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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1997 Mar;155(3):1095-100.

Similar RANTES levels in healthy and asthmatic airways by immunoassay and in situ hybridization.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


To determine if RANTES expression is unregulated in the airways of asthmatic subjects, we performed bronchial mucosal biopsies and airway lavage in seven atopic asthmatic subjects and eight healthy subjects. Immunohistochemistry was used to reveal RANTES protein expression in the airway biopsies. An ELISA was used to quantitate RANTES in lavage. In three subjects in each group, we also used in situ hybridization to reveal mRNA for RANTES in airway biopsies. We found that the mean (+/- SD) percent expression for RANTES in the epithelium and submucosa was 26 +/- 9% and 26 +/- 10% in the asthmatic and healthy tissue samples, respectively. RANTES mRNA was demonstrable in the bronchial mucosa of both healthy and asthmatic subjects, predominantly in the epithelial cells but also in the submucosa. We also found that there was no significant difference in the median RANTES concentrations between the groups (healthy: 2.9 pg/ml [range: 0.0 to 28.7 pg/ml]; asthma: 1.8 pg/ml [range: 0.0 to 82.1 pg/ml], p > 0.05) despite a trend for higher concentrations of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in the asthmatic group (p = 0.08). In summary, this study confirms that cells in airway mucosal tissue produce RANTES but that the level of production in mild stable asthma is not different from that of healthy control subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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