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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Feb;115(2):345-50.

Acute LPS inhalation in healthy volunteers induces dendritic cell maturation in vivo.

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Center for Environmental Biology, Asthma, and Lung Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.



We have been studying the innate immune response of airways cells of healthy human volunteers to inhaled LPS, a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand, and have shown that macrophage phagocytic capacity is blunted.


Because a primary feature of dendritic cell (DC) maturation is a loss of phagocytic capacity, we sought to determine whether acute LPS inhalation in healthy volunteers promotes DC maturation in vivo.


Phagocytosis (IgG-opsonized zymosan particles) and cell-surface phenotypes were analyzed by flow cytometry of induced sputum cells obtained before and 6 hours after Clinical Center Reference Endotoxin (CCRE; 20,000 EU) inhalation in 9 healthy volunteers.


Neutrophils were elevated in the airways after CCRE inhalation (67% +/- 6% vs 37% +/- 6%; P < .05). Phagocytosis (monocytes, macrophages) was blunted (73%, 46%; P < .05) and negatively correlated with PMN influx ( R = -0.73; P < .05) after CCRE inhalation. GM-CSF and IL-1beta, potent DC maturation agents, were elevated after versus before CCRE inhalation (217 pg/mL +/- 103 pg/mL vs 722 pg/mL +/- 202 pg/mL; 83 pg/mL +/- 24 pg/mL vs 148 pg/mL +/- 37 pg/mL, respectively; P < .05). Markers of DC maturation (CD80, CD86, HLA-DR) were upregulated on monocytes and macrophages ( P < .05), and discrete populations of mature DC were observed ( P < .05) after CCRE inhalation.


Inhaled LPS, directly through TLR4 stimulation of immature DC and/or indirectly through stimulation of GM-CSF and IL-1beta, induces pulmonary DC maturation in vivo . Inhaled LPS may enhance allergic airways responses to air pollution through its ability to induce DC maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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