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Immunology. 1993 Oct;80(2):266-72.

Regulation of T-cell function in lung tissue by pulmonary alveolar macrophages.

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Division of Cell Biology, Western Australian Research Institute for Child Health, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth.


Collagenase digestion of perfused, lavaged rat lung yields a large population of CD5+ T cells, which on current evidence appear to be recently derived from the peripheral blood pool. Two-colour cytofluorographic analysis indicates that approximately 65% are CD4+ T cells, which are predominantly of the activated/memory phenotype. By limiting dilution analysis, these peripheral lung wall T cells and their airway counterparts isolated by bronchoalveolar lavage, exhibit markedly reduced capacity to proliferate by comparison to peripheral blood T cells. However, intratracheal inoculation of liposomes containing dichloro-methylene-diphosphonate at a dosage shown to eliminate the majority of resident alveolar macrophages (AM) rapidly restores the immunocompetence of these lung T-cell populations. These results are discussed in relation to recent reports that in vivo elimination of AM from rats and mice greatly amplifies immune responses to inhaled antigens, in particular T-memory cell-dependent secondary antibody responses.

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