CD69 surface expression on human lung eosinophils after segmental allergen provocation.Eur Respir J. 1999 Jun; 13(6):1253-9.ER
CD69 expression on eosinophils is observed in asthma and has been proposed as a marker of eosinophil activation. The role of allergens in the in vivo regulation of CD69 expression on eosinophils, however, remains incompletely understood. It was therefore investigated whether CD69 expression on eosinophils can be induced by allergen provocation in vivo. Ten allergic asthmatics were studied by segmental allergen provocation. Two segments of the right and left lung were challenged with allergen or saline. CD69 expression was determined by flow cytometry and concentrations of interleukins were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Expression of CD69 on BAL eosinophils in the segments lavaged 10 min following saline instillation (28.3+/-8.8 specific mean fluorescence (SMF)) was not significantly different to segments lavaged 10 min after allergen (80.2+/-21.8 SMF) and segments lavaged 18 h after saline challenge (87.2+/-23.3 SMF). However, CD69 expression on eosinophils increased significantly 18 h after allergen challenge (128.6+/-21.9 SMF, p<0.03) which was accompanied by elevated granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) concentrations (114.9+/-42.9 pg x mL(-1), p<0.05). CD69 expression on eosinophils and GM-CSF concentrations correlated 18 h following allergen provocation (r = 0.7, p<0.025). These results suggest that in allergic asthma there is an allergen dependent, endobronchial upregulation of eosinophil activation as assessed by CD69 expression on eosinophils.