Peripolesis in alveolar sarcoidosis

T. C. Van Maarsseveen, J. De Groot, J. Stam, P. J. Van Diest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We observed that in bronchoalveolar lavages (BAL) of patients with active sarcoidosis (SARC) a mononuclear cell infiltrate is present that often contains clusters consisting of lymphocytes adhering to a macrophage. In order to investigate what kind of cellular interactions are involved in such a process, cell suspensions obtained from BAL of patients with SARC or extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA) were cultured for 1 to 2 days, during which time lapse cinematography was applied. We were able to show that such clusters consist of lymphocytes gathered around a macrophage. This is known as peripolesis. Peripolesis, as observed in our BAL, could last for some minutes or for some hours during which time a number of lymphocytes were moving around a single alveolar macrophage, without losing contact with the macrophage. Short interactions were mostly observed in EAA, whereas SARC was characterized by long periods of lymphocyte-macrophage cooperation. We also found a correlation between the time-dependent peripolesis t > 30 min/t <30 min and the CD4/CD8 ratio. Although the precise mechanisms of peripolesis are not well understood, some interactions between lymphocytes and macrophages have now become more comprehensive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1263
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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