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Respir Med. 2004 Aug;98(8):737-45.

Influence of inflammatory mechanisms on the redox balance in interstitial lung diseases.

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GSF-National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Institute for Inhalation Biology, Ingolstaedter Landstr. 1, Neuherberg, M√ľnchen 85764, Germany.


This study investigated the hypothesis that inflammatory, regulatory and antioxidant systems control the redox balance in interstitial lung diseases. Spontaneous mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines and redox-active enzymes was examined in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and sarcoidosis (SARC) using RT-PCR analysis. Pulmonary oxidative stress was characterized by carbonyl-levels in the soluble BAL-fluid protein. Protein carbonyls were normal in SARC, but 2.4-fold increased in IPF. Here, the protein carbonyls correlated inversely with glutathione peroxidase mRNA. The message for IL-8 increased 14-fold in IPF and was accompanied by a marked influx of PMN, while these parameters were not altered in SARC. Levels of IL-10 transcripts increased in both diseases, but stronger in SARC (33-fold) than in IPF (22-fold), contributing to a high IL-10/IL-8 mRNA ratio in SARC (0.86) in comparison to IPF (0.07) and controls (0.04). In SARC but not in IPF, IFN-gamma mRNA was expressed at high levels and correlated inversely with the carbonyl levels. In both diseases, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 mRNA transcripts remained at baseline level. In summary, a low IL-10/IL-8 mRNA ratio was paralleled with significant oxidative stress in IPF, while a high IL-10/IL-8 ratio and enhanced IFN-gamma expression went along with a physiological redox-balance in SARC.

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