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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A Vicious Circle of Alveolar Macrophages and Fibroblasts Perpetuates Pulmonary Fibrosis via CCL18.

Rationale: Recently, models of macrophage activation have been revised. Macrophages stimulated with Th2 cytokines have been classified as alternatively activated. Objectives: This article examines the expression and regulation of CC chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18), a marker of alternative activation, by human alveolar macrophages (AMs). Methods: AM were obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis (n = 69) and healthy volunteers (n = 22). Expression of CCL18 was determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Measurements and Main Results: Spontaneous CCL18 production by BAL-derived cells was markedly increased in patients with pulmonary fibrosis and correlated negatively with pulmonary function test parameters. CCL18 gene expression and protein production were up-regulated in normal AMs after Th2 cytokine stimulation and/or coculture with human lung fibroblasts. Native collagen significantly up-regulated CCL18 expression in normal AMs activated with Th2 cytokines via a mechanism mediated by beta(2)-integrin/ scavenger receptor(s). Culture supernatants of AMs from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis increased collagen production by normal lung fibroblasts partly mediated via CCL18. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that AMs from patients with pulmonary fibrosis disclose a phenotype of alternative activation and might be a part of a positive feedback loop with lung fibroblasts perpetuating fibrotic processes.[1]


  1. A Vicious Circle of Alveolar Macrophages and Fibroblasts Perpetuates Pulmonary Fibrosis via CCL18. Prasse, A., Pechkovsky, D.V., Toews, G.B., Jungraithmayr, W., Kollert, F., Goldmann, T., Vollmer, E., Müller-Quernheim, J., Zissel, G. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. (2006) [Pubmed]
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