Interleukin-22 is elevated in lavage from patients with lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases
Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is involved in lung diseases such as pneumonia, asthma and lung cancer. Lavage mirrors the local environment, and may provide insights into the presence and role of IL-22 in patients.
Bronchoscopic lavage (BL) samples (n = 195, including bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial washings) were analysed for IL-22 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Clinical characteristics and parameters from lavage and serum were correlated with lavage IL-22 concentrations.
IL-22 was higher in lavage from patients with lung disease than in controls (38.0 vs 15.3 pg/ml, p < 0.001). Patients with pneumonia and lung cancer had the highest concentrations (48.9 and 33.0 pg/ml, p = 0.009 and p < 0.001, respectively). IL-22 concentration did not correlate with systemic inflammation. IL-22 concentrations did not relate to any of the analysed cell types in BL indicating a potential mixed contribution of different cell populations to IL-22 production.
Lavage IL-22 concentrations are high in patients with lung cancer but do not correlate with systemic inflammation, thus suggesting that lavage IL-22 may be related to the underlying malignancy. Our results suggest that lavage may represent a distinct compartment where the role of IL-22 in thoracic malignancies can be studied.