Cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with active pulmonary sarcoidosis

Reda E. Girgis, Michael A. Basha, Mary Maliarik, John Popovich, Michael C. Iannuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Numerous cytokines are thought to be important in the pathogenesis of granulomatous inflammation and subsequent fibrosis in sarcoidosis. Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, two recently described cytokines with a broad spectrum of proinflammatory effects, could participate in this disease. We obtained bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from 16 subjects (13 African- American, three Caucasian) with untreated active pulmonary sarcoidosis and 10 healthy nonsmoking volunteers (nine Caucasian, one African-American). Concentrated BALF was analyzed by an ELISA for IL-6, IL-8, and albumin. The median IL-6 level was 9.8 pg/mg albumin (range, 0-278) for the sarcoid group compared with 0.14 pg/mg (range, 0.14-9.8) in the control subjects (p = 0.001). The corresponding values for IL-8 were 202 pg/mg (range, 35-2179) versus 5.0 pg/mg (range, 0-44) in the control subjects (p < 0.001). Among the sarcoid patients, BALF IL-6 and IL-8 levels correlated with each other (r = 0.96, p < 0.001), and both cytokines correlated with the BALF neutrophil percentage (r = 0.96 and 0.95, respectively; p < 0.001 for both). No difference was detected in IL-8 concentrations as measured by ELISA in culture supernatants of alveolar macrophages obtained from five sarcoid patients and five control subjects. We conclude that IL-6 and IL-8 are elevated in BALF of patients with active sarcoidosis and may be important modulators of the disease process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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