Background: Dyspnea, the cardinal manifestation of chronic heart failure (CHF), may reflect both pulmonary oedema and pulmonary remodeling resulting in tissue stiffening. Emerging evidence suggests that predominance of distinct phenotypes of alveolar and recruited macrophages, designated M1 and M2, may regulate the course of inflammatory tissue repair and remodeling in the lung.
Methods: In a CHF rat model, we found fibrotic reinforcement of the extracellular matrix with an increase in monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1/CCL2 in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), corresponding to a 3-fold increase in recruited macrophages. In this clinical cross sectional study, we aimed to examine potential mediators of leukocyte activation and lung infiltration in parallel BAL and blood from CHF patients compared to non-CHF controls.
Results: Mini-BAL and peripheral blood samples were obtained from hospitalized CHF, acute decompensated CHF and non-CHF patients. CHF patients and decompensated CHF patients demonstrated increases from non-CHF patients in BAL MCP-1, as well as the M2 macrophage cytokines interleukin-10 and transforming growth factor-β. BAL and plasma MCP-1 were significantly correlated; however, MCP-1 was 20-fold higher in epithelial lining fluid in BAL, indicative of an alveolar chemotactic gradient. An increase in transglutaminase 2 positive M2 macrophages in parallel with a decrease in the MCP-1 receptor, C–C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), was apparent in BAL cells of CHF patients compared to non-CHF.
Conclusion: These data suggest a pathway of MCP-1 mediated M2 macrophage prevalence in the lungs of CHF patients which may contribute to pulmonary fibrotic remodeling and consequent increased severity of dyspnea.
- Bronchoalveolar lavage