6_Pt_1.1507.


This study was designed to investigate the expression and functional properties of leukocyte adhesion molecules (LeuCAM; CD11/CD18 family) on human alveolar macrophages (AM) from patients with sarcoidosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Cells were obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from 17 patients with sarcoidosis (SA), 15 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and 14 nonsmokers (NS). Expression of LeuCAM on freshly isolated cells was studied using the peroxidase-antiperoxidase method with monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) detecting CD11a, CD11b, CD11c, and CD18. The functional properties of the adhesion molecules were studied by measuring superoxide anion production (O2-) of SA and IPF AM after blocking the CD18 molecule by an MoAb. Compared with nonsmokers, the samples from SA and IPF patients contained an increased number of AM expressing CD11a, CD11b, CD11c, and CD18 (all p < 0.008), which was correlated to the number of AM/ml BAL (p < 0.008). Spontaneous O2- secretion of AM was higher in SA (6.4 +/- 1.2 nMO2-/10(6) AM/120 min) and IPF (12.0 +/- 1.1 nMO2-/10(6) AM/120 min) compared with NS (2.5 +/- 0.2 nMO2-/10(6) AM/120 min) (both p < 0.008). Incubation of the AM with the MoAb anti-CD18 reduced the spontaneous O2- release from SA AM by 52 +/- 8% and from IPF AM by 49 +/- 3% but did not influence O2- release from NS AM (92 +/- 4%). Our data indicate that the increased expression of LeuCAM on AM in subjects with SA and IPF seems to be involved in the increased O2- production of these cells in both diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases / immunology*
  • Lung Diseases / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / chemistry
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / immunology*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / immunology*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Receptors, Leukocyte-Adhesion / analysis*
  • Sarcoidosis / epidemiology
  • Sarcoidosis / immunology*
  • Sarcoidosis / metabolism
  • Superoxides / analysis
  • Superoxides / metabolism*


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