Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Sep;150(3):696-703.

Altered cytokine regulation in the lungs of cigarette smokers.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.


Cigarette smoking is the major factor responsible for chronic obstructive lung disease, but it occurs in only a minority of smokers. Smoking is associated with increased susceptibility to pulmonary infections and with a neutrophil- and macrophage-rich inflammation of the small airways. We compared concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-8 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and measured the capacity of BALF macrophages to release TNF and IL-6 in vitro in nine smokers (19.1 +/- 4.2 pack-years; mean +/- SE) and nine nonsmokers. Compared with nonsmokers, BALF from smokers contained more cells (65.3 +/- 13.2 versus 27.2 +/- 4.8 x 10(6); p < 0.02), but much lower concentrations of IL-6 (1.8 +/- 1.0 versus 15.9 +/- 5.8 pg/ml; p < 0.05). The two smokers with the highest number of BALF cells had increased BALF concentrations of interleukin-8 (IL-8), but there was no difference in BALF IL-8 concentrations between the two groups (p = 0.08). Compared with BALF macrophages from nonsmokers, cells from smokers released less TNF (211 +/- 77 versus 1,406 +/- 348 units per 10(8) cells; p < 0.01) and IL-6 (5.8 +/- 2.6 versus 64.9 +/- 23.3 hybridoma units per ml; p < 0.02) during a 6-h incubation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We conclude that even in young, healthy smokers the pulmonary microenvironment is markedly abnormal, characterized by depressed levels of IL-6, macrophages that have a markedly depressed capacity for LPS-induced cytokine release and, in some smokers, increased concentrations of IL-8.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center