Differential cytokine, chemokine and growth factor expression in phenotypes of chronic lung allograft dysfunction

Stijn E Verleden, David Ruttens, Robin Vos, Elly Vandermeulen, Eva Moelants, Anneleen Mortier, Dirk E Van Raemdonck, Paul Proost, Dominique Schols, Geert M Verleden, Bart M Vanaudenaerde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Chronic lung allograft dysfunction is a heterogeneous entity limiting long-term survival after lung transplantation. Different clinical phenotypes (bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome [BOS]-neutrophilic BOS-restrictive allograft syndrome [RAS]) have been identified but the mechanisms remain elusive.

METHODS: In this study, we measured 34 different cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of 20 stable patients, 20 patients suffering from non-neutrophilic BOS, 17 from neutrophilic BOS, and 20 from RAS using classic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and multiplex technology.

RESULTS: Total cell count and % neutrophils were elevated in neutrophilic BOS and RAS compared to stable and non-neutrophilic BOS patients, whereas also the % eosinophils was elevated at diagnosis of RAS. Levels of interleukin (IL)-1β (P<0.01), IL-1Rα (P<0.001), IL-6 (P<0.001), IL-8/CXCL8 (P<0.001), IP-10/CXCL10 (P<0.05), MCP-1/CCL2 (P<0.05), macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α/CCL3 (P<0.001), MIP-1β/CCL4, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF; P<0.05) were differentially regulated in RAS compared to stable, whereas in neutrophilic BOS IL-1β (P<0.001), IL-1Rα (P<0.01), IL-7 (P<0.05), IL-8/CXCL8 (P<0.001), MCP-3/CXCCL7 (P<0.05) and MIP-1α/CCL-3 (P<0.05) were significantly upregulated compared to stable patients. We could not detect any differences between non-neutrophilic BOS and stable patients. Interestingly, bronchoalveolar lavage IL-6, interferon gamma-induced protein (IP)-10/CXCL10 and interferon-inducible T-cell alpha chemoattractant/chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 11 (ITAC/CXCL10) were associated with survival after diagnosis in RAS patients.

CONCLUSION: There were major differences in cytokine and chemokine expression in our different study groups. Especially IL-6, but also IP-10/CXCL10, and VEGF may be interesting mediators in RAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Adult
  • Allografts
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans/classification
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology
  • Chemokines/analysis
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines/analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Eosinophils/immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/analysis
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung Transplantation/adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils/immunology
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


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