Rationale: There is conflicting information about the development and resolution of airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) after repeated airway exposure to allergen in sensitized mice.
Methods: Sensitized BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were exposed to repeated allergen challenge on 3, 7, or 11 occasions. Airway function in response to inhaled methacholine was monitored; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid inflammatory cells were counted; and goblet cell metaplasia, peribronchial fibrosis, and smooth muscle hypertrophy were quantitated on tissue sections. Bone marrow–derived dendritic cells were generated after differentiation of bone marrow cells in the presence of growth factors.
Results: Sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) in alum, followed by three airway exposures to OVA, induced lung eosinophilia, goblet cell metaplasia, mild peribronchial fibrosis, and peribronchial smooth muscle hypertrophy; increased levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-13, granulocyte-macrophage colony–stimulating factor, transforming growth factor-β1, eotaxin-1, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted), and OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE; and resulted in AHR. After seven airway challenges, development of AHR was markedly decreased as was the production of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Levels of IL-10 in both strains and the level of IL-12 in BALB/c mice increased. After 11 challenges, airway eosinophilia and peribronchial fibrosis further declined and the cytokine and chemokine profiles continued to change. At this time point, the number of myeloid dendritic cells and expression of CD80 and CD86 in lungs were decreased compared with three challenges. After 11 challenges, intratracheal instillation of bone marrow–derived dendritic cells restored AHR and airway eosinophilia.
Conclusions: These data suggest that repeated allergen exposure leads to progressive decreases in AHR and allergic inflammation, through decreases in myeloid dendritic cell numbers.
airway hyperresponsiveness; chronic asthma; cytokine; dendritic cells; eosinophil
The purpose of this study was to explore whether repeated exposure to aerosolized ovalbumin (OVA) in the context of local expression of GM-CSF can initiate a Th2-driven, eosinophilic inflammation in the airways. On day -1, Balb/c mice were infected intranasally with an adenovirus construct expressing GM-CSF (Ad/GM-CSF). From day 0 to day 9 mice were exposed daily to an OVA aerosol. Mice exposed to OVA alone did not show any evidence of airway inflammation. Mice receiving both Ad/GM-CSF and aerosolized OVA exhibited marked airway inflammation characterized by eosinophilia and goblet cell hyperplasia. Migration of eosinophils into the airway was preceded by a rise in IL-5 and IL-4. Both IL-5 and class II MHC were critically required to generate airway eosinophilia. After resolution, airway eosinophilia was reconstituted after a single OVA exposure. Flow cytometric analysis of dispersed lung cells revealed an increase in macrophages and dendritic cells expressing B7.1 and B7.2, and expansion of activated (CD69-expressing) CD4 and CD8 T cells in mice exposed to OVA and Ad/GM-CSF. Our data indicate that expression of GM-CSF in the airway compartment increases local antigen presentation capacity, and concomitantly facilitates the development of an antigen-specific, eosinophilic inflammatory response to an otherwise innocuous antigen.
Ovarian cancer G protein-coupled receptor 1 (OGR1) stimulation by extracellular protons causes the activation of G proteins and subsequent cellular functions. However, the physiological and pathophysiological roles of OGR1 in airway responses remain largely unknown. In the present study, we show that OGR1-deficient mice are resistant to the cardinal features of asthma, including airway eosinophilia, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), and goblet cell metaplasia, in association with a remarkable inhibition of Th2 cytokine and IgE production, in an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma model. Intratracheal transfer to wild-type mice of OVA-primed bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) from OGR1-deficient mice developed lower AHR and eosinophilia after OVA inhalation compared with the transfer of those from wild-type mice. Migration of OVA-pulsed DCs to peribronchial lymph nodes was also inhibited by OGR1 deficiency in the adoption experiments. The presence of functional OGR1 in DCs was confirmed by the expression of OGR1 mRNA and the OGR1-sensitive Ca2+ response. OVA-induced expression of CCR7, a mature DC chemokine receptor, and migration response to CCR7 ligands in an in vitro Transwell assay were attenuated by OGR1 deficiency. We conclude that OGR1 on DCs is critical for migration to draining lymph nodes, which, in turn, stimulates Th2 phenotype change and subsequent induction of airway inflammation and AHR.
As an E3 ubiquitin ligase and a molecular adaptor, Cbl-b controls the activation threshold of the antigen receptor and negatively regulates CD28 co-stimulation, functioning as an intrinsic mediator of T cell anergy that maintains tolerance. However, the role of Cbl-b in the airway immune response to aeroallergens is unclear.
To determine the contribution of Cbl-b in tolerance to aeroallergens, we examined ovalbumin (OVA)-induced lung inflammation in Cbl-b deficient mice.
Cbl-b-/- mice and wildtype (WT) C57BL/6 mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA intranasally, a procedure normally tolerated by WT mice. We analyzed lung histology, BAL total cell counts and differential, cytokines and chemokines in the airway, and cytokine response by lymphocytes after re-stimulation by OVA antigen.
Compared with WT mice, OVA challenged Cbl-b-/- mice showed significantly increased neutrophilic and eosinophilic infiltration in the lung and mucus hyperplasia. The serum levels of IgG2a and IgG1, but not IgE, were increased. The levels of inflammatory mediators IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1α, Eotaxin, and RANTES, but not IL-17A or IL-6, were elevated in the airway of Cbl-b-/- mice. Lymphocytes from Cbl-b-/-mice released increased amount of IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-13, and IP-10 in response to OVA re-stimulation. However, no significant changes were noted in the CD4+CD25+ Treg cell populations in the lung tissues after OVA stimulation and there was no difference between WT and Cbl-b-/- mice.
These results demonstrate that Cbl-b deficiency leads to a breakdown of tolerance to OVA allergen in the murine airways, probably through increased activation of T effector cells, indicating that Cbl-b is a critical factor in maintaining lung homeostasis upon environmental exposure to aeroallergens.
Cbl-b; Ubiquitin E3 Ligase; Aeroallergen; Allergic inflammation; Asthma
We evaluated the role of Syk, using an inhibitor, on allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation in a system shown to be B cell– and mast cell–independent. Sensitization of BALB/c mice with ovalbumin (OVA) and alum after three consecutive OVA challenges resulted in AHR to inhaled methacholine and airway inflammation. The Syk inhibitor R406 (30 mg/kg, administered orally, twice daily) prevented the development of AHR, increases in eosinophils and lymphocytes and IL-13 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and goblet cell metaplasia when administered after sensitization and before challenge with OVA. Levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IFN-γ in BAL fluid and allergen-specific antibody levels in serum were not affected by treatment. Because many of these responses may be influenced by dendritic cell function, we investigated the effect of R406 on bone marrow–derived dendritic cell (BMDC) function. Co-culture of BMDC with immune complexes of OVA and IgG anti-OVA together with OVA-sensitized spleen mononuclear cells resulted in increases in IL-13 production. IL-13 production was inhibited if the BMDCs were pretreated with the Syk inhibitor. Intratracheal transfer of immune complex-pulsed BMDCs (but not nonpulsed BMDCs) to naive mice before airway allergen challenge induced the development of AHR and increases in BAL eosinophils and lymphocytes. All of these responses were inhibited if the transferred BMDCs were pretreated with R406. These results demonstrate that Syk inhibition prevents allergen-induced AHR and airway inflammation after systemic sensitization and challenge, at least in part through alteration of DC function.
AHR; dendritic cells; eosinophils; mice; Syk
The effect of aging on several pathologic features of allergic-asthma (pulmonary inflammation, eosinophilia, mucus-hypersecretion), and their relationship with airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is not well characterized.
To evaluate lung inflammation, mucus-metaplasia and AHR in relationship to age in murine models of allergic-asthma comparing young and older mice.
Young (6-week) and older (6-, 12- 18-month) BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). AHR and bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) total inflammatory cell count and differential were measured. To evaluate mucus-metaplasia, quantitative PCR for the major airway mucin-associated gene, MUC-5AC, from lung tissue was measured, and lung tissue sections stained with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) for goblet-cell enumeration. Lung tissue cytokine gene expression was determined by qPCR, and systemic cytokine protein levels by ELISA from spleen-cell cultures. Antigen-specific serum IgE was determined by ELISA.
AHR developed in both aged and young OVA-sensitized/challenged mice (OVA-mice), and was more significantly increased in young OVA-mice than in aged OVA-mice. However, BALF eosinophil numbers were significantly higher, and lung histology showed greater inflammation in aged OVA-mice than in young OVA-mice. MUC-5AC expression and numbers of PAS+ staining bronchial epithelial cells were significantly increased in the aged OVA-mice. All aged OVA-mice had increased IL-5 and IFN-γ mRNA expression in the lung and IL-5 and IFN-γ protein levels from spleen cell cultures compared to young OVA-mice. OVA-IgE was elevated to a greater extent in aged OVA-mice.
Although pulmonary inflammation and mucus-metaplasia after antigen sensitization/challenge occurred to a greater degree in older mice, the increase in AHR was significantly less compared with younger OVA-mice. Antigen treatment produced a unique cytokine profile in older mice (elevated IFN-γ and IL-5) compared with young mice (elevated IL-4 and IL-13). Thus, the airway response to inflammation is lessened in aging animals, and may represent age-associated events leading to different phenotypes in response to antigen provocation.
Aging; murine; asthma; airway hyperresponsiveness; eosinophil; inflammation
Immunoglobulins (Ig), particularly IgE, are believed to be crucially involved in the pathogenesis of asthma and, equally, in allergic models of the disease. To validate this paradigm we examined homozygous mutant C57BL/6 mice, which are B cell deficient, lacking all Ig. Mice were immunized intraperitoneally with 10 μg ovalbumin (OVA) plus alum, followed by daily (day 14–20) 30 min exposures to OVA aerosol (OVA/OVA group). Three control groups were run: OVA intraperitoneally plus saline (SAL) aerosol (OVA/SAL group); saline intraperitoneally plus saline aerosol; saline intraperitoneally plus OVA aerosol (n = 6–7). Lung and large airway tissues obtained 24 h after the last OVA or SAL exposure were examined by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The Ig-deficient mice receiving OVA/ OVA treatment had swollen and discolored lungs and exhibited marked eosinophilia both in large airway subepithelial tissue (49.2 ± 12.0 cells/mm basement membrane [BM] versus OVA/ SAL control 1.2 ± 0.3 cells/mm BM; P <0.001), and perivascularly and peribronchially in the lung (49.3 ± 9.0 cells/unit area versus OVA/SAL control 2.6 ± 0.6 cells/unit area; P <0.001). The eosinophilia extended to the regional lymph nodes. TEM confirmed the subepithelial and perivascular localization of eosinophils. Mucus cells in large airway epithelium increased from 1.5 ± 0.8 (OVA/SAL mice) to 39.5 ± 5.7 cells/mm BM in OVA/OVA treated mice (P <0.001). OVA/SAL mice never differed from the other control groups. Corresponding experiments in wild-type mice (n = 6–7 in each group) showed qualitatively similar but less pronounced eosinophil and mucus cell changes. Macrophages and CD4+ T cells increased in lungs of all OVA/OVA-treated mice. Mast cell number did not differ but degranulation was detected only in OVA/OVA-treated wild-type mice. Immunization to OVA followed by OVA challenges thus cause eosinophil-rich inflammation in airways and lungs of mice without involvement of B cells and Ig.
IL-5 is induced locally in the lung and systemically in the circulation during allergic airways eosinophilic inflammation both in humans and experimental animals. However, the precise role of local and systemic IL-5 in the development of allergic airways eosinophilia remains to be elucidated. In our current study, we demonstrate that compared with their IL-5(+/+) counterparts, IL-5(-/-) mice lacked an IL-5 response both in the lung and peripheral blood, yet they released similar amounts of IL-4, eotaxin, and MIP-1alpha in the lung after ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge. At cellular levels, these mice failed to develop peripheral blood and airways eosinophilia while the responses of lymphocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages remained similar to those in IL-5(+/+) mice. To dissect the relative role of local and systemic IL-5 in this model, we constructed a gene transfer vector expressing murine IL-5. Intramuscular IL-5 gene transfer to OVA-sensitized IL-5(-/-) mice led to raised levels of IL-5 compartmentalized to the circulation and completely reconstituted airways eosinophilia upon OVA challenge, which was associated with reconstitution of eosinophilia in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. Significant airways eosinophilia was observed for at least 7 d in these mice. In contrast, intranasal IL-5 gene transfer, when rendered to give rise to a significant but compartmentalized level of transgene protein IL-5 in the lung, was unable to reconstitute airways eosinophilia in OVA-sensitized IL-5(-/-) mice upon OVA-challenge, which was associated with a lack of eosinophilic responses in bone marrow and peripheral blood. Our findings thus provide unequivocal evidence that circulating but not local lung IL-5 is critically required for the development of allergic airways eosinophilia. These findings also provide the rationale for developing strategies to target circulating IL-5 and/or its receptors in bone marrow to effectively control asthmatic airways eosinophilia.
Eosinophil accumulation is a distinctive feature of lung allergic inflammation. Here, we have used a mouse model of OVA (ovalbumin)-induced pulmonary eosinophilia to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms for this selective recruitment of eosinophils to the airways. In this model there was an early accumulation of infiltrating monocytes/macrophages in the lung during the OVA treatment, whereas the increase in infiltrating T-lymphocytes paralleled the accumulation of eosinophils. The kinetics of accumulation of these three leukocyte subtypes correlated with the levels of mRNA expression of the chemokines monocyte chemotactic peptide-1/JE, eotaxin, and RANTES (regulated upon activation in normal T cells expressed and secreted), suggesting their involvement in the recruitment of these leukocytes. Furthermore, blockade of eotaxin with specific antibodies in vivo reduced the accumulation of eosinophils in the lung in response to OVA by half. Mature CD4+ T-lymphocytes were absolutely required for OVA-induced eosinophil accumulation since lung eosinophilia was prevented in CD4+-deficient mice. However, these cells were neither the main producers of the major eosinophilic chemokines eotaxin, RANTES, or MIP-1alpha, nor did they regulate the expression of these chemokines. Rather, the presence of CD4+ T cells was necessary for enhancement of VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) expression in the lung during allergic inflammation induced by the OVA treatment. In support of this, mice genetically deficient for VCAM-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 failed to develop pulmonary eosinophilia. Selective eosinophilic recruitment during lung allergic inflammation results from a sequential accumulation of certain leukocyte types, particularly T cells, and relies on the presence of both eosinophilic chemoattractants and adhesion receptors.
Chronic asthma is often associated with neutrophilic infiltration in the airways. Neutrophils contain elastase, a potent secretagogue in the airways, nonetheless the role for neutrophil elastase as well as neutrophilic inflammation in allergen-induced airway responses is not well defined. In this study, we have investigated the impact of neutrophil elastase inhibition on the development of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in previously sensitized and challenged mice.
BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged (primary) with ovalbumin (OVA). Six weeks later, a single OVA aerosol (secondary challenge) was delivered and airway inflammation and airway responses were monitored 6 and 48 hrs later. An inhibitor of neutrophil elastase was administered prior to secondary challenge.
Mice developed a two-phase airway inflammatory response after secondary allergen challenge, one neutrophilic at 6 hr and the other eosinophilic, at 48 hr. PAR-2 expression in the lung tissues was enhanced following secondary challenge, and that PAR-2 intracellular expression on peribronchial lymph node (PBLN) T cells was also increased following allergen challenge of sensitized mice. Inhibition of neutrophil elastase significantly attenuated AHR, goblet cell metaplasia, and inflammatory cell accumulation in the airways following secondary OVA challenge. Levels of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, and eotaxin in BAL fluid 6 hr after secondary allergen challenge were significantly suppressed by the treatment. At 48 hr, treatment with the neutrophil elastase inhibitor significantly reduced the levels of IL-13 and TGF-β1 in the BAL fluid. In parallel, in vitro IL-13 production was significantly inhibited in spleen cells from sensitized mice.
These data indicate that neutrophil elastase plays an important role in the development of allergic airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness, and would suggest that the neutrophil elastase inhibitor reduced AHR to inhaled methacholine indicating the potential for its use as a modulator of the immune/inflammatory response in both the neutrophil- and eosinophil-dominant phases of the response to secondary allergen challenge.
Neutrophil; Elastase; Airway; Hyperresponsiveness; Asthma
Although dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in sensitization to inhaled allergens, their function in ongoing T helper (Th)2 cell–mediated eosinophilic airway inflammation underlying bronchial asthma is currently unknown. Here, we show in an ovalbumin (OVA)-driven murine asthma model that airway DCs acquire a mature phenotype and interact with CD4+ T cells within sites of peribronchial and perivascular inflammation. To study whether DCs contributed to inflammation, we depleted DCs from the airways of CD11c-diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor transgenic mice during the OVA aerosol challenge. Airway administration of DT depleted CD11c+ DCs and alveolar macrophages and abolished the characteristic features of asthma, including eosinophilic inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and bronchial hyperreactivity. In the absence of CD11c+ cells, endogenous or adoptively transferred CD4+ Th2 cells did not produce interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in response to OVA aerosol. In CD11c-depleted mice, eosinophilic inflammation and Th2 cytokine secretion were restored by adoptive transfer of CD11c+ DCs, but not alveolar macrophages. These findings identify lung DCs as key proinflammatory cells that are necessary and sufficient for Th2 cell stimulation during ongoing airway inflammation.
Allergic airway inflammation is attenuated by oral tolerization (oral exposure to allergen, followed by conventional sensitization and challenge with homologous antigen), which decreases airway allergen challenge-induced eosinophilic infiltration of the lungs and bone marrow eosinophilia. We examined its effects on bone marrow eosinophil and neutrophil production. Mice of wild type (BP-2, BALB/c, and C57BL/6) and mutant strains (lacking iNOS or CD95L) were given ovalbumin (OVA) or water (vehicle) orally and subsequently sensitized and challenged with OVA (OVA/OVA/OVA and H2O/OVA/OVA groups, resp.). Anti-OVA IgG and IgE, bone marrow eosinophil and neutrophil numbers, and eosinophil and neutrophil production ex vivo were evaluated. T lymphocytes from OVA/OVA/OVA or control H2O/OVA/OVA donors were transferred into naïve syngeneic recipients, which were subsequently sensitized/challenged with OVA. Alternatively, T lymphocytes were cocultured with bone marrow eosinophil precursors from histocompatible sensitized/challenged mice. OVA/OVA/OVA mice of the BP-2 and BALB/c strains showed, relative to H2O/OVA/OVA controls, significantly decreased bone marrow eosinophil counts and ex vivo eosinopoiesis/neutropoiesis. Full effectiveness in vivo required sequential oral/subcutaneous/intranasal exposures to the same allergen. Transfer of splenic T lymphocytes from OVA/OVA/OVA donors to naive recipients prevented bone marrow eosinophilia and eosinopoiesis in response to recipient sensitization/challenge and supressed eosinopoiesis upon coculture with syngeneic bone marrow precursors from sensitized/challenged donors.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered to be the most efficient antigen-presenting cells. Intratracheal administration of allergen-pulsed bone marrow–derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) before allergen challenge induces airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and inflammation. Ovalbumin (OVA)-pulsed BMDCs from wild-type (WT) mice were transferred into naive WT, CD4−/−, CD8−/−, or IL-13−/− mice. Two days (short protocol) or 10 days (long protocol) after BMDC transfer, mice were challenged with 1% OVA for 3 days and assayed 2 days later. Transfer of OVA-primed BMDCs into BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice elicited AHR in both protocols. Airway eosinophilia, Th2 cytokines, or goblet cell metaplasia were increased in the long but not short protocol. Lung T cells from both protocols produced Th2 cytokines in response to OVA in vitro. Carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidylester–labeled BMDCs were observed in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung parenchyma at early time points, and were detected in draining lymph nodes 48 hours after transfer. CD8−/− mice developed AHR comparable to WT mice in the short protocol, but decreased levels of AHR, airway eosinophilia, Th2 cytokines in BAL fluid, and goblet cell metaplasia compared with WT mice in the long protocol. CD4−/− or IL-13−/− mice did not develop AHR or airway inflammation in either protocol. These data suggest that allergen-pulsed BMDCs initiate development of AHR that is dependent initially on CD4+ T cells, and at later time periods on CD8+ T cells and IL-13. Thus, the timing of allergen challenge after transfer of allergen-pulsed BMDC affects the development of AHR and airway inflammation.
dendritic cells; CD8+ T cells; airway hyperresponsiveness
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia, and may be mediated by T helper (Th) lymphocytes expressing a Th2 cytokine pattern. Interleukin (IL) 12 suppresses the expression of Th2 cytokines and their associated responses, including eosinophilia, serum immunoglobulin E, and mucosal mastocytosis. We have previously shown in a murine model that antigen- induced increases in airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia are CD4+ T cell dependent. We used this model to determine the ability of IL-12 to prevent antigen-induced increases in airway hyperresponsiveness, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) eosinophils, and lung Th2 cytokine expression. Sensitized A/J mice developed airway hyperresponsiveness and increased numbers of BAL eosinophils and other inflammatory cells after single or repeated intratracheal challenges with sheep red blood cell antigen. Pulmonary mRNA and protein levels of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 were increased after antigen challenge. Administration of IL-12 (1 microgram/d x 5 d) at the time of a single antigen challenge abolished the airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia and promoted an increase in interferon (IFN) gamma and decreases in IL-4 and IL-5 expression. The effects of IL-12 were partially dependent on IFN-gamma, because concurrent treatment with IL-12 and anti-IFN-gamma monoclonal antibody partially reversed the inhibition of airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia by IL-12. Treatment of mice with IL-12 at the time of a second antigen challenge also prevented airway hyperresponsiveness and significantly reduced numbers of BAL inflammatory cells, reflecting the ability of IL-12 to inhibit responses associated with ongoing antigen-induced pulmonary inflammation. These data show that antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation can be blocked by IL-12, which suppresses Th2 cytokine expression. Local administration of IL-12 may provide a novel immunotherapy for the treatment of pulmonary allergic disorders such as atopic asthma.
Th2 cells induce asthma through the secretion of cytokines. Two such cytokines, IL-4 and IL-13, are critical mediators of many features of this disease. They both share a common receptor subunit, IL-4Rα, and signal through the STAT6 pathway. STAT6−/− mice have impaired Th2 differentiation and reduced airway response to allergen. Transferred Th2 cells were not able to elicit eosinophilia in response to OVA in STAT6−/− mice. To clarify the role of STAT6 in allergic airway inflammation, we generated mouse bone marrow (BM) chimeras. We observed little to no eosinophilia in OVA-treated STAT6−/− mice even when STAT6+/+ BM or Th2 cells were provided. However, when Th2 cells were transferred to STAT6×Rag2−/− mice, we observed an eosinophilic response to OVA. Nevertheless, the expression of STAT6 on either BM-derived cells or lung resident cells enhanced the severity of OVA-induced eosinophilia. Moreover, when both the BM donor and recipient lacked lymphocytes, transferred Th2 cells were sufficient to induce the level of eosinophilia comparable with that of wild-type (WT) mice. The expression of STAT6 in BM-derived cells was more critical for the enhanced eosinophilic response. Furthermore, we found a significantly higher number of CD4+CD25+ Foxp3+ T cells (regulatory T cells [Tregs]) in PBS- and OVA-treated STAT6−/− mouse lungs compared with that in WT animals suggesting that STAT6 limits both naturally occurring and Ag-induced Tregs. Tregs obtained from either WT or STAT6−/− mice were equally efficient in suppressing CD4+ T cell proliferation in vitro. Taken together, our studies demonstrate multiple STAT6-dependent and -independent features of allergic inflammation, which may impact treatments targeting STAT6.
4-1BB (CD 137) is a costimulatory molecule expressed on activated T-cells. Repression by 4-1BB is thought to attenuate Th2-mediated allergic reactions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 4-1BB on allergic airway inflammation in a murine asthma model.
BALB/c mice were sensitized to and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). Hu.4-1BB-Fc was administered 1 day before the first OVA sensitization or 1 day after the second OVA sensitization. Following antigen challenge, airway responsiveness to methacholine was assessed and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was analyzed. Total immunoglobulin (Ig) E, OVA-specific IgE, IgG1, and IgG2a levels in sera were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lung pathology was also evaluated.
In mice treated with Hu.4-1BB-Fc before the first OVA sensitization, there was a marked decrease in airway hyperresponsiveness, total cell count, and eosinophil count in the BAL fluid. In addition, Hu.4-1BB-Fc treatment decreased serum OVA-specific IgG1 levels and increased serum IgG2a level significantly compared with the corresponding levels in mice sensitized to and challenged with OVA. Hu.4-1BB-Fc-treated mice also showed suppressed peribronchial and perivascular inflammatory cell infiltration. In contrast, treatment with Hu.4-1BB-Fc 1 day after sensitization had no effect on airway hyperresponsiveness and showed less suppression of inflammation in lung tissue.
Administration of Hu.4-1BB-Fc can attenuate airway inflammation and hyperreactivity in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation. In addition, administration before sensitization may be more effective. These findings suggest that 4-1BB may be a useful therapeutic molecule against asthma.
4-1BB (CD137); Asthma; Allergic inflammation; Airway hyperresponsiveness; Mouse
Rationale: Despite ongoing research, the molecular mechanisms controlling asthma are still elusive. CD48 is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein involved in lymphocyte adhesion, activation, and costimulation. Although CD48 is widely expressed on hematopoietic cells and commonly studied in the context of natural killer and cytotoxic T cell functions, its role in helper T cell type 2 settings has not been examined.
Objectives: To evaluate the expression and function of CD48, CD2, and 2B4 in a murine model of allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation.
Methods: Allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation was induced by ovalbumin (OVA)–alum sensitization and intranasal inoculation of OVA or, alternatively, by repeated intranasal inoculation of Aspergillus fumigatus antigen in wild-type, STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription)-6–deficient, and IL-4/IL-13–deficient BALB/c mice. Gene profiling of whole lungs was performed, followed by Northern blot and flow cytometric analysis. Anti-CD48, -CD2, and -2B4 antibodies were administered before OVA challenge and cytokine expression and histology were assessed.
Measurements and Main Results: Microarray data analysis demonstrated upregulation of CD48 in the lungs of OVA-challenged mice. Allergen-induced CD48 expression was independent of STAT-6, IL-13, and IL-4. Neutralization of CD48 in allergen-challenged mice abrogated bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung inflammation. Neutralization of CD2 inhibited the inflammatory response to a lesser extent and neutralization of 2B4 had no effect.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that CD48 is critically involved in allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation. As such, CD48 may provide a new potential target for the suppression of asthma.
asthma; CD48; CD2; 2B4
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α is a master regulator of inflammatory activities of myeloid cells, including neutrophils and macrophages. These studies examine the role of myeloid cell HIF-1α in regulating asthma induction and pathogenesis, and for the first time, evaluate the roles of HIF-1α and HIF-2α in the chemotactic properties of eosinophils, the myeloid cells most associated with asthma. Wild-type (WT) and myeloid cell-specific HIF-1α knockout (KO) C57BL/6 mice were studied in an ovalbumin (OVA) model of asthma. Administration of the pharmacological HIF-1α antagonist YC-1 was used to corroborate findings from the genetic model. WT, HIF-1α, and HIF-2α KO eosinophils underwent in vitro chemotaxis assays. We found that deletion of HIF-1α in myeloid cells and systemic treatment with YC-1 during asthma induction decreased airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Deletion of HIF-1α in myeloid cells in OVA-induced asthma also reduced eosinophil infiltration, goblet cell hyperplasia, and levels 34 of cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in the lung. HIF-1α inhibition with YC-1 during asthma induction decreased eosinophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage, lung parenchyma, and blood, as well as decreased total lung inflammation, IL-5, and serum OVA-specific IgE levels. Deletion of HIF-1α in eosinophils decreased their chemotaxis, while deletion of the isoform HIF-2α led to increased chemotaxis. This work demonstrates that HIF-1α in myeloid cells plays a role in asthma pathogenesis, particularly in AHR development. Additionally, treatment with HIF-1α inhibitors during asthma induction decreases AHR and eosinophilia. Finally, we show that HIF- 1α and HIF-2α regulate eosinophil migration in opposing ways.
Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α; Asthma; Allergic inflammation; Eosinophils; Chemotaxis; Airway hyperresponsiveness
Notch signaling pathways govern immune function and the regulation of Th1 and Th2 differentiation. We previously demonstrated essential interactions between Notch on CD4+ T cells and Jagged1 on antigen-presenting cells in Th2 differentiation for the full development of allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic airway inflammation.
Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were differentiated and incubated with different preparations of ovalbumin (OVA), including lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-depleted and LPS-spiked preparations. In some experiments recipient mice also received soluble Jagged1-Fc in addition to allergen-pulsed BMDCs. Ten days following transfer of BMDCs, mice were exposed to three airway challenges with OVA, and airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, airway inflammation and cytokine production were monitored 48 h later. Notch ligand expression was assessed by real-time PCR.
Induction of Jagged1 expression on antigen-pulsed BMDCs was dependent on low-dose endotoxin. In vivo, transfer of endotoxin-free, antigen-pulsed BMDCs failed to induce AHR or airway eosinophilia on allergen challenge. However, administration of exogenous Jagged1-Fc together with endotoxin-free, allergen-pulsed BMDCs fully restored the responses to allergen challenge.
These data demonstrate that LPS regulates the expression of Jagged1 on BMDCs, which is essential for the full development of lung allergic responses.
Asthma; Dendritic cells; Endotoxin; Notch ligands
Considerable variation exists in the protocols used to induce hyperresponsiveness in murine models of allergic sensitisation. We examined the effect of varying the number of antigen exposures at challenge on the development of methacholine responsiveness in systemically sensitised mice.
BALB/c mice were sensitised with ovalbumin (OVA), challenged with 1, 3 or 6 OVA aerosols. Lung function was measured using low frequency forced oscillations and partitioned into components representing the airways (Raw) and lung parenchyma (tissue damping (G) and tissue elastance (H)). Responsiveness to inhaled methacholine (MCh), inflammatory cell profile and circulating IgE were assessed 24 and 48 hours after challenge. The threshold dose of MCh required to elicit a detectable response (sensitivity) and response to 30 mg.mL-1 (maximal response) were determined for each compartment.
Sensitivity; All three OVA protocols resulted in an increased sensitivity to MCh in Raw but not in G or H. These responses where present at 24 and 48 hrs, except 1 OVA aerosol in which changes had resolved by 48 hrs. Maximal response; 1 OVA aerosol increased maximal responses in Raw, G and H at 24 hrs, which was gone by 48 hrs. Three OVA aerosols increased responses in H at 48 hrs only. Six OVA challenges caused increases in Raw, G and H at both 24 and 48 hrs. Eosinophils increased with increasing antigen challenges. IgE was elevated by OVA sensitisation but not boosted by OVA aerosol challenge.
The pattern of eosinophilia, IgE and MCh responsiveness in mice was determined by antigen dose at challenge. In this study, increased sensitivity to MCh was confined to the airways whereas increases in maximal responses occurred in both the airway and parenchymal compartments. The presence of eosinophilia and IgE did not always coincide with increased responsiveness to inhaled MCh. These findings require further systematic study to determine whether different mechanisms underlie airway and parenchymal hyperresponsiveness post antigen challenge.
We previously established that the inhibitory receptor LILRB4 mitigates LPS-induced, neutrophil-dependent pathologic effector mechanisms in inflammation. We now report that LILRB4 on dendritic cells (DCs) counterregulates development of an adaptive Th2 immune response and ensuing inflammation in a model of allergic pulmonary inflammation initiated by inhalation sensitization with OVA and LPS followed by airway challenge with OVA. We found that Lilrb4−/− mice had significantly exacerbated eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation as assessed in bronchoalveolar lavage and lung tissue, as well as elevated levels of OVA-specific IgE and Th2 cytokines produced by OVA-restimulated lymph node cells. LILRB4 was preferentially expressed on MHC class IIhighCD86high OVA-bearing DCs in lung-draining lymph nodes after sensitization or challenge. Moreover, the lymph nodes of Lilrb4−/− mice had significantly more of these mature DCs after challenge with OVA, which was accompanied by significantly more IL-4-producing lymphocytes, compared with Lilrb4+/+ mice. Sensitization of naïve Lilrb4+/+ mice by transfer of OVA-LPS-pulsed Lilrb4−/− bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) was sufficient to confer exacerbated allergic lung pathology upon challenge with OVA, compared with mice that received Lilrb4+/+ BMDCs. Our findings establish that maturation and migration of pulmonary DCs to lymph nodes in response to Ag and an innate immune stimulus is associated with upregulated expression of LILRB4. In addition, this receptor attenuates the number of these mature DCs and attendant IL-4-producing lymphocytes in the lymph nodes, and accordingly, the ability of DCs to elicit pathologic Th2 pulmonary inflammation.
Dendritic Cells; Inflammation; Allergy; Lung
Viral infections are the most frequent cause of asthma exacerbations and are linked to increased airway reactivity (AR) and inflammation. Mice infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) during ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic airway inflammation (OVA/RSV) had increased AR compared to OVA or RSV mice alone. Further, IL-17A was only increased in OVA/RSV mice.
To determine if IL-17A increases AR and inflammation in the OVA/RSV model.
Wild-type BALB/c and IL-17A KO mice underwent mock, RSV, OVA, or OVA/RSV protocols. Lungs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and/or mediastinal lymph nodes (MLNs) were harvested post infection. Cytokine expression was determined by flow cytometry and ELISA in the lungs or BAL fluid. MLNs were restimulated with either OVA (323–229) peptide or RSV M2 (127–135) peptide and IL-17A protein expression was analyzed. AR was determined by methacholine challenge.
RSV increased IL-17A protein expression by OVA-specific T cells 6 days post infection. OVA/RSV mice had decreased IFN-α and IFN-β protein expression compared to RSV mice. OVA/RSV mice had increased IL-23 mRNA expression in lung homogenates compared to mock, OVA, or RSV mice. Unexpectedly, IL-17A KO OVA/RSV mice had increased AR compared to WT OVA/RSV mice. Further, IL-17A KO OVA/RSV mice had increased eosinophils, lymphocytes, and IL-13 protein expression in BAL fluid compared to WT OVA/RSV mice.
IL-17A negatively regulated AR and airway inflammation in OVA/RSV mice. This finding is important because IL-17A has been identified as a potential therapeutic target in asthma, and inhibiting IL-17A in the setting of virally induced asthma exacerbations may have adverse consequences.
IL-17A; airway reactivity; CD4+ T cells; allergic inflammation; RSV
In this study we examined the role of Siglec-F, a receptor highly expressed on eosinophils, in contributing to mucus expression, airway remodeling, and Siglec-F ligand expression utilizing Siglec-F deficient mice exposed to chronic allergen challenge.
Wild type (WT) and Siglec-F deficient mice were sensitized and challenged chronically with OVA for one month. Levels of airway inflammation (eosinophils), Siglec-F ligand expresion and remodeling (mucus, fibrosis, smooth muscle thickness, extracellular matrix protein deposition) were assessed in lung sections by image analysis and immunohistology. Airway hyperreactivity to methacholine was assessed in intubated and ventilated mice.
Siglec-F deficient mice challenged with OVA for one month had significantly increased numbers of BAL and peribronchial eosinophils compared to WT mice which was associated with a significant increase in mucus expression as assessed by the number of periodic acid Schiff positive airway epithelial cells. In addition, OVA challenged Siglec-F deficient mice had significantly increased levels of peribronchial fibrosis (total lung collagen, area of peribronchial trichrome staining), as well as increased numbers of peribronchial TGF-β1+ cells, and increased levels of expression of the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin compared to OVA challenged WT mice. Lung sections immunostained with a Siglec-Fc to detect Siglec-F ligand expression demonstrated higher levels of expression of the Siglec-F ligand in the peribronchial region in OVA challenged Siglec-F deficient mice compared to WT mice. WT and Siglec-F deficient mice challenged intranasally with IL-4 or IL-13 had significantly increased levels of airway epithelial Siglec-F ligand expression, whereas this was not observed in WT or Siglec-F deficient mice challenged with TNF-α. There was a significant increase in the thickness of the peribronchial smooth muscle layer in OVA challenged Siglec-F deficient mice, but this was not associated with significant increased airway hyperreactivity compared to WT mice.
Overall, this study demonstrates an important role for Siglec-F in modulating levels of chronic eosinophilic airway inflammation, peribronchial fibrosis, thickness of the smooth muscle layer, mucus expression, fibronectin, and levels of peribronchial Siglec-F ligands suggesting that Siglec-F may normally function to limit levels of chronic eosinophilic inflammation and remodeling. In addition, IL-4 and IL-13 are important regulators of Siglec-F ligand expression by airway epithelium.
To determine whether a disintegrin and a metalloproteinase-8 (Adam8) regulates allergic airway inflammation (AAI) and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR), we compared AAI and AHR in wild type (WT) versus Adam8−/− mice in different genetic backgrounds sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) or house dust mite protein extract (HDM). OVA- and HDM-treated Adam8−/− mice had higher lung leukocyte counts, more airway mucus metaplasia, greater lung levels of some TH2 cytokines, and higher methacholine-induced increases in central airway resistance than allergen-treated WT mice. Studies of OVA-treated Adam8 bone marrow chimeric mice confirmed that leukocyte-derived Adam8 predominantly mediated Adam8’s anti-inflammatory activities in murine airways. Airway eosinophils and macrophages both expressed Adam8 in WT mice with AAI. Adam8 limited AAI and AHR in mice by reducing leukocyte survival because: 1) Adam8−/− mice with AAI had fewer apoptotic eosinophils and macrophages in their airways than WT mice with AAI; and 2) Adam8−/− macrophages and eosinophils had reduced rates of apoptosis compared with WT leukocytes when the intrinsic (but not the extrinsic) apoptosis pathway was triggered in the cells in vitro. ADAM8 was robustly expressed by airway granulocytes in lung sections from human asthma patients but, surprisingly, airway macrophages had less ADAM8 staining than airway eosinophils. Thus, ADAM8 has anti-inflammatory activities during AAI in mice by activating the intrinsic apoptosis pathway in myeloid leukocytes. Strategies that increase ADAM8 levels in myeloid leukocytes may have therapeutic efficacy in asthma.
Asthma is a chronic airway inflammatory disease characterized by eosinophilic infiltration and airway hyperresponsiveness. The over-activated Th2 and lung epithelium cells express many different cytokines, and chemokines mainly contribute to the severity of lung inflammation. Clara cell 10 kD protein (CC10) is highly expressed in airway epithelium cells and exhibits anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2/9 vector, composed of AAV2 rep and AAV9 cap genes, can efficiently and specifically target lung epithelium cells. Thus, AAV2/9 vector might carry therapeutic potential gene sequences for the treatment of asthma. This study tested whether AAV2/9 vector carrying CC10 could reduce inflammatory and asthmatic responses in OVA-induced asthmatic mouse model. The results showed that AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus significantly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, CCL11, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-13, and eosinophilia in the lungs of sensitized mice. CC10 level in OVA-sensitized mice was rescued with the administration of AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus. Lung tissue remodeling, including collagen deposition and goblet cell hyperplasia, was also alleviated. However, serum levels of OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE as well as Th2 cytokine levels in OVA-stimulated splenocyte culture supernatants were at the comparable levels to the sensitized control group. The results demonstrate that AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus relieved local inflammatory and asthmatic responses in lung. Therefore, we propose that AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus guaranteed sufficient CC10 expression and had an anti-inflammatory effect in asthmatic mice. It might be applied as a novel therapeutic approach for asthma.
Wu and colleagues evaluate whether injection of adeno-associated viral vector serotype 9 (AAV2/9) carrying the Clara cell 10 kD protein (CC10) can reduce inflammatory and asthmatic responses in an OVA-induced asthmatic mouse model. AAV2/9-CC10 vector significantly reduces airway hyperresponsiveness, CCL11, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-13, and eosinophilia in the lungs of OVA-sensitized mice. Lung tissue remodeling is also alleviated.