Defective chemotaxis of human alveolar macrophages

Guido Poli, Annalaura Erroi, Nadia Polentarutti, Luca Vago, Maurizio Luisetti, Andrea Biondi, Alberto Mantovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAM) from normal subjects, unlike peripheral blood monocytes (PBM), are unable to migrate in response to various chemoattractants, such as C5a, f-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP) and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). Inflammatory PAM obtained from sarcoid patients also failed to exhibit a chemotactic response. Binding studies using [3H]PDBU demonstrate high affinity receptors for phorbol esters on PAM surface, in a comparable amount (1.5-2.4 × 106 receptors/cell) to PBM (8-15 × 105 receptors/cell). Moreover, PAM were comparable to PBM in terms of superoxide anion (O-2) release in response to PMA. Therefore, the defective locomotory response of PAM cannot be accounted for by lack of chemoattractant receptors, at least for phorbol esters. Worthy of note, PMA receptors on PAM are able to transduce activating signals for O-2 generation. These findings show that competence for chemotaxis is heterogeneously distributed among mononuclear phagocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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