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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Jun;161(6):1991-8.

Insulinlike growth factor-1 in lung transplants with obliterative bronchiolitis.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Immunologie Pulmonaire and Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital Laënnec, Paris, France.


Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the major complication limiting survival of lung transplant recipients (Tx patients). The mechanisms underlying this fibrotic process are not known. We assessed IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 expression, critical mediators in different models of pulmonary fibrosis, in nine Tx patients. Three of them developed a BOS at 8, 14, and 17 mo postgraft, respectively. Two of the remaining six displayed a recurrent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, and four are in stable condition. IGF-1 mRNA expression was quantitated by RT-PCR in cells from four to six BAL per patient performed during the first 6 mo postgraft. Contrasting with a constantly low expression of IGF-1 mRNA in BAL cells from the six patients without BOS, the three patients with BOS presented marked peaks of IGF-1 on two to five occasions during the study period. These peaks, 3- to 13-fold increased compared with values from the former patients, preceded the diagnosis of BOS by 7, 13, and 17 mo, respectively. On the other hand, IGFBP-3 was highly and exclusively expressed in the three patients with BOS, the mRNA as well as the gene product as demonstrated by Western blotting. Our data strongly argue for a role of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in the fibrotic process underlying BOS, and for their possible value as an early marker of this complication.

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