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Laboratory and Animal Investigations |

Marked Up-regulation of T Lymphocytes and Expression of Interleukin-9 in Bronchial Biopsies From Patients With Chronic Bronchitis With Obstruction*

Petr Panzner; Jean-Jacques Lafitte; Anne Tsicopoulos; Qutayba Hamid; Meri K. Tulic
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Immunology and Allergology (Dr. Panzner) Medical Faculty of the Charles University, Plzen, Czech Republic; Pathologie Immuno-allergique Respiratoire INSERM U416 (Drs. Lafitte and Tsicopoulos), Institut Pasteur de Lille, Calmette Hospital, CHR et U de Lille, France; and Meakins-Christie Laboratories (Drs. Hamid and Tulic), McGill University Health Center, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Correspondence to: Meri K. Tulic, PhD, Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University, 3626 St. Urbain St, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2X 2P2; e-mail: meri.tulic@mcgill.ca



Chest. 2003;124(5):1909-1915. doi:10.1378/chest.124.5.1909
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Study objective: To examine the differences in the inflammatory cell and cytokine profile between patients with chronic bronchitis (CB) with and without airway obstruction compared to control subjects.

Design: We used bronchial biopsy samples from the patients and control subjects and analyzed them for the presence of CD3 T cells, CD68, major basic protein (MBP), elastase, and tryptase, as well as expression of messenger RNA (mRNA) coding for interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-9, eotaxin, and IFN-γ–inducible protein (IP)-10. The techniques of immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization were used. Results were expressed as the number of immunoreactive and mRNA-positive cells per field.

Results: Increased number of elastase, CD68, and MBP-positive cells (n = 9, p < 0.01) was demonstrated in both groups of patients with CB compared to control subjects. In patients with CB and obstruction, the number of elastase, CD68, and the number of CD3-positive cells was significantly increased compared to patients with CB without obstruction (n = 9, p < 0.01). IFN-γ mRNA expression was increased in both groups of patients with CB compared to control subjects (n = 9, p < 0.01). IL-9 mRNA was significantly increased only in patients with CB and obstruction (n = 9, p < 0.01). Co-localization studies demonstrated > 80% of all IL-9–positive cells to be CD3-positive T cells. IP-10 mRNA was significantly increased in both groups of patients with CB compared to control subjects (n = 9, p < 0.01).

Conclusions: These results indicate a differential expression of inflammatory markers and cytokine mRNA in patients with obstructive CB. Increased presence of T lymphocytes and up-regulation of IL-9 and IP-10 mRNA expression in the bronchial biopsy samples may contribute to the airway obstruction in these patients.

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