Detection of IL-5 and IL-1 receptor antagonist in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in acute eosinophilic pneumonia

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996 Jun;97(6):1366-74. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(96)70206-3.


Background: Acute eosinophilic pneumonia is an idiopathic cause of respiratory failure, characterized by very high numbers of alveolar eosinophils without significant blood eosinophilia.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine which cytokines are associated with acute eosinophilic pneumonia.

Methods: Soluble IL-1 type II receptor and the cytokines IL-1 beta, IL-1ra, IL-3, IL-5, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were measured in serum and in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from two patients with acute eosinophilic pneumonia during both acute and convalescent phases.

Results: Compared with patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome, the patients with acute eosinophilic pneumonia had high bronchoalveolar lavage fluid levels of IL-5, IL-1ra, and soluble type II IL-1 receptor but not IL-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-3, or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid levels of IL-5 and IL-1ra fell after resolution of symptoms. In the serum of patients with acute eosinophilic pneumonia, IL-5 was not detectable, and IL-1ra was initially high but fell after corticosteroid treatment.

Conclusion: Acute eosinophilic pneumonia is characterized by locally high levels of IL-5, IL-1ra, and soluble type II IL-1 receptor in the alveolar space.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / metabolism*
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Sialoglycoproteins / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • IL1RN protein, human
  • Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein
  • Interleukin-5
  • Sialoglycoproteins