Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Down modulation of L-Selectin expression on eosinophils recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after allergen provocation


Dr L. Koenderman. Department of Pulmonary Diseases (F.02.333), University Hospital Utrecht. PO Box 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In allergic asthma eosinophils infiltrate into the lung after allergen challenge. The mechanism of this cellular infiltration is not fully understood. L-Selectin is involved in leucocyte-endothelial cell recognition and participates in homing of leucocytes into sites of inflammation. To find indications for a role of L-Selectin in the migration of eosinophils to the bronchoalveolar space we measured L-Selectin expression on eosinophils in peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) 4 hr after the early allergic reaction after allergen challenge. Nine patients with allergic asthma participated in the study. An eosinophil specific high depolarization signal enabled us to measure L-Selectin expression on eosinophils in a FACS analysis without isolation of these cells. Eosinophils recovered from BAL showed a strong decrease of L-Selectin expression compared to blood eosinophils. This decrease in L-Selectin expression can be induced in vitro by activation of eosinophils with PMA or FMLP whereas priming of eosinophils during several hours with GM-CSF did not influence L-Selectin expression. Our results are a first indication that L-Selectin may play a role during homing of eosinophils in the lung in asthma after allergen challenge. Moreover, the low expression of L-Selectin on eosinophils in the lung is a further indication that these cells exhibit an activated phenotype.