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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2003 Nov;22(11):1280-3.

Interleukin-17 stimulates release of interleukin-8 by human airway smooth muscle cells in vitro: a potential role for interleukin-17 and airway smooth muscle cells in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome.

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Laboratory of Pneumology, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome is the major constraint on the long-term survival after lung transplantation. Both neutrophils and interleukin (IL)-8, a potent neutrophil attractant, have been shown to play an important role in the pathophysiology of obliterative bronchiolitis. We investigated the potential role of human airway smooth muscle cells in obliterative bronchiolitis by studying their release of IL-8 after stimulation with IL-17, a novel T-cell-derived chemokine capable of attracting and activating neutrophils. We demonstrated a significant increase in IL-8 release, reaching a concentration of 86.6 ng/ml (SEM 1.9 ng/ml) with 100 ng/ml IL-17 (p < 0.01, n = 4), as compared with non-stimulated cells. This IL-17-mediated IL-8 release could not be inhibited by dexamethasone. We conclude that human airway smooth muscle cells may play an important pro-inflammatory role in neutrophilic inflammatory diseases such as chronic rejection after lung transplantation; furthermore, IL-17 may be the link between lymphocytes and neutrophils.

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