Immunocytochemical Characterization of Lung Macrophage Surface Phenotypes and Expression of Cytokines in Acute Experimental Silicosis in Mice

Research paper by C. Orfila, J. C. Lepert, S. Gossart, M. F. Frisach, C. Cambon, B. Pipy

Indexed on: 01 Dec '98Published on: 01 Dec '98Published in: The Histochemical journal


The expression of the surface phenotypical profile and the cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β from murine lung macrophages was studied in parenchymal lung tissue and bronchoalveolar fluid of mice, over a 2-week period, following a single intratracheal instillation of silica. The acute inflammatory reaction, confirmed by a significant augmentation of four times the control values of the number of macrophages recovered by lavage from experimental animals, was followed by organized granulomas in the interstitium. The immunohistochemical analysis of lung tissue sections after silica instillation demonstrated the increased alveolar and interstitial tissue expression of all surface antigens and cytokines studied, mainly Mac-1, F4/80 antigens, TNF-α and IL-1β, which were occasionally observed in normal uninjected and saline-treated mice. These findings show that, after silica instillation, the expression of surface phenotypical markers of lung macrophages increased, and this change was concomitantly associated with an increased expression of the cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β. These changes support the conclusion that an influx of the newly recruited and activated macrophage population, with a different phenotype, is induced by treatment during inflammation. The populational changes involve difference in functional activity and enhance TNF-α and IL-1β expression. These cytokines, produced in the silicosis-induced inflammatory process, are associated with the development of fibrosis and may contribute to disease severity. © 1998 Chapman & Hall