Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by a
progressive and recurrent lung infection.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and their correlations
with lung function in CF patients.
Methods: A matched case-control study was conducted among 18 CF (children and adults) and 18
control patients (age and gender-matched) who were admitted to Masih Daneshvari Hospital
(Tehran, Iran). The controls had no obvious inflammatory lung disease. The samples of bronchoalveolar
lavage (BAL) fluid, serum, and sputum of participants were collected to determine concentrations
of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukins (IL-8, IL-1β) and tumour necrosis factor-
alpha (TNF-α) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Spirometry was applied
and functional pulmonary indices [forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1
second (FEV1)] were assessed.
Results: The mean age of CF patients was 15.43 ± 5.970 years (range 4-24). The FVC in a majority
of the CF patients (66.7%) was below 60% and only 33.3% of the patients exhibited normal or
mild respiratory dysfunction. There were significant differences between FVC and FEV1 measurements
before and after bronchoscopy. In addition, IL-8 levels in all three samples (serum, sputum,
and BAL) of CF patients and levels of IL-1β and TNF-α in BAL and sputum samples of CF patients
were significantly higher than the control group (p<0.001). However, increased cytokine levels
were not associated with lung function.
Conclusion: Increased IL-8 and TNF-α levels seemed to be associated with signs of clinical deterioration
and might be useful as diagnostic markers.