Mast cells in the airway lumen and bronchial mucosa of patients with chronic bronchitis

Alberto Pesci, Giovanni A. Rossi, Giuseppina Bertorelli, Antonio Aufiero, Pietro Zanon, Dario Olivieri

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Abstract

In order to evaluate the degree of mast cell infiltration and determine their granulation state in the airways of patients with chronic bronchitis, bronchoscopy was performed in 25 chronic bronchitis subjects (10 smokers and 15 ex-smokers) with mucoid sputum production and in seven normal nonsmoking control subjects. Bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial biopsies were examined using histochemical techniques. Subjects with chronic bronchitis had higher numbers of mast cells both in the epithelium (1.22 ± 1 versus 0.22 ± 0.2 mast cells per mm) and in the bronchial glands (137.4 ± 37.9 versus 38 ± 5.1 mast cells per mm2) than did control subjects (p <0.01 and p <0.001, respectively), whereas the numbers of mast cells in bronchoalveolar lavage (0.21 ± 0.1 versus 0.18 ± 0.1 mast cells percentage, nonsignificant [NS]) and in the lamina propria (87.5 ± 66.4 versus 87.2 ± 61.8 mast cells per mm2, NS) were similar in the two groups. In the smoking group of bronchitics an increase in mast cell numbers was observed in epithelium (1.6 ± 1.3 versus 0.95 ± 0.7 mast cells per mm, NS), in lamina propria (112.2 ± 86.5 versus 71.7 ± 45.7 mast cells per mm2), and in BAL (0.26 ± 0.21 versus 0.16 ± 0.17 mast cell percentage of total cells, NS) in comparison with the ex-smoker's group of bronchitics. There was a significant increase in the number of partially degranulated mast cells in bronchial glands of subjects with chronic bronchitis (23.8 ± 19.7 versus zero percent of mast cell number, p <0.05), whereas the numbers of granulated, partially degranulated, and degranulated mast cells were similar in the epithelium and the lamina propria. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence of mast cell infiltration and degranulation in the bronchial glands of patients with chronic bronchitis, supporting mast cell involvement in pathogenesis of airway hypersecretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1311-1316
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume149
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

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Chronic Bronchitis
Mast Cells
Mucous Membrane
Epithelium
Bronchoalveolar Lavage
Cell Count
Cell Degranulation
Dimercaprol
Bronchoscopy
Sputum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Pesci, A., Rossi, G. A., Bertorelli, G., Aufiero, A., Zanon, P., & Olivieri, D. (1994). Mast cells in the airway lumen and bronchial mucosa of patients with chronic bronchitis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 149(5), 1311-1316.

Mast cells in the airway lumen and bronchial mucosa of patients with chronic bronchitis. / Pesci, Alberto; Rossi, Giovanni A.; Bertorelli, Giuseppina; Aufiero, Antonio; Zanon, Pietro; Olivieri, Dario.

In: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 149, No. 5, 05.1994, p. 1311-1316.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pesci, A, Rossi, GA, Bertorelli, G, Aufiero, A, Zanon, P & Olivieri, D 1994, 'Mast cells in the airway lumen and bronchial mucosa of patients with chronic bronchitis', American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vol. 149, no. 5, pp. 1311-1316.
Pesci, Alberto ; Rossi, Giovanni A. ; Bertorelli, Giuseppina ; Aufiero, Antonio ; Zanon, Pietro ; Olivieri, Dario. / Mast cells in the airway lumen and bronchial mucosa of patients with chronic bronchitis. In: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1994 ; Vol. 149, No. 5. pp. 1311-1316.
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