This study was undertaken to investigate the production of interleukin 1 (IL-1) by pleural leucocytes in culture and to evaluate the influence of intratracheal instillation of crocidolite asbestos on this production. Normal pleural leucocytes spontaneously released IL-1 in culture and stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) dramatically increased production. Intratracheal instillation with crocidolite asbestos induced recruitment of pleural leucocytes in the longer term and changed IL-1 production by the leucocytes. Reduced production of IL-1 was found by one day after instillation of asbestos and this was correlated with the dose of asbestos. With increasing time after instillation, however, release of IL-1 by pleural leucocytes gradually recovered to normal until, one month after asbestos injection, the leucocytes produced augmented IL-1 in culture compared with control pleural leucocytes. Our data show that pleural leucocytes possess the potential to produce IL-1 in vitro and this capability is altered by intratracheal instillation of crocidolite asbestos. This may be relevant to development of pleural diseases associated with inhalation of asbestos.
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