Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 1990 May;80(2):293-8.

Immunomodulation in mineral dust-exposed lungs: stimulatory effect and interleukin-1 release by neutrophils from quartz-elicited alveolitis.

Author information

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Quartz deposition in the rat lung causes an intense and persistent neutrophil alveolitis leading to parenchymal fibrosis. Bronchoalveolar leucocytes (BAL) from quartz-exposed rat lungs were studied for their effects on splenic lymphocyte proliferation; titanium dioxide (TiO2) was used as a control, non-fibrogenic dust. Seven days after the intratracheal instillation of 1 mg of quartz or TiO2 suspended in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), BAL were recovered by lavage; the effect of PBS alone was also studied. TiO2-elicited BAL (macrophages greater than 98%) inhibited splenocytes responding to suboptimal phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) more than PBS-elicited BAL (macrophages greater than 98%); the effect was dependent on the BAL:splenic lymphocyte ratio. Quartz-elicited whole BAL (macrophages 49%, neutrophils 51%), and an alveolar macrophage-enriched population with purity of 87% separated from it, were less inhibitory to splenocyte mitogenesis than PBS-elicited BAL. A neutrophil-enriched population, with a purity of 80%, markedly enhanced splenocyte response to PHA. In addition, whole quartz BAL and the macrophage-enriched population obtained from it enhanced the mitogenesis of T cell-enriched lymphocytes at a much lower BAL:lymphocyte ratio. The neutrophil-enriched quartz BAL enhanced mitogenesis substantially more than the whole or macrophage-enriched population from quartz-exposed lung. Supernatants from normal macrophages, PBS BAL, TiO2 BAL, quartz BAL and both alveolar macrophage and neutrophil-enriched quartz populations were assessed for interleukin-1 (IL-1) activity. Quartz-BAL, quartz macrophages and quartz neutrophils all produced significantly higher IL-1 levels than PBS BAL; the supernatants from quartz neutrophils, however, showed the highest IL-1 activity. These findings suggest that quartz-elicited bronchoalveolar leukocytes, especially neutrophils, enhance lymphocyte proliferation and that increased IL-1 secretion by these cells is likely to be the effector molecule involved. These findings have important implications for immune response in mineral dust-stimulated lung and for inflammatory lung disease in general.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center