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Clinical Investigations: HYPERSENSITIVITY |

Up-regulation of L-Selectin and E-Selectin in Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis*

Carmen Navarro, MD; Felipe Mendoza, MSc; Lourdes Barrera, MSc; Lourdes Segura-Valdez, PhD; Miguel Gaxiola, MD; Ignacio Páramo, MSc; Moisés Selman, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Tlalpan 4502, México DF, México.

Correspondence to: Moisés Selman, MD, FCCP, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Tlalpan 4502; Col. Sección XVI, México DF, CP 14080, México; e-mail: mselman@conacyt.mx



Chest. 2002;121(2):354-360. doi:10.1378/chest.121.2.354
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Background: Selectins are adhesion molecules that contribute to leukocyte recruitment into the tissue after an injury. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a lymphocytic alveolitis, and we hypothesized that the overexpression of selectins could play a role in this process.

Patients and measurements: We studied 16 patients with HP and 7 healthy control subjects (HCs). Sera and BAL selectins and tumor necrosis factor-α were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cellular lung localization was determined by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, BAL L-selectin, and L-selectin-bearing T-lymphocytes analyzed by flow cytometry were evaluated in HP patients and in exposed but asymptomatic subjects (EAS).

Setting: Tertiary referral center and immunohistochemistry laboratory.

Results: Raised levels of E-selectin (mean [± SD], 178.9 ± 30.5 vs 59.4 ± 4.7 ng/mL, respectively; p < 0.001) and P-selectin (mean, 232.6 ± 29.9 vs 67.6 ± 14.2 ng/mL, respectively; p < 0.001) were detected in HP patient sera compared to control subjects, while L-selectin levels showed no differences between groups. Conversely, HP patients displayed a significant increase in levels of L-selectin found in BAL fluid compared with both HCs and EAS (11.0 ± 1.7 vs 6.9 ± 0.43 and 3.1 ± 0.5 ng/mL, respectively; p < 0.05). The levels of E-selectin found in BAL fluid were similar in patients from both groups, and P-selectin was not detected. Percentage of CD3+CD62 L+ lymphocytes was lower in HP patients compared with EAS (2.33 ± 0.8 vs 4.31 ± 2.4, respectively; p = 0.05). By immunohistochemistry, L-selectin was detected in interstitial macrophages and polymorphonuclear cells, and E-selectin was detected in endothelial cells.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that L-selectin and E-selectin are up-regulated during the development of HP, suggesting that they may contribute to the increased traffic of lung inflammatory cells.

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