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Ann Intern Med. 1980 Mar;92(3):406-16.

Immunologic abnormalities in sarcoidosis.


Patients with active sarcoidosis (acute and chronic) have a depression in systemic cell-mediated immunity manifested by a reduction in the number of circulating T cells and impaired responses of these cells to polyclonal mitogens and recall antigens. These abnormalities are absent in patients with resolved disease and contrast with heightened B-cell activity. The latter includes elevated serum immunoglobulins and the presence of autoantibodies and circulating immune complexes. Similarly, many humoral abnormalities (for example, immune complexes) are absent in patients with resolved disease. Studies of bronchoalveolar cells have revealed changes that are opposite to what is found in peripheral blood. The number of lymphocytes recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage is increased. This is mainly due to an increase in the number of T cells and a subpopulation of activated T cells. These findings suggest that the lung (when involved) is the site of an immune inflammatory response.

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