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J Clin Invest. 1997 Sep 1; 100(5): 1015–1027.
PMCID: PMC508276

The critical early proinflammatory events associated with idiopathic pneumonia syndrome in irradiated murine allogeneic recipients are due to donor T cell infusion and potentiated by cyclophosphamide.


We have hypothesized that lung damage occurring in the peri-bone marrow transplant (BMT) period is critical for the subsequent generation of idiopathic pneumonia syndrome (IPS), a major complication following human BMT. The proinflammatory events induced by a common pre-BMT conditioning regimen, cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan(R)) (Cy) and total body irradiation, were analyzed in a murine BMT model. Electron microscopy indicated that Cy exacerbated irradiation-induced epithelial cell injury as early as day 3 after BMT. Allogenicity was an important contributing factor to lung injury as measured by lung wet and dry weights and decreased specific lung compliance. The most significant pulmonary dysfunction was seen in mice receiving both allogeneic T cells and Cy conditioning. IPS was associated with an influx of T cells, macrophages, and neutrophils early post-BMT. Hydroxyproline levels were not increased, indicating that the injury was not fibrotic early post-BMT. As early as 2 h after chemoradiation, host macrophages increased in number in the lung parenchyma. Continued increases in macrophages occurred if splenic T cells were administered with the donor graft. The expression of costimulatory B7 molecules correlated with macrophage numbers. Frequencies of cells expressing mRNA for the inflammatory proteins TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and TGFbeta were increased. Cy accelerated the upregulation of TGFbeta and increase in host macrophages. The exacerbation of macrophage activation and severity of IPS was dependent on allogeneic T cells, implicating immune-mediated mechanisms as critical to the outcome of IPS. This demonstration of early injury after BMT indicates the need for very early therapeutic intervention before lung damage becomes profound and irreversible.

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