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1.  Eotaxin: a potent eosinophil chemoattractant cytokine detected in a guinea pig model of allergic airways inflammation 
Eosinophil accumulation is a prominent feature of allergic inflammatory reactions, such as those occurring in the lung of the allergic asthmatic, but the endogenous chemoattractants involved have not been identified. We have investigated this in an established model of allergic inflammation, using in vivo systems both to generate and assay relevant activity. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was taken from sensitized guinea pigs at intervals after aerosol challenge with ovalbumin. BAL fluid was injected intradermally in unsensitized assay guinea pigs and the accumulation of intravenously injected 111In- eosinophils was measured. Activity was detected at 30 min after allergen challenge, peaking from 3 to 6 h and declining to low levels by 24 h. 3-h BAL fluid was purified using high performance liquid chromatography techniques in conjunction with the skin assay. Microsequencing revealed a novel protein from the C-C branch of the platelet factor 4 superfamily of chemotactic cytokines. The protein, "eotaxin," exhibits homology of 53% with human MCP-1, 44% with guinea pig MCP-1, 31% with human MIP-1 alpha, and 26% with human RANTES. Laser desorption time of flight mass analysis gave four different signals (8.15, 8.38, 8.81, and 9.03 kD), probably reflecting differential O- glycosylation. Eotaxin was highly potent, inducing substantial 111In- eosinophil accumulation at a 1-2 pmol dose in the skin, but did not induce significant 111In-neutrophil accumulation. Eotaxin was a potent stimulator of both guinea pig and human eosinophils in vitro. Human recombinant RANTES, MIP-1 alpha, and MCP-1 were all inactive in inducing 111In-eosinophil accumulation in guinea pig skin; however, evidence was obtained that eotaxin shares a binding site with RANTES on guinea pig eosinophils. This is the first description of a potent eosinophil chemoattractant cytokine generated in vivo and suggests the possibility that similar molecules may be important in the human asthmatic lung.
PMCID: PMC2191401  PMID: 7509365
2.  Eosinophil recruitment to the lung in a murine model of allergic inflammation. The role of T cells, chemokines, and adhesion receptors. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(10):2332-2345.
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.
PMCID: PMC507684  PMID: 8941651
3.  Cloning of the human eosinophil chemoattractant, eotaxin. Expression, receptor binding, and functional properties suggest a mechanism for the selective recruitment of eosinophils. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(3):604-612.
The CC chemokine eotaxin, identified in guinea pigs and also recently in mice, may be a key element for the selective recruitment of eosinophils to certain inflamed tissues. Using a partial mouse eotaxin CDNA probe, the human eotaxin gene was cloned and found to be 61.8 and 63.2% identical at the amino acid level to guinea pig and mouse eotaxin. Human eotaxin protein was a strong and specific eosinophil chemoattractant in vitro and was an effective eosinophil chemoattractant when injected into the skin of a rhesus monkey. Radiolabeled eotaxin was used to identify a high affinity receptor on eosinophils (0.52 nM Kd), expressed at 4.8 x 10(4) sites per cell. This receptor also bound RANTES and monocyte chemotactic protein-3 with lower affinity, but not macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha. Eotaxin could desensitize calcium responses of eosinophils to RANTES and monocyte chemotactic protein-3, although RANTES was able to only partially desensitize eosinophil calcium responses to eotaxin. Immunohistochemistry on human nasal polyp with antieotaxin mAbs showed that certain leukocytes as well as respiratory epithelium were intensely immunoreactive, and eosinophil infiltration occurred at sites of eotaxin upregulation. Thus eotaxin in humans is a potent and selective eosinophil chemoattractant that is expressed by a variety cell types in certain inflammatory conditions.
PMCID: PMC507095  PMID: 8609214
4.  Constitutive and allergen-induced expression of eotaxin mRNA in the guinea pig lung 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1995;181(3):1211-1216.
Eotaxin is a member of the C-C family of chemokines and is related during antigen challenge in a guinea pig model of allergic airway inflammation (asthma). Consistent with its putative role in eosinophilic inflammation, eotaxin induces the selective infiltration of eosinophils when injected into the lung and skin. Using a guinea pig lung cDNA library, we have cloned full-length eotaxin cDNA. The cDNA encodes a protein of 96 amino acids, including a putative 23-amino acid hydrophobic leader sequence, followed by 73 amino acids composing the mature active eotaxin protein. The protein-coding region of this cDNA is 73, 71, 50, and 48% identical in nucleic acid sequence to those of human macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP) 3, MCP-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP) 1 alpha, and RANTES, respectively. Analysis of genomic DNA suggested that there is a single eotaxin gene in guinea pig which is apparently conserved in mice. High constitutive levels of eotaxin mRNA expression were observed in the lung, while the intestines, stomach, spleen, liver, heart, thymus, testes, and kidney expressed lower levels. To determine if eotaxin mRNA levels are elevated during allergen-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation, ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea pigs were challenged with aerosolized antigen. Compared with the lungs from saline-challenged animals, eotaxin mRNA levels increased sixfold within 3 h and returned to baseline by 6 h. Thus, eotaxin mRNA levels are increased in response to allergen challenge during the late phase response. The identification of constitutive eotaxin mRNA expression in multiple tissues suggests that in addition to regulating airway eosinophilia, eotaxin is likely to be involved in eosinophil recruitment into other tissues as well as in baseline tissue homing.
PMCID: PMC2191932  PMID: 7869037
5.  Distinct expression and function of the novel mouse chemokine monocyte chemotactic protein-5 in lung allergic inflammation 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;184(5):1939-1951.
We have cloned a novel mouse CC chemokine cDNA from the lung during an allergic inflammatory reaction. The protein encoded by this cDNA is chemotactic for eosinophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo. Based on its similarities in sequence and function with other CC chemokines, we have named it mouse monocyte chemotactic protein-5 (mMCP- 5). Under noninflammatory conditions, expression of mMCP-5 in the lymph nodes and thymus is constitutive and is generally restricted to stromal cells. Neutralization of mMCP-5 protein with specific antibodies during an allergic inflammatory reaction in vivo resulted in a reduction in the number of eosinophils that accumulated in the lung. Moreover, mMCP- 5 mRNA expression in vivo is regulated differently from that of other major CC chemokines in the lung during the allergic reaction, including Eotaxin. The presence of lymphocytes is essential for expression of mMCP-5 by alveolar macrophages and smooth muscle cells in the lung, and the induction of mMCP-5 RNA occurs earlier than that of the eosinophil chemokine Eotaxin during allergic inflammation. In contrast to Eotaxin, mRNA for mMCP-5 can be produced by mast cells. From these results, we postulate that mMCP-5 plays a pivotal role during the early stages of allergic lung inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2192876  PMID: 8920881
6.  Eotaxin triggers eosinophil-selective chemotaxis and calcium flux via a distinct receptor and induces pulmonary eosinophilia in the presence of interleukin 5 in mice. 
Molecular Medicine  1996;2(3):334-348.
BACKGROUND: Understanding the processes that control selective eosinophilia is of fundamental importance in a variety of human diseases (e.g., allergies, parasitic infections, malignancy). Interleukin 5, an eosinophil-specific growth and activating factor, and eotaxin appear to collaborate in this process. Eotaxin is a recently described chemotactic factor that belongs to the C-C (or beta) chemokine family and has been implicated in animal and human eosinophilic inflammatory states. We have recently reported the molecular characterization of murine eotaxin and now report the biological properties of purified recombinant murine eotaxin in vitro and in vivo in the presence or absence of interleukin 5 (IL-5) in mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Murine eotaxin was expressed in bacteria and purified by affinity chromatography and HPLC. Activity was tested in vitro by examining chemotactic and calcium flux responses of purified murine leukocytes. Additionally, desensitization of calcium flux responses to other chemokines, eosinophil survival assays, and basophil histamine release were examined. Finally, eotaxin was delivered to wild-type or IL-5 transgenic mice and the host response was examined. RESULTS: Eotaxin had activity only when the recombinant molecule had the native mature amino terminus and contained the first 25 amino acids of the mature protein. It was active in vitro at an effective concentration between 10 and 100 ng/ml in both chemotaxis and calcium flux assays toward eosinophils, but not macrophages or neutrophils. Furthermore, intranasal or subcutaneous application of eotaxin selectively recruited large numbers of eosinophils into the mouse lung and skin, respectively, only in the presence of interleukin 5. Macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha, a related C-C chemokine active on eosinophils, and eotaxin were not able to cross-desensitize. Eotaxin had no affect on the in vitro survival of eosinophils and did not induce basophil histamine release. CONCLUSIONS: Mouse eotaxin is an eosinophil specific chemoattractant that has a markedly enhanced effect in vivo in the presence of another eosinophil selective cytokine IL-5, and utilizes a signal transduction receptor pathway that is distinct from that utilized by macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha. This data suggests that the development of tissue eosinophilia in vivo involves a two-step mechanism elicited by interleukin 5 and eotaxin.
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PMCID: PMC2230145  PMID: 8784786
7.  Cloning, expression, and characterization of the human eosinophil eotaxin receptor 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;183(5):2349-2354.
Although there is a mounting body of evidence that eosinophils are recruited to sites of allergic inflammation by a number of beta- chemokines, particularly eotaxin and RANTES, the receptor that mediates these actions has not been identified. We have now cloned a G protein- coupled receptor, CC CKR3, from human eosinophils which, when stably expressed in AML14.3D10 cells bound eotaxin, MCP-3 and RANTES with Kds of 0.1, 2.7 and 3.1 nM, respectively. CC CKR3 also bound MCP-1 with lower affinity, but did not bind MIP-1 alpha or MIP-1 beta. Eotaxin, RANTES, and to a lessor extent MCP-3, but not the other chemokines, activated CC CKR3 as determined by their ability to stimulate a Ca(2+) - flux. Competition binding studies on primary eosinophils gave binding affinities for the different chemokines which were indistinguishable from those measured with CC CKR3. Since CC CKR3 is prominently expressed in eosinophils we conclude that CC CKR3 is the eosinophil eotaxin receptor. Eosinophils also express a much lower level of a second chemokine receptor, CC CKR1, which appears to be responsible for the effects of MIP-1 alpha.
PMCID: PMC2192548  PMID: 8642344
8.  Production of the novel C-C chemokine MCP-4 by airway cells and comparison of its biological activity to other C-C chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;99(5):926-936.
Monocyte chemotactic protein-4 (MCP-4) is a newly identified C-C chemokine with potent eosinophil chemoattractant properties. We describe studies of its biological activity in vitro to induce chemotaxis of peripheral blood eosinophils and to induce histamine release from IL-3-primed peripheral blood basophils. MCP-4 and eotaxin caused a similar rise in eosinophil intracytoplasmic Ca2+ and complete cross-desensitization. MCP-4 also abolished the eosinophil Ca2+ response to MCP-3 and partially desensitized the response to macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha. MCP-4 activated cell migration via either CCR2b or CCR3 in mouse lymphoma cells transfected with these chemokine receptors. MCP-4 inhibited binding of 125I-eotaxin to eosinophils and CCR3-transfected cells and inhibited 125I-MCP-1 binding to CCR2b-transfectants. MCP-4 mRNA was found in cells collected in bronchoalveolar lavage of asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects and was prominently expressed in human lung and heart. MCP-4 mRNA was expressed in several human bronchial epithelial cell lines after cytokine stimulation. Pretreatment of BEAS-2B epithelial cells with the glucocorticoid budesonide inhibited MCP-4 mRNA expression. These features make MCP-4 a candidate for playing a role in eosinophil recruitment during allergic respiratory diseases.
PMCID: PMC507900  PMID: 9062350
9.  Murine lung eosinophil activation and chemokine production in allergic airway inflammation 
Cellular & molecular immunology  2010;7(5):361-374.
Eosinophils play important roles in asthma and lung infections. Murine models are widely used for assessing the functional significance and mechanistic basis for eosinophil involvements in these diseases. However, little is known about tissue eosinophils in homeostasis. In addition, little data on eosinophil chemokine production during allergic airway inflammation are available. In this study, the properties and functions of homeostatic and activated eosinophils were compared. Eosinophils from normal tissues expressed costimulation and adhesion molecules B7-1, B7-2 and ICAM-1 for Ag presentation but little major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, and were found to be poor stimulators of T-cell proliferation. However, these eosinophils expressed high levels of chemokine mRNA including C10, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1γ, MIP-2, eotaxin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-5 (MCP-5), and produced chemokine proteins. Eosinophil intracellular chemokines decreased rapidly with concomitant surface marker downregulation upon in vitro culturing consistent with piecemeal degranulation. Lung eosinophils from mice with induced allergic airway inflammation exhibited increased chemokines mRNA expression and chemokines protein production and upregulated MHC class II and CD11c expression. They were also found to be the predominant producers of the CCR1 ligands CCL6/C10 and CCL9/MIP-1γ in inflamed lungs. Eosinophil production of C10 and MIP-1γ correlated with the marked influx of CD11bhigh lung dendritic cells during allergic airway inflammation and the high of CCR1 on these dendritic cells (DCs). The study provided baseline information on tissue eosinophils, documented the upregulation of activation markers and chemokine production in activated eosinophils, and indicated that eosinophils were a key chemokine-producing cell type in allergic lung inflammation.
doi:10.1038/cmi.2010.31
PMCID: PMC3045045  PMID: 20622891
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
10.  Murine lung eosinophil activation and chemokine production in allergic airway inflammation 
Eosinophils play important roles in asthma and lung infections. Murine models are widely used for assessing the functional significance and mechanistic basis for eosinophil involvements in these diseases. However, little is known about tissue eosinophils in homeostasis. In addition, little data on eosinophil chemokine production during allergic airway inflammation are available. In this study, the properties and functions of homeostatic and activated eosinophils were compared. Eosinophils from normal tissues expressed costimulation and adhesion molecules B7-1, B7-2 and ICAM-1 for Ag presentation but little major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, and were found to be poor stimulators of T-cell proliferation. However, these eosinophils expressed high levels of chemokine mRNA including C10, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1γ, MIP-2, eotaxin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-5 (MCP-5), and produced chemokine proteins. Eosinophil intracellular chemokines decreased rapidly with concomitant surface marker downregulation upon in vitro culturing consistent with piecemeal degranulation. Lung eosinophils from mice with induced allergic airway inflammation exhibited increased chemokines mRNA expression and chemokines protein production and upregulated MHC class II and CD11c expression. They were also found to be the predominant producers of the CCR1 ligands CCL6/C10 and CCL9/MIP-1γ in inflamed lungs. Eosinophil production of C10 and MIP-1γ correlated with the marked influx of CD11bhigh lung dendritic cells during allergic airway inflammation and the high expression of CCR1 on these dendritic cells (DCs). The study provided baseline information on tissue eosinophils, documented the upregulation of activation markers and chemokine production in activated eosinophils, and indicated that eosinophils were a key chemokine-producing cell type in allergic lung inflammation.
doi:10.1038/cmi.2010.31
PMCID: PMC3045045  PMID: 20622891
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
11.  T cell-dependent regulation of eotaxin in antigen-induced pulmonary eosinophila 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;184(4):1461-1469.
T lymphocytes have been implicated in controlling the recruitment of eosinophils into the lung in murine models of allergic asthma. The mechanism by which T cells assist in the recruitment of eosinophils to the lung in these models is not completely understood. We hypothesized that eosinophil-active chemokines might be regulated by antigen (Ag)- induced T cell activation in vivo and thereby mediate T cell-dependent eosinophil recruitment. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of an anti-CD3 mAb on Ag-induced pulmonary eosinophilia and correlated this with the expression of three eosinophil-active chemokines: eotaxin, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 alpha, and RANTES. We found that Ag-induced pulmonary eosinophilia was associated with the induction of eotaxin and MIP-1 alpha, but not RANTES mRNA. Prechallenge treatment with anti-CD3 mAb inhibited eotaxin, but not MIP-1 alpha and RANTES mRNA induction, and significantly reduced eosinophil accumulation in the lung. In addition, Ag-specific antibody responses and mast cell degranulation after Ag challenge in sensitized mice were not affected by T cell elimination, and were not sufficient to induce the expression of eotaxin and cause pulmonary eosinophilia. These findings suggest that eotaxin is one of the molecular links between Ag- specific T cell activation and the recruitment of eosinophils into the airways.
PMCID: PMC2192832  PMID: 8879217
12.  Molecular cloning and characterization of a human eotaxin receptor expressed selectively on eosinophils  
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;183(6):2437-2448.
The chemokine eotaxin is unusual in that it appears to be a highly specific chemoattractant for eosinophils. Ligand-binding studies with radiolabeled eotaxin demonstrated a receptor on eosinophils distinct from the known chemokine receptors CKR-1 and -2. The distinct eotaxin binding site on human eosinophils also bound RANTES (regulated on activation T expressed and secreted) and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)3. We have now isolated a cDNA from eosinophils, termed CKR-3, with significant sequence similarity to other well characterized chemokine receptors. Cells transfected with CKR-3 cDNA bound radiolabeled eotaxin specifically and with high affinity, comparable to the binding affinity observed with eosinophils. This receptor also bound RANTES and MCP-3 with high affinity, but not other CC or CXC chemokines. Furthermore, receptor transfectants generated in a murine B cell lymphoma cell line migrated in transwell chemotaxis assays to eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-3, but not to any other chemokines. A monoclonal antibody recognizing CKR-3 was used to show that eosinophils, but not other leukocyte types, expressed this receptor. This pattern of expression was confirmed by Northern blot with RNA from highly purified leukocyte subsets. The restricted expression of CKR-3 on eosinophils and the fidelity of eotaxin binding to CKR-3, provides a potential mechanism for the selective recruitment and migration of eosinophils within tissues.
PMCID: PMC2192612  PMID: 8676064
13.  Chemokine receptor usage by human eosinophils. The importance of CCR3 demonstrated using an antagonistic monoclonal antibody. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;99(2):178-184.
Chemokines bind and signal through G-protein coupled seven transmembrane receptors. Various chemokine receptors are expressed on leukocytes, and these may impart selective homing of leukocyte subsets to sites of inflammation. Human eosinophils express the eotaxin receptor, CCR3, but respond to a variety of CC chemokines apart from eotaxin, including RANTES, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-2, MCP-3, and MCP-4. Here we describe a mAb, 7B11, that is selective for CCR3 and has the properties of a true receptor antagonist. 7B11 blocked binding of various radiolabeled chemokines to either CCR3 transfectants, or eosinophils. Pretreatment of eosinophils with this mAb blocked chemotaxis and calcium flux induced by all CCR3 ligands. In all individuals examined, including allergic and eosinophilic donors, > 95% of the response of eosinophils to eotaxin, RANTES, MCP-2, MCP-3, and MCP-4 was shown to be mediated through CCR3. The IL-8 receptors, particularly CXCR2, were induced on IL-5 primed eosinophils, however these eosinophils responded to CC chemokines in the same manner as unprimed eosinophils. These results demonstrate the importance of CCR3 for eosinophil responses, and the feasibility of completely antagonizing this receptor.
PMCID: PMC507784  PMID: 9005985
14.  Allergic Challenge–Elicited Lipid Bodies Compartmentalize In Vivo Leukotriene C4 Synthesis within Eosinophils 
Eosinophils are an important source of leukotriene (LT)C4, which can be synthesized within lipid bodies—cytoplasmic organelles where eicosanoid formation may take place. Allergy-driven lipid body formation and function have never been investigated. Here, we studied the in vivo induction and role of lipid bodies within eosinophils recruited to sites of allergic inflammation. Using two murine models of allergic inflammation (asthma and pleurisy), we verified that parallel to the eosinophil influx, allergic challenge also induced lipid body formation within recruited eosinophils. Neutralizing antibodies to eotaxin/CCL11, RANTES/CCL5, or CCR3 partially inhibited lipid body formation within recruited eosinophils in the allergic pleurisy model. Likewise, intrapleural administration of RANTES or eotaxin also induced significant influx of eosinophils loaded with lipid bodies. By immunolabeling, we detected the presence of a key enzyme involved in the leukotriene metabolism—5-lipoxygenase—within eosinophil lipid bodies formed in vivo after allergen challenge. Furthermore, specific immunolocalization of newly formed LTC4 demonstrated that lipid bodies were the sites of formation of this eicosanoid within infiltrating eosinophils. Therefore, allergic inflammation triggers in vivo formation of new lipid bodies within infiltrating eosinophils, a phenomenon largely mediated by eotaxin/RANTES acting via CCR3 receptors. Such in vivo allergen-driven lipid bodies function as intracellular compartments of LTC4 synthesis.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2005-0145OC
PMCID: PMC2715315  PMID: 15947420
allergy; CCR3; eosinophils; lipid bodies; LTC4
15.  RANTES and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha induce the migration and activation of normal human eosinophil granulocytes 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1992;176(6):1489-1495.
The cellular infiltrates of certain inflammatory processes found in parasitic infection or in allergic diseases consist predominantly of eosinophilic granulocytes, often in association with activated T cells. This suggests the existence of chemotactic agonists specific for eosinophils and lymphocyte subsets devoid of neutrophil-activating properties. We therefore examined four members of the intercrine/chemokine superfamily of cytokines (monocyte chemotactic peptide 1 [MCP-1], RANTES, macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha [MIP- 1 alpha], and MIP-1 beta), which do not activate neutrophils, for their ability to affect different eosinophil effector functions. RANTES strongly attracted normal human eosinophils by a chemotactic rather than a chemokinetic mechanism with a similar efficacy as the most potent chemotactic myeloid cell agonist, C5a. MIP-1 alpha also induced eosinophil migration, however, with lower efficacy. RANTES and MIP-1 alpha induced eosinophil cationic protein release in cytochalasin B- treated eosinophils, but did not promote leukotriene C4 formation by eosinophils, even after preincubation with interleukin 3 (IL-3), in contrast to other chemotactic agonists such as C5a and formyl-methionyl- leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP). RANTES, but not MIP-1 alpha, induced a biphasic chemiluminescence response, however, of lower magnitude than C5a. RANTES and MIP-1 alpha both promoted identical transient changes in intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), with kinetics similar to those induced by chemotactic peptides known to interact with G protein-coupled receptors. No cross-desensitization towards other peptide agonists (e.g., C5a, IL-8, FMLP) was observed, suggesting the presence of specific receptors. Despite its weaker eosinophil- activating properties, MIP-1 alpha was at least 10 times more potent on a molar basis than RANTES at inducing [Ca2+]i changes. Interestingly, RANTES deactivated the MIP-1 alpha-induced [Ca2+]i changes, while the RANTES response was preserved after MIP-1 alpha stimulation. MCP-1, a potent monocyte chemoattractant and basophil agonist, as well as MIP-1 beta, a peptide with pronounced homology to MIP-1 alpha, did not activate the eosinophil functions tested. Our results indicate that RANTES and MIP-1 alpha are crucial mediators of inflammatory processes in which eosinophils predominate.
PMCID: PMC2119467  PMID: 1281207
16.  Novel Basophil- or Eosinophil-Depleted Mouse Models for Functional Analyses of Allergic Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60958.
Basophils and eosinophils play important roles in various host defense mechanisms but also act as harmful effectors in allergic disorders. We generated novel basophil- and eosinophil-depletion mouse models by introducing the human diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor gene under the control of the mouse CD203c and the eosinophil peroxidase promoter, respectively, to study the critical roles of these cells in the immunological response. These mice exhibited selective depletion of the target cells upon DT administration. In the basophil-depletion model, DT administration attenuated a drop in body temperature in IgG-mediated systemic anaphylaxis in a dose-dependent manner and almost completely abolished the development of ear swelling in IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation (IgE-CAI), a typical skin swelling reaction with massive eosinophil infiltration. In contrast, in the eosinophil-depletion model, DT administration ameliorated the ear swelling in IgE-CAI whether DT was administered before, simultaneously, or after, antigen challenge, with significantly lower numbers of eosinophils infiltrating into the swelling site. These results confirm that basophils and eosinophils act as the initiator and the effector, respectively, in IgE-CAI. In addition, antibody array analysis suggested that eotaxin-2 is a principal chemokine that attracts proinflammatory cells, leading to chronic allergic inflammation. Thus, the two mouse models established in this study are potentially useful and powerful tools for studying the in vivo roles of basophils and eosinophils. The combination of basophil- and eosinophil-depletion mouse models provides a new approach to understanding the complicated mechanism of allergic inflammation in conditions such as atopic dermatitis and asthma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060958
PMCID: PMC3620047  PMID: 23577180
17.  High expression of the chemokine receptor CCR3 in human blood basophils. Role in activation by eotaxin, MCP-4, and other chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(5):1137-1143.
Eosinophil leukocytes express high numbers of the chemokine receptor CCR3 which binds eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-4, and some other CC chemokines. In this paper we show that CCR3 is also highly expressed on human blood basophils, as indicated by Northern blotting and flow cytometry, and mediates mainly chemotaxis. Eotaxin and MCP-4 elicited basophil migration in vitro with similar efficacy as regulated upon activation normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) and MCP-3. They also induced the release of histamine and leukotrienes in IL-3-primed basophils, but their efficacy was lower than that of MCP-1 and MCP-3, which were the most potent stimuli of exocytosis. Pretreatment of the basophils with a CCR3-blocking antibody abrogated the migration induced by eotaxin, RANTES, and by low to optimal concentrations of MCP-4, but decreased only minimally the response to MCP-3. The CCR3-blocking antibody also affected exocytosis: it abrogated histamine and leukotriene release induced by eotaxin, and partially inhibited the response to RANTES and MCP-4. In contrast, the antibody did not affect the responses induced by MCP-1, MCP-3, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, which may depend on CCR1 and CCR2, two additional receptors detected by Northern blotting with basophil RNA. This study demonstrates that CCR3 is the major receptor for eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-4 in human basophils, and suggests that basophils and eosinophils, which are the characteristic effector cells of allergic inflammation, depend largely on CCR3 for migration towards different chemokines into inflamed tissues.
PMCID: PMC508288  PMID: 9276730
18.  Monocyte chemotactic protein 3 is a most effective basophil- and eosinophil-activating chemokine 
CC chemokines constitute a novel class of cytokines that attract and activate monocytes and lymphocytes, as well as basophil and eosinophil leukocytes, with distinct target cell profiles, and are believed to be involved in the regulation of different types of inflammation. The action of the recently identified monocyte chemotactic protein 3 (MCP- 3) on human basophil and eosinophil function was studied and compared with that of other CC chemokines. In basophils, MCP-3, MCP-1, RANTES, and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 alpha all induced cytosolic- free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) changes and, with different efficacies, chemotaxis (RANTES = MCP-3 >> MCP-1 > MIP-1 alpha), histamine release (MCP-1 = MCP-3 >> RANTES > MIP-1 alpha), and leukotriene C4 formation, after IL-3 pretreatment (MCP-1 = MCP-3 >> RANTES > MIP-1 alpha). Thus, MCP-3 was as effective as MCP-1 as an inducer of mediator release, and as effective as RANTES as a stimulus of basophil migration. In contrast to MCP-1, MCP-3 was also a stimulus for eosinophils, and induced [Ca2+]i changes and chemotaxis as effectively as RANTES, which is the most potent chemotactic cytokine for these cells. Desensitization of the transient changes in [Ca2+]i was used to assess receptor usage. In basophils, stimulation with MCP-3 prevented responsiveness to MCP-1 and RANTES, but not to MIP-1 alpha. No single CC chemokine (except for MCP-3 itself) affected the response to MCP-3, however, which was prevented only when the cells were prestimulated with both MCP-1 and RANTES. In eosinophils, by contrast, cross-desensitization between RANTES and MCP-3 was obtained. RANTES and to a lesser extent MCP-3 also desensitized eosinophils toward MIP-1 alpha. The desensitization data suggest the existence of three chemokine receptors: (a) a MCP-1 receptor expressed on basophils but not eosinophils that is activated by MCP-1 and MCP-3; (b) a RANTES receptor in basophils and eosinophils that is activated by RANTES and MCP-3; and (c) a MIP-1 alpha receptor that is activated by MIP-1 alpha, RANTES and, more weakly, by MCP-3. This study shows that MCP-3 combines the properties of RANTES, a powerful chemoattractant, and MCP-1, a highly effective stimulus of mediator release, and thus has a particularly broad range of activities toward both human basophil and eosinophil leukocytes.
PMCID: PMC2191381  PMID: 7507512
19.  Eosinophil as a cellular target of the ocular anti-allergic action of mapracorat, a novel selective glucocorticoid receptor agonist 
Molecular Vision  2011;17:3208-3223.
Purpose
Glucocorticoids can either suppress gene transcription (transrepression) or activate it (transactivation). This latter process may contribute to certain side effects caused by these agents. Mapracorat (also known as BOL-303242-X or ZK 245186) is a novel selective glucocorticoid receptor agonist that maintains a beneficial anti-inflammatory activity but seems to be less effective in transactivation, resulting in a lower potential for side effects; it has been proposed for the topical treatment of inflammatory skin disorders. This study assessed the anti-allergic activity of mapracorat at the ocular level and whether eosinophils and mast cells are targets of its action.
Methods
With in vitro studies apoptosis was evaluated in human eosinophils by flow cytometry and western blot of caspase-3 fragments. Eosinophil migration toward platelet-activating factor was evaluated by transwell assays. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5)/regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed, and presumably secreted (RANTES) were measured using a high-throughput multiplex luminex technology. Annexin I and the chemochine receptor C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) were detected by flow cytometry. With in vivo studies, allergic conjunctivitis was induced in guinea pigs sensitized to ovalbumin by an ocular allergen challenge and evaluated by a clinical score. Conjunctival eosinophils were determined by microscopy or eosinophil peroxidase assay.
Results
In cultured human eosinophils, mapracorat showed the same potency as dexamethasone but displayed higher efficacy in increasing spontaneous apoptosis and in counteracting cytokine-sustained eosinophil survival. These effects were prevented by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone. Mapracorat inhibited eosinophil migration and IL-8 release from eosinophils or the release of IL-6, IL-8, CCL5/RANTES, and TNF-α from a human mast cell line with equal potency as dexamethasone, whereas it was clearly less potent than this glucocorticoid in inducing annexin I and CXCR4 expression on the human eosinophil surface; this was taken as a possible sign of glucocorticoid-dependent transactivation. In the guinea pig, mapracorat or dexamethasone eye drops induced an analogous reduction in clinical symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis and conjunctival eosinophil accumulation.
Conclusions
Mapracorat appears to be a promising candidate for the topical treatment of allergic eye disorders. It maintains an anti-allergic profile similar to that of dexamethasone but seems to have fewer transactivation effects in comparison to this classical glucocorticoid. Some of its cellular targets may contribute to eosinophil apoptosis and/or to preventing their recruitment and activation and to inhibiting the release of cytokines and chemokines.
PMCID: PMC3244483  PMID: 22194647
20.  Chemokines in the limbal form of vernal keratoconjunctivitis 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2000;84(12):1360-1366.
BACKGROUND/AIMS—Chemokines are a family of low molecular weight cytokines that attract and activate leucocytes. The CC chemokines act on eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes, suggesting that they play an important part in allergic diseases. The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of the CC chemokines, RANTES, eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP) 1, MCP-2, and MCP-3 in the conjunctiva of patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) and to determine the cellular source of these chemokines.
METHODS—Conjunctival biopsy specimens from nine subjects with active VKC, and six control subjects were studied by immunohistochemical techniques using a panel of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies directed against RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, MCP-2, and MCP-3. The phenotype of inflammatory cells expressing chemokines was examined by sequential double immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS—In the normal conjunctiva, superficial epithelial cells showed a constitutive, weak cytoplasmic expression of eotaxin. Few inflammatory cells in the perivascular areas expressed RANTES, MCP-1, MCP-2, and MCP-3. In VKC specimens, the epithelium showed intense cytoplasmic eotaxin staining in all cells, and cytoplasmic RANTES staining mainly in the superficial layers. Furthermore, RANTES and eotaxin were expressed on the vascular endothelium mainly in the upper substantia propria. Compared with normal controls, VKC specimens showed significantly more inflammatory cells expressing RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, and MCP-3 (p<0.001, 0.0028, 0.0092, and <0.001, respectively). In VKC specimens, the numbers of inflammatory cells expressing RANTES were significantly higher than the numbers of inflammatory cells expressing eotaxin, MCP-1, and MCP-2 (all p values <0.001). Colocalisation studies revealed that the majority of inflammatory cells expressing chemokines were CD68 positive monocytes/macrophages.
CONCLUSIONS—These results demonstrate an increase in the expression of RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, and MCP-3 in the conjunctiva of patients with VKC compared with control subjects. These data suggest a potential role for these chemokines in the pathogenesis of VKC. Antagonists of chemokine receptors may provide new therapeutic modalities in VKC.


doi:10.1136/bjo.84.12.1360
PMCID: PMC1723358  PMID: 11090473
21.  The Coordinated Action of CC Chemokines in the Lung Orchestrates Allergic Inflammation and Airway Hyperresponsiveness  
The complex pathophysiology of lung allergic inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) that characterize asthma is achieved by the regulated accumulation and activation of different leukocyte subsets in the lung. The development and maintenance of these processes correlate with the coordinated production of chemokines. Here, we have assessed the role that different chemokines play in lung allergic inflammation and BHR by blocking their activities in vivo. Our results show that blockage of each one of these chemokines reduces both lung leukocyte infiltration and BHR in a substantially different way. Thus, eotaxin neutralization reduces specifically BHR and lung eosinophilia transiently after each antigen exposure. Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-5 neutralization abolishes BHR not by affecting the accumulation of inflammatory leukocytes in the airways, but rather by altering the trafficking of the eosinophils and other leukocytes through the lung interstitium. Neutralization of RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) receptor(s) with a receptor antagonist decreases significantly lymphocyte and eosinophil infiltration as well as mRNA expression of eotaxin and RANTES. In contrast, neutralization of one of the ligands for RANTES receptors, macrophage-inflammatory protein 1α, reduces only slightly lung eosinophilia and BHR. Finally, MCP-1 neutralization diminishes drastically BHR and inflammation, and this correlates with a pronounced decrease in monocyte- and lymphocyte-derived inflammatory mediators. These results suggest that different chemokines activate different cellular and molecular pathways that in a coordinated fashion contribute to the complex pathophysiology of asthma, and that their individual blockage results in intervention at different levels of these processes.
PMCID: PMC2525544  PMID: 9653092
chemokines; allergic inflammation; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; eosinophilia; leukocytes
22.  Strain-specific requirement for eosinophils in the recruitment of T cells to the lung during the development of allergic asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(6):1285-1292.
Eosinophils have been implicated as playing a major role in allergic airway responses. However, the importance of these cells to the development of this disease has remained ambiguous despite many studies, partly because of lack of appropriate model systems. In this study, using transgenic murine models, we more clearly delineate a role for eosinophils in asthma. We report that, in contrast to results obtained on a BALB/c background, eosinophil-deficient C57BL/6 ΔdblGATA mice (eosinophil-null mice via the ΔDblGATA1 mutation) have reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, and cytokine production of interleukin (IL)-4, -5, and -13 in ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation. This was caused by reduced T cell recruitment into the lung, as these mouse lungs had reduced expression of CCL7/MCP-3, CC11/eotaxin-1, and CCL24/eotaxin-2. Transferring eosinophils into these eosinophil-deficient mice and, more importantly, delivery of CCL11/eotaxin-1 into the lung during the development of this disease rescued lung T cell infiltration and airway inflammation when delivered together with allergen. These studies indicate that on the C57BL/6 background, eosinophils are integral to the development of airway allergic responses by modulating chemokine and/or cytokine production in the lung, leading to T cell recruitment.
doi:10.1084/jem.20071836
PMCID: PMC2413027  PMID: 18490489
23.  Shear-dependent Eosinophil Transmigration on Interleukin 4–stimulated Endothelial Cells 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2001;194(12):1699-1709.
Leukocyte infiltration into inflammatory sites is regulated by the expression of adhesion and activation proteins, yet the role of these proteins in shear-dependent transmigration is poorly understood. We examined eosinophil recruitment on cytokine-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) under laminar flow conditions. Eosinophils rapidly transmigrated on interleukin (IL)-4–, but not TNF-stimulated HUVECs. Transmigration was shear dependent, with up to 90% of eosinophils transmigrating in the presence of shear and less than 25% of cells transmigrating under static conditions. Eosinophils express CC chemokine receptor CCR3 and are responsive to various CC chemokines. The effects of chemokines are mediated primarily through Gαi, which is pertussis toxin sensitive. Greater than 65% of shear-dependent eosinophil transmigration on IL-4–stimulated HUVECs was blocked by either pertussis toxin or by an anti-CCR3 monoclonal antibody. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blots, we found that IL-4–stimulated HUVECs produce both mRNA and protein for eotaxin-3. Eotaxin-3 was both released by HUVECs and expressed on the endothelial cell surface. Pretreatment of HUVECs with an anti–eotaxin-3 antibody blocked eosinophil transmigration to the same extent as an anti-CCR3 antibody. These results indicate that IL-4–stimulated HUVECs support shear-dependent eosinophil transmigration by upregulating eotaxin-3, and that surface association is critical for the role of eotaxin-3 in transmigration.
PMCID: PMC2193583  PMID: 11748272
chemokines; cell adhesion; cytokines; trafficking; leukocytes
24.  Eosinophilic Inflammation in Allergic Asthma 
Eosinophils are circulating granulocytes involved in pathogenesis of asthma. A cascade of processes directed by Th2 cytokine producing T-cells influence the recruitment of eosinophils into the lungs. Furthermore, multiple elements including interleukin (IL)-5, IL-13, chemoattractants such as eotaxin, Clara cells, and CC chemokine receptor (CCR)3 are already directly involved in recruiting eosinophils to the lung during allergic inflammation. Once recruited, eosinophils participate in the modulation of immune response, induction of airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling, characteristic features of asthma. Various types of promising treatments for reducing asthmatic response are related to reduction in eosinophil counts both in human and experimental models of pulmonary allergic inflammation, showing that the recruitment of these cells really plays an important role in the pathophysiology of allergic diseases such asthma.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2013.00046
PMCID: PMC3627984  PMID: 23616768
airway remodeling; asthma; eosinophils; experimental models of asthma; inflammation; respiratory hypersensitivity
25.  Novel co-operation between eotaxin and substance-P in inducing eosinophil-derived neurotoxin release. 
Mediators of Inflammation  1999;8(3):177-179.
Eosinophils, chemokines, and neuropeptides are thought to play effector roles in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases such as rhinitis. Eotaxin is a novel C-C chemokine with a potent and relatively specific eosinophil chemoattractant activity that binds selectively to CCR3 receptor, however, its activity in inducing eosinophil granules proteins release is poorly characterized. This study was performed to determine whether eotaxin primes eosinophil exocytosis and whether this co-operates with the sensory neuroimmune-axis. In the present communication, we show that 10 ng/ml eotaxin primed normal human eosinophil for exaggerated eosonophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) release stimulated by 10(-8) M Substance-P (SP). This novel priming was blocked by; 7B11 and Herbimycin A (HA), the CCR3 antagonist and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, respectively. SDS-Page studies showed significant tyrosine phosphorylation of several protein residues induced by 10(-8) M SP only after priming with 10 ng/ml eotaxin. These results demonstrate a novel co-operation between eotaxin and SP in inducing eosinophil cytotoxicity, which at least in part involves tyrosine kinases pathway(s).
PMCID: PMC1781792  PMID: 10704057

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