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Scand J Work Environ Health. 1994 Oct;20(5):376-81.

CD8 T-cell clones producing interleukin-5 and interferon-gamma in bronchial mucosa of patients with asthma induced by toluene diisocyanate.

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Institute of Occupational Medicine, University of Padova, Italy.



The aims of the present study were to determine whether specific in vivo stimulation of asthmatics sensitized with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) induces the activation of T lymphocytes in bronchial mucosa and to characterize their phenotype and cytokine secretion profile.


Bronchial biopsies from two subjects with occupational asthma due to TDI were obtained 48 h after an asthmatic reaction induced by an inhalation challenge with TDI and after three months of no exposure to TDI, at the time when the subjects had recovered from their asthma. The fragments of bronchial mucosa were cultured in the presence of interleukin-2 so that the in vivo activated T cells present in the tissue would expand, and T blasts were then cloned under limiting dilution conditions.


From the two 48-h specimens, 65 and 63 T-cell clones were obtained. Most of the clones exhibited the CD8 phenotype (82 and 83%). All of the CD8 clones produced interferon-gamma and 44% produced interleukin-5, but only 6% secreted interleukin-4 as well. Three months after the cessation of exposure, growing T cells could not be recovered from bronchial biopsies cultured in interleukin-2.


The results suggest that, in sensitized subjects, exposure to TDI induces the activation of a subset of CD8 lymphocytes producing interferon-gamma and interleukin-5.

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