The frequency of cells reactive with anti-Tac monoclonal antibody (MoAb), which recognizes the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor, has been evaluated in cell suspensions from peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and in frozen sections from involved tissues in 18 patients with active sarcoidosis. Peripheral blood lymphocytes of sarcoid patients do not bear Tac determinant and reduced numbers of Tac+ cells are inducible following PHA stimulation. On the other hand, significant numbers of lymphocytes reactive with anti-TacMoAb are present in the cells obtained from the BAL and a number of Tac+ cells infiltrate the lung, lymph node and conjunctiva. The finding of Tac+ cells in the BAL fluid and in other organs in patients with sarcoidosis provides evidence that some T cells in these involved tissues have the characteristics of IL-2 responder cells and thus the potential to absorb IL-2, supporting the hypothesis that T lymphocytes replicate in situ at sites of disease activity.
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