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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jun 15;89(12):5371-5.

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

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  • 1Center for Blood Research, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.


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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