Increases in activated T lymphocytes, eosinophils, and cytokine mRNA expression for interleukin-5 and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor in bronchial biopsies after allergen inhalation challenge in atopic asthmatics

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1993 Jan;8(1):35-42. doi: 10.1165/ajrcmb/8.1.35.


Immunohistology and in situ hybridization were used to evaluate the presence, activation status, and cytokine mRNA profile of cells in the bronchial mucosa during human allergen-induced asthma. Fifteen atopic asthmatic subjects underwent inhalation challenge with allergen and with allergen diluent, performed in random order separated by an interval of at least 3 wk. Bronchial biopsies were obtained 24 h after challenge. Immunostaining revealed increases in the numbers of secreting eosinophils (EG2+; P < 0.05) and in interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R)-positive cells (CD25+; P < 0.01) after allergen compared with diluent challenge. No differences were observed in the numbers of total leukocytes (CD45+), T lymphocytes (CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+), elastase-positive neutrophils, macrophages (CD68+), or mast cell subtypes (MCT+ or MCTC+). In situ hybridization revealed significant increases in the numbers of cells expressing mRNA for IL-5 (P < 0.02) and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (P < 0.01) after allergen compared with diluent challenge. A significant inverse relationship was observed between the number of cells expressing mRNA for IL-4 and for interferon-gamma (r = -0.75, P < 0.02). The results support the view that cytokines possibly from activated T lymphocytes may contribute to local eosinophil accumulation during allergen-induced asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Female
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / genetics
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interleukin-5 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-5 / genetics
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Allergens
  • Interleukin-5
  • Interleukins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor