Lung lymphocytes in bleomycin-induced pulmonary disease

Jill P. Karpel, Thomas K. Aldrich, Sumi Mitsudo, Allen J. Norin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Previous studies have not clearly defined the role of cell-mediated immunity in bleomycin-induced lung injury. In this report the functional activity of T lymphocytes obtained from minced lung preparations, bronchoalveolar lavage, and blood of rabbits treated with bleomycin was examined in cell proliferation and cell-mediated cytotoxicity assays. Four days after instillation of bleomycin (10 units/kg) into the right lung, histologic examination revealed mononuclear cell interstitial infiltrates and alveolar exudates. Right lung bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell counts were similar in both groups, but the percentage of lymphocytes and neutrophils was elevated in bleomycin-treated groups (25% vs. 7% and 35% vs. 0% respectively;p<0.05). Spontaneous proliferation of cultured BAL and blood lymphocytes was similar in bleomycin-treated rabbits and controls. After 24 h of incubation with interleukin-2 (IL-2), BAL lymphocytes from bleomycin-treated rabbits had nearly a 4-fold greater proliferative response than lymphocytes from untreated rabbits. Concanavalin-A-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (CDCMC) assays were performed to evaluate cytolytic lymphocyte activity. Spontaneous CDCMC activity was not detected in BAL fluid or in blood lymphocytes from either treated or control animals. After 24 h of incubation with IL-2, significant CDCMC activity was detected in lung lymphocytes from bleomycin-treated animals, but not in lung lymphocytes from control animals. These results indicate that stimulated lymphocytes are present in the lungs of rabbits 4 days after exposure to bleomycin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989


  • Bleomycin
  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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