Maintenance of alveolitis in patients with chronic beryllium disease by beryllium-specific helper T cells. Academic Article uri icon

Overview

MeSH

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • T-Lymphocytes

MeSH Major

  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic
  • Berylliosis
  • Beryllium
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer

abstract

  • Chronic beryllium disease is characterized by the accumulation of helper/inducer T cells, macrophages, and granulomas in the lungs. To evaluate the hypothesis that the proliferation of CD4+ (helper/inducer) T cells in the lungs of patients with this disorder is maintained by local activation of beryllium-specific T-cell clones, we studied T cells obtained from peripheral blood and by bronchoalveolar lavage in eight patients and five healthy controls. The proliferation of T cells in response to beryllium in vitro was confined to the CD4+ T cells from the patients and was dependent on the presentation of antigen in the presence of both major histocompatibility complex class II antigens and functional interleukin-2 receptors. T cells from the patients' lungs had a significantly greater response to beryllium than did T cells from their peripheral blood (stimulation index, 103 vs. 5; P less than 0.01). Lines and clones of cells developed from T cells from the patients' lungs showed dose-dependent proliferation in response to beryllium but did not respond to recall antigens or to other metals. Although all beryllium-specific T-cell clones were CD4+ and none were CD8+ (suppressor/cytotoxic), all beryllium-specific clones studied had different rearrangements of T-cell antigen receptors, suggesting that the response to beryllium involved T cells with diverse specificities for beryllium. We conclude that in patients with chronic beryllium disease, beryllium acts as a class II-restricted antigen, stimulating local proliferation and accumulation in the lung of beryllium-specific CD4+ (helper/inducer) T cells. Hence, chronic beryllium disease is a hypersensitivity disease in which beryllium is the specific antigen.

publication date

  • April 27, 1989

has subject area

  • Adult
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Berylliosis
  • Beryllium
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer

Research

keywords

  • Journal Article

Identity

Language

  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1056/NEJM198904273201702

PubMed ID

  • 2469014

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1103

end page

  • 1109

volume

  • 320

number

  • 17