Inhalation of antigen in immunized mice induces an infiltration of eosinophils into the airways and increased bronchial hyperreactivity as are observed in human asthma. We employed a model of late-phase allergic pulmonary inflammation in mice to address the role of leukotrienes (LT) in mediating airway eosinophilia and hyperreactivity to methacholine. Allergen intranasal challenge in OVA-sensitized mice induced LTB4 and LTC4 release into the airspace, widespread mucus occlusion of the airways, leukocytic infiltration of the airway tissue and broncho-alveolar lavage fluid that was predominantly eosinophils, and bronchial hyperreactivity to methacholine. Specific inhibitors of 5- lipoxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) blocked airway mucus release and infiltration by eosinophils indicating a key role for leukotrienes in these features of allergic pulmonary inflammation. The role of leukotrienes or eosinophils in mediating airway hyperresponsiveness to aeroallergen could not be established, however, in this murine model.
Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to allergens, airway oedema, increased mucus secretion, excess production of T helper-2 (Th2) cytokines, and eosinophil accumulation in the lungs. Corni fructus (CF) is a fruit of Cornus officinalis Sieb. Et. Zucc. (Cornaceae) and has been used in traditional Korean medicine as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and diuretic agent. To investigate the anti-asthmatic effects of CF and their underlying mechanism, we examined the influence of CF on the development of pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
In this study, BALB/c mice were systemically sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) by intraperitoneal (i.p.), intratracheal (i.t.) injections and intranasal (i.n.) inhalation of OVA. We investigated the effect of CF on airway hyperresponsiveness, pulmonary eosinophilic infiltration, various immune cell phenotypes, Th2 cytokine production, and OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) production.
The CF-treated groups showed suppressed eosinophil infiltration, allergic airway inflammation, and AHR via reduced production of interleuin (IL) -5, IL-13, and OVA-specific IgE.
Our data suggest that the therapeutic effects of CF in asthma are mediated by reduced production of Th2 cytokines (IL-5), eotaxin, and OVA-specific IgE and reduced eosinophil infiltration.
Corni fructus; Asthma; Eosinophil; IL-5; CCR3
The objective of this investigation was to determine the role of Pyk2, an intracellular nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase for postadhesive inflammatory cell migration, on airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in immune-sensitized mice. Blockade of Pyk2 was effected by intraperitoneal administration of dominant-negative C-terminal Pyk2 fused to a TAT protein transduction domain (TAT-Pyk2-CT). Ovalbumin challenge elicited infiltration of both eosinophils and lymphocytes into airways, increased mucus-containing epithelial cells, and caused increased airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine in immune-sensitized mice. Pretreatment with 10 mg/kg TAT-Pyk2-CT intraperitoneally blocked all of these effects and further decreased secretion of Th2 cytokine IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 into the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Intranasal administration of IL-5 caused eosinophil migration into the airway lumen, which was attenuated by systemic pretreatment with TAT-Pyk2-CT. In each paradigm, treatment with control protein TAT-GFP had no blocking effect. We conclude that Pyk2, which is essential for inflammatory cell migration in vitro, regulates airway inflammation, Th2 cytokine secretion, and airway hyperresponsiveness in the ovalbumin-sensitized mice during antigen challenge in vivo.
eosinophils; Pyk2; inflammation; lung
The relationship between airway structural changes (remodeling) and airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is unclear. Asthma guidelines suggest treating persistent asthma with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting β-agonists (LABA). We examined the link between physiological function and structural changes following treatment fluticasone and salmeterol separately or in combination in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
BALB/c mice were sensitized to intraperitoneal ovalbumin (OVA) followed by six daily inhalation exposures. Treatments included 9 daily nebulized administrations of fluticasone alone (6 mg/ml), salmeterol (3 mg/ml), or the combination fluticasone and salmeterol. Lung impedance was measured following methacholine inhalation challenge. Airway inflammation, epithelial injury, mucus containing cells, and collagen content were assessed 48 hours after OVA challenge. Lungs were imaged using micro-CT.
Results and Discussion
Treatment of allergic airways disease with fluticasone alone or in combination with salmeterol reduced AHR to approximately naüve levels while salmeterol alone increased elastance by 39% compared to control. Fluticasone alone and fluticasone in combination with salmeterol both reduced inflammation to near naive levels. Mucin containing cells were also reduced with fluticasone and fluticasone in combination with salmeterol.
Fluticasone alone and in combination with salmeterol reduces airway inflammation and remodeling, but salmeterol alone worsens AHR: and these functional changes are consistent with the concomitant changes in mucus metaplasia.
Chronic airway inflammation is a hallmark of asthma, an immune-based disease with great societal impact. Honokiol (HNK), a phenolic neurotransmitter receptor (GABAA) agonist purified from magnolia, has anti-inflammatory properties, including stabilization of inflammation in experimentally-induced arthritis. The present study tested the prediction that HNK could inhibit the chronic inflammatory component of allergic asthma. C57Bl/6 mice sensitized to and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) had increased airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine challenge and eosinophilia compared to naïve controls. HNK-treated mice showed a reduction in airway hyperresponsiveness as well as a significant decrease in lung eosinophilia. Histopathology studies revealed a marked drop in lung inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and collagen deposition with HNK treatment. Antigen recall responses from HNK-treated mice showed decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to OVA, including TNF-α, IL-6, Th1, and Th17-type cytokines, despite an increase in Th2-type cytokines. Regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β were also increased. Assessment of lung homogenates revealed a similar pattern of cytokines, with a noted increase in the number of FoxP3+ cells in the lung. HNK was able to alter B- and T-lymphocyte cytokine secretion in a GABAA dependent manner. These results indicate that symptoms and pathology of asthma can be alleviated even in the presence of increased Th2 cytokines, and that neurotransmitter agonists such as HNK have promise as a novel class of antiinflammatory agents in the treatment of chronic asthma.
Inflammation; mouse; cytokines; asthma
Viral respiratory infections can predispose to the development of asthma by mechanisms that are presently undetermined. Using a murine model of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, acute infection is associated with airway hyperresponsiveness as well as enhanced responses to subsequent sensitization to allergen. We demonstrate that acute viral infection results in increased airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine and pulmonary neutrophilic and eosinophilic inflammation. This response is associated with predominant production of Th-1-type cytokines in peribronchial lymph node cells in vitro. Mice sensitized to ovalbumin via the airways after RSV infection developed increased airway responsiveness to methacholine and pulmonary eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation, associated with the predominant production of Th-2-type cytokines. Treatment of the mice with anti-IL-5 antibody abolished airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilic but not neutrophilic inflammation in both acutely infected mice and mice sensitized after infection. We conclude that RSV infection results in airway hyperresponsiveness in the acute phase and leads to changes in immune function that can enhance the effects of airway sensitization to antigen after infection. In both situations, airway hyperresponsiveness is closely associated with pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation. This model provides a means for further analyzing the influence of viral respiratory infections on airway sensitization and the development of altered airway responsiveness.
L-selectin is a cell adhesion molecule, which mediates leukocyte rolling on bronchopulmonary endothelium. Previous studies in a murine model of allergic airways disease have shown that L-selectin plays a role in the regulation of airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma via mechanisms independent of inflammation. Airway remodeling has been shown to modulate airway hyperresponsiveness independently of inflammation.
Our aim was to determine if L-selectin influenced airway hyperresponsiveness via modulation of structural changes as a result of airway remodeling.
A chronic ovalbumin-induced allergic airways disease model was applied to L-selectin-deficient mice and wild-type control mice. The development of airway inflammation was assessed by examining leukocyte influx into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Airway remodeling changes were determined via histology and morphometric analysis of lung tissue sections, and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness was assessed by invasive plethysmography.
Total cell counts, but not individual differential cell counts, were reduced in the ovalbumin-treated L-selectin-deficient mice compared to wildtype ovalbumin-treated mice. L-selectin-deficient mice had significantly reduced epithelial thickness and smooth muscle thickness. Airway hyperresponsiveness was abrogated in ovalbumin treated L-selectin-deficient mice compared to wild-type controls.
L-selectin plays an important role in regulating airway remodeling in an animal model of chronic allergic airways disease. Abrogated airway hyperresponsiveness may be related to reduced remodeling changes in L-selectin-deficient mice. L-selectin represents a potential target for novel asthma treatment for airway remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness.
asthma; L-selectin; airway hyperresponsiveness; airway remodeling
The relative contributions of large and small airways to hyperresponsiveness in asthma have yet to be fully assessed. This study used a mouse model of chronic allergic airways disease to induce inflammation and remodelling and determine whether in vivo hyperresponsiveness to methacholine is consistent with in vitro reactivity of trachea and small airways. Balb/C mice were sensitised (days 0, 14) and challenged (3 times/week, 6 weeks) with ovalbumin. Airway reactivity was compared with saline-challenged controls in vivo assessing whole lung resistance, and in vitro measuring the force of tracheal contraction and the magnitude/rate of small airway narrowing within lung slices. Increased airway inflammation, epithelial remodelling and fibrosis were evident following allergen challenge. In vivo hyperresponsiveness to methacholine was maintained in isolated trachea. In contrast, methacholine induced slower narrowing, with reduced potency in small airways compared to controls. In vitro incubation with IL-1/TNFα did not alter reactivity. The hyporesponsiveness to methacholine in small airways within lung slices following chronic ovalbumin challenge was unexpected, given hyperresponsiveness to the same agonist both in vivo and in vitro in tracheal preparations. This finding may reflect the altered interactions of small airways with surrounding parenchymal tissue after allergen challenge to oppose airway narrowing and closure.
Allergic asthma is a debilitating disease of the airways characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophilic inflammation, goblet cell metaplasia with associated mucus hypersecretion, and airway wall remodelling events, particularly subepithelial fibrosis and smooth muscle cell hyperplasia. Animal models that accurately mimic these hallmarks of allergic airways disease are critical for studying mechanisms associated with the cellular and structural changes that lead to disease pathogenesis. Aspergillus fumigatus, is a common aeroallergen of human asthmatics. The intratracheal (IT) delivery of A. fumigatus conidia into the airways of sensitized mice has been described as a model of allergic disease. Here, we compared the IT model with a newly developed inhalation (IH) challenge model. The IH model allowed multiple fungal exposures, which resulted in an exacerbation to the allergic asthma phenotype. Increased recruitment of eosinophils and lymphocytes, the hallmark leukocytes of asthma, were noted with the IH model as compared to the IT model in which macrophages and neutrophils were more prominent. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) production was significantly greater after IH challenge, while that of IgG2a was higher after IT challenge. Airway wall remodelling was pronounced in IH-treated mice, particularly after multiple allergen challenges. Although the IT model may be appropriate for the examination of the played by innate cells in the acute response to fungus, it fails to consistently reproduce the chronic remodelling hallmarks of allergic asthma. The ability of the IH challenge to mimic these characteristics recommends it as a model suited to study these important events.
Aspergillus fumigatus; Allergic asthma; Inhalation challenge model
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, and a cellular infiltrate dominated by eosinophils. Numerous epidemiological studies have related the exacerbation of allergic asthma with an increase in ambient inhalable particulate matter from air pollutants. This is because inhalable particles efficiently deliver airborne allergens deep into the airways, where they can aggravate allergic asthma symptoms. However, the cellular mechanisms by which inhalable particulate allergens (pAgs) potentiate asthmatic symptoms remain unknown, in part because most in vivo and in vitro studies exploring the pathogenesis of allergic asthma use soluble allergens (sAgs). Using a mouse model of allergic asthma, we found that, compared with their sAg counterparts, pAgs triggered markedly heightened airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia in allergen-sensitized mice. Mast cells (MCs) were implicated in this divergent response, as the differences in airway inflammatory responses provoked by the physical nature of the allergens were attenuated in MC-deficient mice. The pAgs were found to mediate MC-dependent responses by enhancing retention of pAg/IgE/FcεRI complexes within lipid raft–enriched, CD63+ endocytic compartments, which prolonged IgE/FcεRI-initiated signaling and resulted in heightened cytokine responses. These results reveal how the physical attributes of allergens can co-opt MC endocytic circuitry and signaling responses to aggravate pathological responses of allergic asthma in mice.
Acute exposure of sensitized mice to antigen elicits allergic airway disease (AAD) characterized by Th2 cytokine-dependent pulmonary eosinophilia, methacholine hyperresponsiveness and antigen-specific IgE elevation. However, chronic exposure induces a local inhalational tolerance (LIT), with resolution of the airway responses but persistent systemic IgE production. To further determine if systemic immunologic responses were maintained during LIT, we assessed subcutaneous late phase responses to ovalbumin in this model. Sensitized and AAD mice developed small subcutaneous responses to ovalbumin, with footpad thickness increasing to 113.7 and 113.6% of baseline, respectively. In comparison, LIT mice developed marked foot swelling (141.6%). Histologic examination confirmed increased inflammation in the chronic animals, with a significant contribution by eosinophils. Thus, the resolution of airway inflammatory responses with chronic antigen inhalation is a localized response, not associated with loss of systemic responses to antigen.
asthma; mouse; ovalbumin; sensitization; tolerance
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in many aspects of the airway pathology in asthma. TNF-α blocking strategies are now being tried in asthma patients. This study investigated whether TNF-α blocking therapy inhibits airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in a mouse model of asthma. We also evaluated the effect of TNF-α blocking therapy on cytokine production and adhesion molecule expression.
Materials and Methods
Ovalbumin (OVA) sensitized BALB/c female mice were exposed to intranasal OVA administration on days 31, 33, 35, and 37. Mice were treated intraperitoneally with soluble TNF-α receptor (sTNFR) during the OVA challenge.
There were statistically significant decreases in the numbers of total cell and eosinophil in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) in the sTNFR treated group compared with the OVA group. However, sTNFR-treatment did not significantly decrease AHR. Anti-inflammatory effect of sTNFR was accompanied with reduction of T helper 2 cytokine levels including interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13 in BALF and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression in lung tissue.
These results suggest that sTNFR treatment can suppress the airway inflammation via regulation of Th2 cytokine production and adhesion molecule expression in bronchial asthma.
Asthma; soluble TNF-α receptor; airway inflammation
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophilia, and mucus accumulation and is associated with increased IgE concentrations. We demonstrate here that peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors (PPARs), PPAR-α and PPAR-γ, which have been shown recently to be involved in the regulation of various cell types within the immune system, decrease antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, lung inflammation, eosinophilia, cytokine production, and GATA-3 expression as well as serum levels of antigen-specific IgE in a murine model of human asthma. In addition, we demonstrate that PPAR-α and -γ are expressed in eosinophils and their activation inhibits in vitro chemotaxis and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Thus, PPAR-α and -γ (co)agonists might be of therapeutic interest for the regulation of allergic or inflammatory reactions by targeting both regulatory and effector cells involved in the immune response.
nuclear receptors; asthma; eosinophils; IgE; ADCC
Asthma frequently commences in early life during airway and immune development and exposure to new environmental challenges. Endobronchial biopsies from children with asthma are abnormal, and lung function is maximally reduced by 6 years of age. As longitudinal biopsy studies are unethical in children, the relationship between development of pathology and reduced lung function is unknown. We aimed to establish a novel neonatal mouse model of allergic airways disease to investigate the developmental sequence of the pathophysiologic features of asthma. Neonatal Balb/c mice were challenged three times weekly from Day 3 of life using intranasal house dust mite (HDM) or saline for up to 12 weeks. Weekly assessments of airway inflammation and remodeling were made. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine was assessed from Week 2 onward. Total and eosinophilic inflammation was significantly increased in the lungs of HDM-exposed neonates from Week 2 onwards, and a peak was seen at 3 weeks. Goblet cells and peribronchiolar reticulin deposition were significantly increased in HDM-exposed neonates from Week 3, and peribronchiolar collagen was significantly greater from Week 4. HDM-exposed neonates had increased AHR from Week 2 onward. Although inflammation and AHR had subsided after 4 weeks without allergen challenge, the increased reticulin and collagen deposition persisted in HDM-exposed mice. Neonatal mice exposed to intranasal HDM developed eosinophilic inflammation, airway remodeling, and AHR as reported in pediatric asthma. Importantly, all abnormalities developed in parallel, not sequentially, between 2 and 3 weeks of age.
pediatric; remodeling; asthma pathophysiology; mouse model; allergic airways disease
Airways inflammation is thought to play a central role in the pathogenesis of asthma. However, the precise role that individual inflammatory cells and mediators play in the development of airways hyperreactivity and the morphological changes of the lung during allergic pulmonary inflammation is unknown. In this investigation we have used a mouse model of allergic pulmonary inflammation and interleukin (IL) 5-deficient mice to establish the essential role of this cytokine and eosinophils in the initiation of aeroallergen-induced lung damage and the development of airways hyperreactivity. Sensitization and aerosol challenge of mice with ovalbumin results in airways eosinophilia and extensive lung damage analogous to that seen in asthma. Aeroallergen-challenged mice also display airways hyperreactivity to beta-methacholine. In IL-5-deficient mice, the eosinophilia, lung damage, and airways hyperreactivity normally resulting from aeroallergen challenge were abolished. Reconstitution of IL-5 production with recombinant vaccinia viruses engineered to express this factor completely restored aeroallergen-induced eosinophilia and airways dysfunction. These results indicate that IL-5 and eosinophils are central mediators in the pathogenesis of allergic lung disease.
Cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling modulates functions of inflammatory cells involved in the pathogenesis of asthma, and type 4 cAMP-specific phosphodiesterases (PDE4s) are essential components of this pathway. Induction of the PDE4 isoform PDE4B is necessary for Toll-like receptor signaling in monocytes and macrophages and is associated with T cell receptor/CD3 in T cells; however, its exact physiological function in the development of allergic asthma remains undefined.
We investigated the role of PDE4B in the development of allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and TH2-driven inflammatory responses.
Wild-type and PDE4B−/− mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin and AHR measured in response to inhaled methacholine. Airway inflammation was characterized by analyzing leukocyte infiltration and cytokine accumulation in the airways. Ovalbumin-stimulated cell proliferation and TH2 cytokine production were determined in cultured bronchial lymph node cells.
Mice deficient in PDE4B do not develop AHR. This protective effect was associated with a significant decrease in eosinophils recruitment to the lungs and decreased TH2 cytokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Defects in T-cell replication, TH2 cytokine production, and dendritic cell migration were evident in cells from the airway-draining lymph nodes. Conversely, accumulation of the TH1 cytokine IFN-γ was not affected in PDE4B−/− mice. Ablation of the orthologous PDE4 gene PDE4A has no impact on airway inflammation.
By relieving a cAMP-negative constraint, PDE4B plays an essential role in TH2-cell activation and dendritic cell recruitment during airway inflammation. These findings provide proof of concept that PDE4 inhibitors with PDE4B selectivity may have efficacy in asthma treatment.
Asthma; PDE4B; TH2 cytokines; airway hyperresponsiveness; airway inflammation; cAMP signaling
Asthma exacerbations, many of which are virus induced, are associated with airway eosinophilia. This may reflect altered inflammatory response to viruses in atopic individuals. Inhibitory M2 muscarinic receptors (M2Rs) on the airway parasympathetic nerves limit acetylcholine release. Both viral infection and inhalational antigen challenge cause M2R dysfunction, leading to airway hyperresponsiveness. In antigen-challenged, but not virus-infected guinea pigs, M2R dysfunction is due to blockade of the receptors by the endogenous antagonist eosinophil major basic protein (MBP). We hypothesized that sensitization to a nonviral antigen before viral infection alters the inflammatory response to viral infection, so that M2R dysfunction and hyperreactivity are eosinophil mediated. Guinea pigs were sensitized to ovalbumin intraperitoneally, and 3 wk later were infected with parainfluenza. In sensitized, but not in nonsensitized animals, virus-induced hyperresponsiveness and M2R dysfunction were blocked by depletion of eosinophils with antibody to interleukin (IL)-5 or treatment with antibody to MBP. An additional and unexpected finding was that sensitization to ovalbumin caused a marked (80%) reduction in the viral content of the lungs. This was reversed by the antibody to IL-5, implicating a role for eosinophils in viral immunity.
eosinophils; muscarinic receptors; parainfluenza virus; antigen challenge; viral immunity
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
Inhibition of the α4 subunit of both the α4β1 and α4β7 integrins has shown promise in decreasing airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in various animal models. We hypothesized that a novel, high-affinity α4β1 antagonist (LLP2A) would decrease the migration of eosinophils to the lung and ameliorate the airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation. To test this hypothesis, we administered LLP2A, or scrambled LLP2A (a negative control), prior to exposure of sensitized BALB/c mice to ovalbumin aerosol. We can partially prevent, or reverse, the airway inflammatory response, but not airways hyperresponsiveness, by treatment of mice with LLP2A, a synthetic peptidomimetic α4β1 antagonist LLP2A. Specifically engineered, PEGylated (PEG) formulations of this antagonist further reduce the airway inflammatory response to ovalbumin lbumin, presumably by improving the circulating half-life of the drug.
α4β1 integrin; PEGylated antagonist; Asthma; Eosinophil; 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.
Both nature and induced regulatory T (Treg) lymphocytes are potent regulators of autoimmune and allergic disorders. Defects in endogenous Treg cells have been reported in patients with allergic asthma, suggesting that disrupted Treg cell-mediated immunological regulation may play an important role in airway allergic inflammation. In order to determine whether adoptive transfer of induced Treg cells generated in vitro can be used as an effective therapeutic approach to suppress airway allergic inflammation, exogenously induced Treg cells were infused into ovalbumin-sensitized mice prior to or during intranasal ovalbumin challenge. The results showed that adoptive transfer of induced Treg cells prior to allergen challenge markedly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophil recruitment, mucus hyper-production, airway remodeling, and IgE levels. This effect was associated with increase of Treg cells (CD4+FoxP3+) and decrease of dendritic cells in the draining lymph nodes, and with reduction of Th1, Th2, and Th17 cell response as compared to the controls. Moreover, adoptive transfer of induced Treg cells during allergen challenge also effectively attenuate airway inflammation and improve airway function, which are comparable to those by natural Treg cell infusion. Therefore, adoptive transfer of in vitro induced Treg cells may be a promising therapeutic approach to prevent and treat severe asthma.
Rationale: Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is a rapidly synthesized, early leukocyte chemoattractant that signals via its cell surface receptor, leukotriene B4 receptor 1 (BLT1), to attract and activate leukocytes during inflammation. A role for the LTB4–BLT1 pathway in allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation is not well defined. Objectives: To define the role of the LTB4 receptor (BLT1) in the development of airway inflammation and altered airway function. Methods: BLT1-deficient (BLT1−/−) mice and wild-type mice were sensitized to ovalbumin by intraperitoneal injection and then challenged with ovalbumin via the airways. Airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell composition and cytokine levels, and lung inflammation and goblet cell hyperplasia were assessed. Results: Compared with wild-type mice, BLT1−/− mice developed significantly lower airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, lower goblet cell hyperplasia in the airways, and decreased interleukin (IL)-13 production both in vivo, in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and in vitro, after antigen stimulation of lung cells in culture. Intracellular cytokine staining of lung cells revealed that bronchoalveolar lavage IL-13 levels and numbers of IL-13+/CD4+ and IL-13+/CD8+ T cells were also reduced in BLT1−/− mice. Reconstitution of sensitized and challenged BLT1−/− mice with allergen-sensitized BLT1+/+ T cells fully restored the development of airway hyperresponsiveness. In contrast, transfer of naive T cells failed to do so. Conclusion: These data suggest that BLT1 expression on primed T cells is required for the full development of airway hyperresponsiveness, which appears to be associated with IL-13 production in these cells.
airway responsiveness; cytokines; lipid mediators; lung inflammation; T cells
Our understanding of the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) and its relationship to asthma remains incomplete. Herein, we describe a murine model of epicutaneous (EC) sensitization to the protein allergen, chicken egg albumin, ovalbumin (OVA), which results in a rise in total and OVA-specific serum IgE and leads to the development of a dermatitis characterized by infiltration of CD3(+) T cells, eosinophils, and neutrophils and by local expression of mRNA for the cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and interferon-gamma. A single exposure of the EC sensitized mice to aerosolized OVA induced eosinophilia in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and airway hyperresponsiveness to intravenous methacholine as assessed by measurement of pulmonary dynamic compliance (Cdyn). These results suggest a possible role for EC exposure to antigen in atopic dermatitis and in the development of allergic asthma.
Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma by effecting the recruitment, activation, and apoptosis of inflammatory cells. We examined the role of class IA PI3K in antigen-induced airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness by i.p. administration into mice of Δp85 protein, a dominant negative form of the class IA PI3K regulatory subunit, p85α, which was fused to HIV-TAT (TAT-Δp85). Intraperitoneal administration of TAT-Δp85 caused time-dependent transduction into blood leukocytes, and inhibited activated phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB), a downstream target of PI3K, in lung tissues in mice receiving intranasal FMLP. Antigen challenge elicited pulmonary infiltration of lymphocytes, eosinophils and neutrophils, increase in mucus-containing epithelial cells, and airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Except for modest airway neutrophilia, these effects all were blocked by treatment with 3–10 mg/kg of TAT-Δp85. There was also significant reduction in IL-5 and IL-4 secretion into the BAL. Intranasal administration of IL-5 caused eosinophil migration into the airway lumen, which was attenuated by systemic pretreatment with TAT-Δp85. We conclude that PI3K has a regulatory role in Th2-cell cytokine secretion, airway inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness in mice.
allergy; cytokines; eosinophils; lung; inflammation
Vitamin D may be essential for restricting the development and severity of allergic diseases and asthma, but a direct causal link between vitamin D deficiency and asthma has yet to be established. We have developed a ‘low dose’ model of allergic airway disease induced by intraperitoneal injection with ovalbumin (1 µg) and aluminium hydroxide (0.2 mg) in which characteristics of atopic asthma are recapitulated, including airway hyperresponsiveness, antigen-specific immunoglobulin type-E and lung inflammation. We assessed the effects of vitamin D deficiency throughout life (from conception until adulthood) on the severity of ovalbumin-induced allergic airway disease in vitamin D-replete and -deficient BALB/c mice using this model. Vitamin D had protective effects such that deficiency significantly enhanced eosinophil and neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of male but not female mice. Vitamin D also suppressed the proliferation and T helper cell type-2 cytokine-secreting capacity of airway-draining lymph node cells from both male and female mice. Supplementation of initially vitamin D-deficient mice with vitamin D for four weeks returned serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D to levels observed in initially vitamin D-replete mice, and also suppressed eosinophil and neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of male mice. Using generic 16 S rRNA primers, increased bacterial levels were detected in the lungs of initially vitamin D-deficient male mice, which were also reduced by vitamin D supplementation. These results indicate that vitamin D controls granulocyte levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in an allergen-sensitive manner, and may contribute towards the severity of asthma in a gender-specific fashion through regulation of respiratory bacteria.