The migration of bronchoalveolar macrophages into hilar lymph nodes

D. Corry, P. Kulkarni, M. F. Lipscomb

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25 Scopus citations


The migration of bronchoalveolar macrophages (BAMs) into hilar lymph nodes (HLNs) was investigated in order to assess their potential importance in pulmonary immune responses. 51Chromium- or 111Indium-labeled bronchoalveolar cells (BACs) or purified BAMs were inoculated into the tracheas of syngeneic guinea pigs, and the number of cells that reached HLN at 24-72 hours was estimated by 1) measuring the cell-associated radioactivity in HLN and 2) counting the radiolabeled cells in autoradiographic preparations. It was determined that 400-2900 BAM/107 inoculated BACs or BAMs reached the HLNs within a 3-day period. From this data, it was calculated that in a normal animal as many as 8700 BAMs might reach HLNs daily. These migratory phagocytes are potentially important in facilitating the systemic spread of macrophage-resistant intracellular organisms from the lung. Furthermore, following phagocytosis and killing of microorganisms in the alveolus, BAMs might migrate to HLNs and present antigen to stimulate a primary immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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