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J Immunol. 1998 Dec 1;161(11):6413-20.

Involvement of the IP-10 chemokine in sarcoid granulomatous reactions.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Padova University School of Medicine, Italy.


The accumulation of T cells and monocytes at sites of ongoing inflammation represents the earliest step in the series of events that lead to granuloma formation in sarcoidosis. In this study, we evaluated the pulmonary production of IFN-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), a CXC chemokine that stimulates the directional migration of activated T cells. Striking levels of IP-10 were demonstrated in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of 24 patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis and lymphocytic alveolitis, as compared with patients with inactive disease or control subjects. A positive correlation was demonstrated between IP-10 levels and the number of sarcoid CD45R0+/CD4+ cells in the BAL. Immunochemistry, performed with an anti-human IP-10 polyclonal Ab in lymph nodes displaying prominent sarcoid granulomas, showed that cells bearing IP-10 were mainly epithelioid cells and CD68+ macrophages located inside granulomatous areas. Macrophages recovered from the BAL of sarcoid patients stained positive for IP-10 protein. Furthermore, alveolar macrophages isolated from sarcoid patients with T cell alveolitis and cultured for 24 h in presence of IFN-gamma secreted definite levels of IP-10 capable of inducing T cell chemiotaxis. Interestingly, alveolar lymphocytes recovered from patients with active sarcoidosis were CD4+ T cells expressing Th1 cytokines (IL-2 and IFN-gamma) and high levels of CXCR3. Taken together, these data suggest the potential role of IP-10 in regulating the migration and activation of T cells toward sites of sarcoid inflammatory process and the consequent granuloma formation.

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