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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 15, 1992; 89(12): 5371–5375.

Expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 mRNA in human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


Macrophages are thought to play an important role in the pathologic changes associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The mechanisms for increased monocyte/macrophage recruitment in IPF are unknown. Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) is the predominant monocyte chemoattractant secreted by a variety of different cell types in culture. We examined the expression of MCP-1 mRNA and its protein product in vivo in IPF and non-IPF lung specimens by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. The cell types expressing MCP-1 in vivo were identified by immunostaining with specific antibodies. We demonstrated the expression of MCP-1 mRNA in pulmonary epithelial cells, in monocytes/macrophages, and in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Lung epithelial cells in patients with IPF strongly expressed MCP-1 mRNA and its protein product. In contrast, epithelial cells in non-IPF specimens did not express MCP-1 mRNA. Macrophages and vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells were shown to express MCP-1 in both IPF and non-IPF lung specimens. These findings provide a basis for the understanding of the in vivo physiologic processes that mediate monocyte/macrophage recruitment and infiltration in the lung interstitium and the pathologic state contributing to an increased alveolar monocyte/macrophage population and inflammation in IPF.

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