Measurement of interleukin-6 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid by radioimmunoassay: differences between patients with interstitial lung disease and control subjects.Clin Exp Immunol. 1991 Jan; 83(1):30-4.CE
Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from subjects with a variety of interstitial lung diseases (active sarcoidosis, pigeon breeders' disease (PBD), asymptomatic pigeon breeders, patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) and from control subjects were assayed for interleukin-6 (IL-6) using a novel radioimmunoassay system. IL-6 was detectable in BALF from all groups, with disease groups showing significantly increased IL-6 levels compared with controls (P less than 0.01 in all cases). When these results were standardized, using urea to compensate for dilution effects in the BALF, only the asymptomatic pigeon breeders had significantly higher IL-6 levels than the controls (P less than 0.025), with all other groups showing no difference. When albumin was used for standardization, both the PBD group (P less than 0.001) and the sarcoidosis patients (P less than 0.01) had considerably lower levels of IL-6 than the control subjects. Using either albumin or urea for standardization, the PBD patients had significantly lower levels of IL-6 than do their asymptomatic counterparts (P less than 0.001 in both cases). This is contrasted by the finding of greatly elevated levels of IgG in the BALF of the PBD patients compared with asymptomatics (P less than 0.001). There was, however, no relation between IL-6 and IgG in any patient group, although the PBD patients had the lowest IL-6 and highest IgG as a group. These findings may suggest a mechanism by which asymptomatic subjects remain free from clinical complaints.