Elevated levels of immunoglobulin (Ig) E are associated with bronchial asthma, a disease characterized by eosinophilic inflammation of the airways. Activation of antigen-specific T helper (Th) 2 cells in the lung with the subsequent release of interleukin (IL) 4 and IL-5 is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of this disease. In this study, we have used a non-anaphylactogenic anti-mouse-IgE antibody to investigate the relationship between IgE, airway eosinophil infiltration, and the production of Th2 cytokines. Immunization of mice with house dust mite antigen increased serum levels of IgE and IgG. Antigen challenge of immunized but not control mice induced an infiltration of eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage associated with the production of IL-4 and IL-5 from lung purified Thy1.2+ cells activated through the CD3-T cell receptor complex. Administration of the anti-IgE monoclonal antibody (mAb) 6h before antigen challenge neutralized serum IgE but not IgG and inhibited the recruitment of eosinophils into the lungs and the production of IL-4 and IL-5 but not interferon gamma. Studies performed using an anti-CD23 mAb, CD23 deficient and mast cell deficient mice suggest that anti-IgE mAb suppresses eosinophil infiltration and Th2 cytokine production by inhibiting IgE-CD23-facilitated antigen presentation to T cells. Our results demonstrate that IgE-dependent mechanisms are important in the induction of a Th2 immune response and the subsequent infiltration of eosinophils into the airways. Neutralization of IgE, for example, non- anaphylactogenic anti-IgE mAbs may provide a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of allergic airway disease.
T cell costimulation by molecules on the antigen presenting cell (APC) is required for optimal T cell proliferation. The B7 molecule on APC binds the T lymphocyte receptor CD28, triggering increased interleukin 2 (IL-2) production and subsequent T cell proliferation. CTLA-4 is a predicted T cell membrane receptor homologous to CD28, which also binds the B7 counter receptor, but whose distribution and function are unknown. Here we have developed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for CTLA-4 and have investigated these questions. mAbs were produced that bound CTLA-4 but not CD28, and that blocked binding of CTLA-4 to B7. CTLA-4 expression as measured by these mAbs was virtually undetectable on resting T cells, but was increased several hundred-fold during T cell activation. On activated lymphocytes, CTLA-4 was expressed equally on CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets and was coexpressed with CD25, CD28, and CD45RO. CTLA-4 expression was lower than that of CD28, reaching a maximum of approximately 1/30-50 the level of CD28. Despite its lower expression, CTLA-4 was responsible for much of the B7 binding by large activated T cells. Anti-CTLA-4 mAb 11D4 and anti-CD28 mAb 9.3 acted cooperatively to inhibit T cell adhesion to B7, and to block T cell proliferation in primary mixed lymphocyte culture. When coimmobilized with anti T cell receptor (TCR) mAb, anti-CTLA-4 mAbs were less effective than anti-CD28 mAb 9.3 at costimulating proliferation of resting or activated T cells. However, coimmobilized combinations of anti-CD28 and anti-CTLA-4 were synergistic in their ability to augment anti-TCR-induced proliferation of preactivated CD4+ T cells. These results indicate that CTLA-4 is coexpressed with CD28 on activated T lymphocytes and cooperatively regulates T cell adhesion and activation by B7.
Fas receptor-mediated eosinophil apoptosis is currently forwarded as a mechanism resolving asthma-like inflammation. This view is based on observations in vitro and in airway lumen with unknown translatability to airway tissues in vivo. In fact, apoptotic eosinophils have not been detected in human diseased airway tissues whereas cytolytic eosinophils abound and constitute a major mode of degranulation of these cells. Also, Fas receptor stimulation may bypass the apoptotic pathway and directly evoke cytolysis of non-apoptotic cells. We thus hypothesized that effects of anti-Fas mAb in vivo may include both apoptosis and cytolysis of eosinophils and, hence, that established eosinophilic inflammation may not resolve by this treatment.
Weeklong daily allergen challenges of sensitized mice were followed by airway administration of anti-Fas mAb. BAL was performed and airway-pulmonary tissues were examined using light and electron microscopy. Lung tissue analysis for CC-chemokines, apoptosis, mucus production and plasma exudation (fibrinogen) were performed.
Anti-Fas mAb evoked apoptosis of 28% and cytolysis of 4% of eosinophils present in allergen-challenged airway tissues. Furthermore, a majority of the apoptotic eosinophils remained unengulfed and eventually exhibited secondary necrosis. A striking histopathology far beyond the allergic inflammation developed and included degranulated eosinophils, neutrophilia, epithelial derangement, plasma exudation, mucus-plasma plugs, and inducement of 6 CC-chemokines. In animals without eosinophilia anti-Fas evoked no inflammatory response.
An efficient inducer of eosinophil apoptosis in airway tissues in vivo, anti-Fas mAb evoked unprecedented asthma-like inflammation in mouse allergic airways. This outcome may partly reflect the ability of anti-Fas to evoke direct cytolysis of non-apoptotic eosinophils in airway tissues. Additionally, since most apoptotic tissue eosinophils progressed into the pro-inflammatory cellular fate of secondary necrosis this may also explain the aggravated inflammation. Our data indicate that Fas receptor mediated eosinophil apoptosis in airway tissues in vivo may cause severe disease exacerbation due to direct cytolysis and secondary necrosis of eosinophils.
asthma; allergy; eosinophils; apoptosis; chemokines
The costimulatory signal provided to T cells through CTLA-4-ligand interactions is required for T cell activation resulting in increased interleukin 2 (IL-2) production in vitro, but its role in the production of IL-4 and other cytokines is unclear and few in vivo studies have been performed to confirm results of in vitro experiments. We have examined the in vivo effects of blocking CTLA-4 ligands on the T helper cell 2 (Th2)-associated mucosal immune response that follows oral infection of mice with the nematode parasite, Heligmosomoides polygyrus. CTLA-4Ig administration inhibited H. polygyrus-induced increases in mesenteric lymph node (MLN) B cell major histocompatibility complex class II expression and size and T cell- derived IL-4 gene expression. In addition, CTLA-4 immunoglobulin (Ig) partially blocked increased IL-3, IL-5, and IL-9 cytokine gene expression in Peyer's patch (PP) and MLN 8 d after primary inoculation of mice with the parasite. Increases in the number of IL-4- but not IL- 5-secreting cells were also inhibited by CTLA-4Ig. H. polygyrus-induced elevations in serum IgE levels but not blood eosinophils, were markedly inhibited by CTLA-4Ig. These results suggest that stimulation of CD28 and/or CTLA-4 is required for T cell priming leading to IL-4 cytokine production, B cell activation, and IgE secretion during a Th2-like, mucosal immune response to a nematode parasite.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy is a potential treatment for allergic diseases. We constructed an allergen–cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4)-encoding DNA vaccine, administered it directly to antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and investigated its ability and mechanisms to ameliorate allergic airway inflammation in an asthmatic mouse model. An allergen-CTLA-4 DNA plasmid (OVA-CTLA-4-pcDNA3.1) encoding an ovalbumin (OVA) and the mouse CTLA-4 extracellular domain was constructed and transfected into COS-7 cells to obtain the fusion protein OVA-CTLA-4, which was able to bind the B7 ligand on dendritic cells (DCs), and induced CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells by the coculture of naive CD4+ T cells with DCs in vitro. In an animal study, BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA to establish the asthmatic model. Vaccination with a high dose of OVA-CTLA-4-pcDNA3.1 significantly decreased interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5 levels and eosinophil counts and prevented OVA-induced reduction of the gamma interferon level in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In addition, these mice suffered less severe airway inflammation and had lower levels of OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 titers in serum. Also, high-dose OVA-CTLA-4-pcDNA3.1 vaccination inhibited the development of airway hyperreactivity and prevented OVA-induced reduction of the percentages of Foxp3+ Treg cells in the spleen. Our results indicate that a high dose of allergen-CTLA-4-encoding DNA vaccine was more effective in preventing an allergen-induced Th2-skewed immune response through the induction of Treg cells and may be a new alternative therapy for asthma.
Evidence indicates that cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) may negatively regulate T cell activation, but the basis for the inhibitory effect remains unknown. We report here that cross-linking of CTLA-4 induces transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) production by murine CD4+ T cells. CD4+ T helper type 1 (Th1), Th2, and Th0 clones all secrete TGF-β after antibody cross-linking of CTLA-4, indicating that induction of TGF-β by CTLA-4 signaling represents a ubiquitous feature of murine CD4+ T cells. Stimulation of the CD3–T cell antigen receptor complex does not independently induce TGF-β, but is required for optimal CTLA-4–mediated TGF-β production. The consequences of cross-linking of CTLA-4, together with CD3 and CD28, include inhibition of T cell proliferation and interleukin (IL)-2 secretion, as well as suppression of both interferon γ (Th1) and IL-4 (Th2). Moreover, addition of anti–TGF-β partially reverses this T cell suppression. When CTLA-4 was cross-linked in T cell populations from TGF-β1 gene–deleted (TGF-β1−/−) mice, the T cell responses were only suppressed 38% compared with 95% in wild-type mice. Our data demonstrate that engagement of CTLA-4 leads to CD4+ T cell production of TGF-β, which, in part, contributes to the downregulation of T cell activation. CTLA-4, through TGF-β, may serve as a counterbalance for CD28 costimulation of IL-2 and CD4+ T cell activation.
CD4+ T cells; cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated antigen 4; transforming growth factor β
In this investigation we have used a mouse model containing certain phenotypic characteristics consistent with asthma and IL-4- and CD40-deficient mice to establish the role of this cytokine and allergen-specific immunoglobulins in the initiation of airways hyperreactivity and morphological changes to the airways in responses to aeroallergen challenge. Sensitization and aerosol challenge of mice with ovalbumin resulted in a severe airways inflammatory response which directly correlated with the induction of extensive airways damage and airways hyperreactivity to beta-methacholine. Inflammatory infiltrates were primarily characterized by the presence of CD4+ T cells and eosinophils. In IL-4-deficient mice, the recruitment of airways eosinophils was impaired, but not abolished in response to aeroallergen. Moreover, the characteristic airways damage and hyperreactivity normally resulting from allergen inhalation were not attenuated. Induction of these structural and functional changes to the airways occurred in the absence of ovalbumin-specific IgE and IgG1, but IgG2a and IgG3 were detected in the sera of IL-4-deficient mice. CD4+ T cells isolated from both wild-type and IL-4-deficient mice given ovalbumin produced significant levels of IL-5 after in vitro stimulation. Treatment of IL-4-deficient mice with anti-IL-5 mAb before aeroallergen challenge abolished blood and airways eosinophilia, lung damage, and airways hyperreactivity. These results indicate that IL-4 is not essential for the development of IL-5-producing CD4+ T cells or for the induction of eosinophilic inflammation and airways damage and hyperreactivity. In response to sensitization and aerosol challenge, CD40-deficient mice did not produce ovalbumin-specific IgE, IgG isotypes, or IgA, and airways inflammation and hyperreactivity were not attenuated. Our results suggest that allergic airways disease can occur via pathways which operate independently of IL-4 and allergen-specific immunoglobulins. Activation of these pathways is intimately associated with IL-5 and eosinophilic inflammation. Such pathways may play a substantive role in the etiology of asthma.
The specificity of T lymphocyte activation is determined by engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR) by peptide/major histocompatibility complexes expressed on the antigen-presenting cell (APC). Lacking costimulation by accessory molecules on the APC, T cell proliferation does not occur and unresponsiveness to subsequent antigenic stimulus is induced. The B7/BB1 receptor on APCs binds CD28 and CTLA-4 on T cells, and provides a costimulus for T cell proliferation. Here, we show that prolonged, specific T cell hyporesponsiveness to antigenic restimulation is achieved by blocking the interaction between CD28 and B7/BB1 in human mixed leukocyte culture (MLC). Secondary T cell proliferative responses to specific alloantigen were inhibited by addition to the primary culture of monovalent Fab fragments of anti- CD28 monoclonal antibody (mAb) 9.3, which block interaction of CD28 with B7/BB1 without activating T cells. Hypo-responsiveness was also induced in MLC by CTLA4Ig, a chimeric immunoglobulin fusion protein incorporating the extracellular domain of CTLA-4 with high binding avidity for B7/BB1. Cells previously primed could also be made hyporesponsive, if exposed to alloantigen in the presence of CTLA4Ig. Maximal hyporesponsiveness was achieved in MLC after 2 d of incubation with CTLA4Ig, and was maintained for at least 27 d after removal of CTLA4Ig. Accumulation of interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interferon gamma but not IL-4 mRNA was blocked by CTLA4Ig in T cells stimulated by alloantigen. Antigen-specific responses could be restored by addition of exogenous IL-2 at the time of the secondary stimulation. Addition to primary cultures of the intact bivalent anti-CD28 mAb 9.3, or B7/BB1+ transfected CHO cells or exogenous IL-2, abrogated induction of hyporesponsiveness by CTLA4Ig. These data indicate that interaction of CD28 with B7/BB1 during TCR engagement with antigen is required to maintain T cell competence and that blocking such interaction can result in a state of T cell hyporesponsiveness.
Background and aims
Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) has been shown to act as a negative regulator of T cell function and has been implicated in the regulation of T helper 1 (Th1)/Th2 development and the function of regulatory T cells. Tests were carried out to determine whether anti-CTLA-4 treatment would alter the polarisation of naive T cells in vivo.
Mice were treated with anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) (UC10-4F10) at the time of immunisation or colonic instillation of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). The cytokines produced by lymph node cells after in vitro antigenic stimulation and the role of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) and of interleukin-10 (IL-10) were tested, and the survival of mice was monitored.
Injection of anti-CTLA-4 mAb in mice during priming induced the development of adaptive CD4+ regulatory T cells which expressed high levels of ICOS (inducible co-stimulator), secreted IL-4 and IL-10. This treatment inhibited Th1 memory responses in vivo and repressed experimental intestinal inflammation. The anti-CTLA-4-induced amelioration of disease correlated with IDO expression and infiltration of ICOShigh Foxp3+ T cells in the intestine, suggesting that anti-CTLA-4 acted indirectly through the development of regulatory T cells producing IL-10 and inducing IDO.
These observations emphasise the synergy between IL-10 and IDO as anti-inflammatory agents and highlight anti-CTLA-4 treatment as a potential novel immunotherapeutic approach for inducing adaptive regulatory T cells.
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.
CD40 ligand (CD40L)-deficient C57BL/6 mice failed to control intracellular Leishmania donovani visceral infection, indicating that acquired resistance involves CD40-CD40L signaling and costimulation. Conversely, in wild-type C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice with established visceral infection, injection of agonist anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody (MAb) induced killing of ∼60% of parasites within liver macrophages, stimulated gamma interferon (IFN-γ) secretion, and enhanced mononuclear cell recruitment and tissue granuloma formation. Comparable parasite killing was also induced by MAb blockade (inhibition) of cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) which downregulates separate CD28-B7 T-cell costimulation. Optimal killing triggered by both anti-CD40 and anti-CTLA-4 required endogenous IFN-γ and involved interleukin 12. CD40L−/− mice also failed to respond to antileishmanial chemotherapy (antimony), while in normal animals, anti-CD40 and anti-CTLA-4 synergistically enhanced antimony-associated killing. CD40L-CD40 signaling regulates outcome and response to treatment of experimental visceral leishmaniasis, and MAb targeting of T-cell costimulatory pathways (CD40L-CD40 and CD28-B7) yields macrophage activation and immunotherapeutic and immunochemotherapeutic activity.
The OX40/OX40L interaction contributes to an optimal T cell response following allergic stimuli and plays an important role in the maintenance and reactivation of memory T effector cells.
We tested whether treatment with an anti-OX40L monoclonal antibody (MAb) would inhibit allergen-induced responses in subjects with asthma.
Twenty-eight mild, atopic asthmatic subjects were recruited for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00983658) to compare blockade of OX40L using a humanized anti-OX40L MAb to placebo-administered intravenously in 4 doses over 3 months. Allergen inhalation challenges were carried out 56 and 113 days after the first dose of study drug. The primary outcome variable was the late-phase asthmatic response. Other outcomes included the early-phase asthmatic response, airway hyperresponsiveness, serum IgE levels, blood and sputum eosinophils, safety and tolerability.
Treatment with anti-OX40L MAb did not attenuate the early- or late-phase asthmatic responses at days 56 or 113 compared with placebo. In the anti-OX40L MAb treatment group, total IgE was reduced 17% from pre-dosing levels, and sputum eosinophils decreased 75% by day 113 (both P = 0.04). There was no effect of anti-OX40L MAb on airway hyperresponsiveness or blood eosinophils. The frequency of AEs was similar in both groups.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance
Pharmacological activity of anti-OX40L MAb was observed by decreases in serum total IgE and airway eosinophils at 16 weeks post-dosing, but there was no effect on allergen-induced airway responses. It is possible that the treatment duration or dose of antibody was insufficient to impact the airway responses.
allergen inhalation challenge; anti-OX40L; mild atopic asthma; proof-of-activity
This report examines the effect of an anti-VLA-4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) HP1/2 on antigen-induced bronchial hyperreactivity to methacholine, and on eosinophil and T lymphocyte infiltration in the airways of guinea pigs sensitized and challenged by aerosolized ovalbumin and used 24 h thereafter. The intravenous administration of 2.5 mg/kg of HP1/2, but not of its isotype-matched mAb 1E6, 1 h before and 4 h after antigen inhalation, markedly inhibited the increased bronchopulmonary responses to intravenous methacholine, as well as airway eosinophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and in bronchial tissue. HP1/2 also suppressed the antigen-induced infiltration of the bronchial wall by CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, identified by immunohistochemical technique using specific mAbs that recognize antigenic epitopes of guinea pig T cells. Treatment with HP1/2 also resulted in a significant increase in the number of blood eosinophils, suggesting that inhibition by anti-VLA-4 mAb of eosinophil recruitment to the alveolar compartment may partially account for their accumulation in the circulation. These findings indicate that eosinophil and lymphocyte adhesion and subsequent infiltration into the guinea pig airways that follow antigen challenge are mediated by VLA-4. Furthermore, concomitant inhibition of antigen-induced bronchial hyperreactivity and of cellular infiltration by anti-VLA-4 mAb suggests a relationship between airway inflammation and modifications in the bronchopulmonary function.
Reversible airway hyperreactivity underlies the pathophysiology of asthma, yet the precise mediators of the response remain unclear. Human studies have correlated aberrant activation of T helper (Th) 2-like effector systems in the airways with disease. A murine model of airway hyperreactivity in response to acetylcholine was established using mice immunized with ovalbumin and challenged with aerosolized antigen. No airway hyperractivity occurred in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Identically immunized BALB/c mice developed an influx of cells, with a predominance of eosinophils and CD4+ T cells, into the lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid at the time that substantial changes in airway pressure and resistance were quantitated. Challenged animals developed marked increases in Th2 cytokine production, eosinophil influx, and serum immunoglobulin E levels. Neutralization of interleukin (IL) 4 using monoclonal antibodies administered during the period of systemic immunization abrogated airway hyperractivity but had little effect on the influx of eosinophils. Administration of anti-IL-4 only during the period of the aerosol challenge did not affect the subsequent response to acetylcholine. Finally, administration of anti- IL-5 antibodies at levels that suppressed eosinophils to < 1% of recruited cells had no effect on the subsequent airway responses. BALB/c mice had significantly greater airway responses than C57BL/6 mice, consistent with enhanced IL-4 responses to antigen in BALB/c mice. Taken together, these data implicate IL-4 generated during the period of lymphocyte priming with antigen in establishing the cascade of responses required to generate airway hyperractivity to inhaled antigen. No role for IL-5 or eosinophils could be demonstrated.
CTLA-4 is a CD28 homologue believed to be a negative regulator of T cell function. However, the mechanism of this downregulatory activity is not well understood. The present study was designed to examine the effect of CTLA-4 ligation on cytokine production, cell survival, and cell cycle progression. The results demonstrate that the primary effect of CTLA-4 ligation is not the induction of apoptosis. Instead, CTLA-4 signaling blocks IL-2 production, IL-2 receptor expression, and cell cycle progression of activated T cells. Moreover, the effect of CTLA-4 signaling was manifested after initial T cell activation. Inhibition of IL-2 receptor expression and cell cycle progression was more pronounced at late (72 h) time points after initial activation. The effects of anti-CTLA-4 mAbs were most apparent in the presence of optimal CD28- mediated costimulation consistent with the finding that CTLA-4 upregulation was CD28-dependent. Finally, the addition of exogenous IL- 2 to the cultures restored IL-2 receptor expression and T cell proliferation. These results suggest that CTLA-4 signaling does not regulate cell survival or responsiveness to IL-2, but does inhibit CD28- dependent IL-2 production.
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
We have developed a novel model of allergen-induced eosinophil extravasation into mouse air-pouches following sensitization and challenge with ovalbumin (Ova). This model was used to investigate the mechanism(s) underlying the anti-inflammatory action of the glucocorticoid hormone dexamethasone (Dex).Injection of 10 μg Ova into 6-day-old dorsal air-pouches of mice sensitized to the same antigen provoked an intense cell accumulation as early as 6 h post-challenge (0.08±0.03 and 4.0±1.0×105 leucocytes in saline and Ova-treated air-pouches, respectively), maximal at 24 h (0.02±0.01 and 6.0±0.8×105 leucocytes in saline and Ova-treated air-pouches, respectively) and persisted up to 48 h. At the 24 h time-point, the cellular infiltrate consisted of 37% eosinophils, 18% neutrophils and 45% mononuclear cells, as assessed by histological examination. The same ratio of eosinophil/neutrophil was obtained by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis, since 72% of the polymorphonuclear (PMN) population was positive for very-late antigen-4 (VLA-4) expression.Subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of Dex (50 or 100 μg per mouse, −1 h) inhibited eosinophil accumulation into Ova challenged air-pouches by about 70% (P<0.05) and 75% (P<0.05), respectively, when compared to controls. Cell accumulation measured at 48 h after Ova injection was also significantly reduced (−75%) by Dex administration at the 24 h time-point (n=12, P<0.05).Eosinophil numbers in the bone marrow and blood were quantitated. We found that the sensitization protocol induced a 3 fold increase in eosinophil numbers in the bone marrow (naive mice: 2.7±0.3×105; sensitized mice: 8.7±1.7×105, P<0.05) and blood (naive mice: 0.5±0.2×105; sensitized mice: 1.5±0.3×105, P<0.01). However, 24 h following Ova challenge, the eosinophil numbers in the bone marrow had dropped (3.7±0.8×105) with no change in the circulating pool, suggesting an equilibrium within the eosinophil pools had been reached.Dex administration provoked a profound eosinopaenia in the blood of naive (5.2±1.5 to 0.9±0.6×104) and sensitized mice (1.5±0.3 to 0.08±0.02×105) at 4 h. This effect was reversed within 24 h. Dex also inhibited the release of eosinophils from the bone marrow in response to Ova challenge.We show for the first time that eosinophils express the steroid-inducible protein lipocortin 1 (LC1). FACS analysis of eosinophils emigrated into the Ova challenged air-pouches revealed detectable LC1-like immunoreactivity (373×103). These data were also substantiated by LC1 detection in circulating eosinophils of interleukin-5 transgenic mice (strain: CBA/Ca). However, s.c. injection of Dex (50 μg) did not alter LC1 levels in blood eosinophils, such that 235±21×103 LC1-like molecules per cell were measured after vehicle treatment (n=5), and 224±8×103 LC1-like molecules per cell were associated with this cell type 1 h after steroid treatment (n=5, not significant). Finally, resident eosinophils (in the pleural cavity) were found to have much higher LC1 levels than that found in the blood circulation (2 fold increase, P<0.05).Passive immunization of mice against LC1 with a validated antiserum (termed LCS3) and protocol failed to modify the anti-migratory activity exerted by Dex towards eosinophil extravasation into Ova-challenged air-pouches. The steroid (50 μg s.c., −1 h) produced a similar degree of inhibition of eosinophil accumulation both in control animals (treated with a non-immune sheep serum) and LCS3-treated mice (−56% and 59%, respectively, n=15–21, not significant).In conclusion, the air-pouch provides a novel and convenient cavity to study allergen-induced cell recruitment which is sensitive to glucocorticoid hormone treatment. The effect of Dex on eosinophil distribution in these experimental conditions has been studied in detail and we failed to find an important role for endogenous LC1 in these actions of the steroid.
Ovalbumin; lipocortin 1; dexamethasone; air-pouch; leucocytes
The current paradigm surrounding allergen-mediated T helper type 2 (Th2) immune responses in the lung suggests an almost hegemonic role for T cells. Our studies propose an alternative hypothesis implicating eosinophils in the regulation of pulmonary T cell responses. In particular, ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized/challenged mice devoid of eosinophils (the transgenic line PHIL) have reduced airway levels of Th2 cytokines relative to the OVA-treated wild type that correlated with a reduced ability to recruit effector T cells to the lung. Adoptive transfer of Th2-polarized OVA-specific transgenic T cells (OT-II) alone into OVA-challenged PHIL recipient mice failed to restore Th2 cytokines, airway histopathologies, and, most importantly, the recruitment of pulmonary effector T cells. In contrast, the combined transfer of OT-II cells and eosinophils into PHIL mice resulted in the accumulation of effector T cells and a concomitant increase in both airway Th2 immune responses and histopathologies. Moreover, we show that eosinophils elicit the expression of the Th2 chemokines thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine/CCL17 and macrophage-derived chemokine/CCL22 in the lung after allergen challenge, and blockade of these chemokines inhibited the recruitment of effector T cells. In summary, the data suggest that pulmonary eosinophils are required for the localized recruitment of effector T cells.
Previous studies established that IL-5–producing CD4+ T cells play a pivotal role in allergic respiratory inflammation. It was also reported that CD4+ T cells express higher levels of CD44 in the airway than in peripheral blood of patients with allergic respiratory diseases. We have used experimental pulmonary eosinophilia induced in mice by Ascaris suum (Asc) extract to investigate the role of CD44 in the development of allergic respiratory inflammation. Intraperitoneal administration of anti-CD44 mAb prevented both lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced elevation of Th2 cytokines as well as chemokines (CCL11, CCL17) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Treatment with anti-CD44 mAb inhibited the increased levels of hyaluronic acid (HA) and leukotriene concentrations in BALF that typically result from antigen challenge. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. An anti-CD44 mAb (IM7) inhibited the HA-binding ability of splenocytes associated with decreased levels of CD44. Soluble CD44 levels in serum were increased in Asc-challenged IM7–treated mice, but not in KM201-treated mice, compared with Asc-challenged rat IgG–treated mice. Ab’s that block CD44-HA binding reduced allergic respiratory inflammation by preventing lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Thus, CD44 may be critical for development of allergic respiratory inflammation.
A single treatment with a CpG-containing immunostimulatory DNA sequence (ISS) given before allergen challenge can inhibit T helper type 2 cell (Th2)–mediated airway responses in animal models of allergic asthma; however, the mechanism of this inhibition remains largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that airway delivery of ISS before allergen challenge in Th2-primed mice acts in two distinct ways to prevent the allergic responses to this challenge. The first is to prevent induction of cytokines from allergen-specific Th2 cells, as demonstrated by the nearly complete inhibition of Th2 cytokine production, Th2-dependent functional responses, and gene induction patterns. ISS inhibits the Th2 response by rendering lung antigen-presenting cells (APCs) unable to effectively present antigen to Th2 cells, but not to Th1 cells. This loss of APC function correlates with a reduced expression of costimulatory molecules, including programmed cell death ligand (PD-L)1, PD-L2, CD40, CD80, CD86, and inducible T cell costimulator, and of major histocompatibility complex class II on CD11c+APCs from the airways of ISS-treated mice. The second important action of ISS is inhibition of immunoglobulin E–dependent release of Th2 cytokines, especially interleukin 4, from basophils and/or mast cells in the airways of Th2-primed mice. Thus, inhibition by ISS of allergic responses can be explained by two novel mechanisms that culminate in the inhibition of the principal sources of type 2 cytokines in the airways.
Atopic asthma is characterized by intermittent exacerbations triggered by exposure to allergen. Exacerbations are characterized by an acute inflammatory reaction in the airways, with recruitment of both innate and adaptive immune cells. These cell populations as well as soluble factors are critical for initiating and controlling the inflammatory processes in allergic asthma. Detailed data on the numbers and types of cells recruited following allergen challenge is lacking. In this paper we present an extensive phenotypic analysis of the inflammatory cell infiltrate present in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid following bronchoscopically directed allergen challenge in mild atopic asthmatics.
A re-analysis of pooled data obtained prior to intervention in our randomized, placebo controlled, double blinded study (costimulation inhibition in asthma trial [CIA]) was performed. Twenty-four subjects underwent bronchoscopically directed segmental allergen challenge followed by BAL collection 48 hours later. The BAL fluid was analyzed by multi-color flow cytometry for immune cell populations and multi-plex ELISA for cytokine detection.
Allergen instillation induced pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6) and immune modulating cytokines (IL-2, IFN-γ, and IL-10) along with an increase in lymphocytes and suppressor cells (Tregs and MDSC). Interestingly, membrane expression of CD30 was identified on lymphocytes, especially Tregs, but not eosinophils. Soluble CD30 was also detected in the BAL fluid after allergen challenge in adult atopic asthmatics.
After segmental allergen challenge of adult atopic asthmatics, cell types associated with a pro-inflammatory as well as an anti-inflammatory response are detected within the BAL fluid of the lung.
T lymphocyte; CD30 expression; Segmental allergen challenge; Asthma
To clarify the involvement of Th2 responses in the development of allergen-induced airway remodelling, we investigated the effect of anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and anti-CD8 mAb, and the responses of IL-4 gene-knockout (KO) mice in a murine model of allergic asthma.Mice were immunized twice by intraperitoneal injections of ovalbumin (OA), and exposed to aeroallergen (OA, 1% w v−1) for 3 weeks. Twenty-four hours after the final challenge, airway responsiveness to acetylcholine was measured, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and histological examinations were carried out.Anti-CD4 mAb (1 mg kg−1) clearly inhibited allergen-induced increases in airway responsiveness to acetylcholine, the number of eosinophils in BAL fluid, serum OA-specific IgE levels, IL-13 and transforming growth factor-β1 levels in BAL fluid, and amount of hydroxyproline in the lung by 100, 99, 100, 100, 84, and 60%, respectively. Furthermore, the antibody (1 mg kg−1) also attenuated allergen-induced goblet cell hyperplasia in the epithelium and subepithelial fibrosis by 72 and 83%, respectively. In contrast, anti-CD8 mAb (1 mg kg−1) showed no effect on each parameter. Furthermore, all these parameters were attenuated in IL-4KO mice by 57, 93, 100, 45, 84 and 60%, and also 72 and 83%, respectively.These findings suggest that Th2 responses play a critical role for the development of allergen-induced airway remodelling, and that the inhibition of Th2 responses, e.g. using anti-CD4 mAb, is a therapeutic approach for the treatment of airway remodelling in asthma.
Airway; bronchial asthma; goblet cell; inflammation; remodelling; subepithelial fibrosis; T helper type 2 cells; transforming growth factor-β1
While considerable progress has been made in understanding the events by which eosinophils accumulate in various pathophysiological conditions, the mechanisms controlling the resolution of eosinophilic inflammation are poorly understood. In the present study, we demonstrate that lung eosinophils obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) after aerosol allergen provocation of immunized mice expressed the Fas receptor. Stimulation of purified eosinophils in vitro with a monoclonal anti-Fas mAb (1 ng-1 microg/ml) induced a dose/time dependent loss of cell viability from 24-72 h. Measurement of DNA fragmentation with propidium iodide confirmed that anti-Fas induced eosinophil death by apoptosis. While incubation with IL-3, IL-5, or GM-CSF prevented spontaneous apoptosis, these factors failed to prevent anti-Fas induced apoptosis. Administration of anti-Fas mAb to the lungs after the induction of a lung eosinophilia increased the number of peroxidase positive macrophages in BAL fluid 4-12 h later which was followed by a marked reduction in the number of eosinophils in the airways. Importantly, Fas-mediated resolution of eosinophilic inflammation occurred in the absence of any overt secondary inflammatory changes in the lungs. We speculate that defects in this pathway may at least in part explain the chronic eosinophilic inflammation often observed in the lungs of asthmatic individuals.
Neutrophils have been found increasingly in the lungs of patients with severe asthma; however, it is unclear whether the neutrophils contribute to the induction of the airway obstruction. We determined using a murine model whether neutrophils are involved in the late asthmatic response (LAR), and analyzed mechanisms underlying the antigen-induced airway neutrophilia.
BALB/c mice sensitized by ovalbumin (OVA)+Al(OH)3 were challenged 4 times by intratracheal administration of OVA. Airway mechanics were measured as specific airway resistance.
Induction of the LAR after the 4th challenge coincided with airway neutrophilia. In contrast, eosinophil infiltration was established prior to the 4th challenge. A treatment with an anti-Gr-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) before the 4th challenge selectively suppressed increases in the neutrophil number and myeloperoxidase (MPO) level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and attenuated the magnitude of LAR by 60–70%. Selective suppression of eosinophilia by anti-IL-5 mAb had little effect on the LAR. The increases in neutrophil number and MPO level were partially inhibited by an anti-CD4 mAb treatment. The CD4+ cell depletion also significantly inhibited increases in neutrophil chemoattractants, IL-17A, keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 in BALF. However, blockade of FcγRII/III failed to suppress the neutrophilia.
These data suggest that neutrophils are key inducers of the LAR, and that the antigen-induced neutrophilia is partially dependent on activated CD4+ cells that are involved in the production of IL-17A, KC and MIP-2.
asthma; late phase response; neutrophil; eosinophil; CD4+ T cell; IL-17; keratinocyte-derived chemokine; macrophage inflammatory protein-2
We have previously shown that dendritic cells isolated after overnight culture, which can express B7 and are potent stimulators of naive T cell proliferation, are relatively poor at inducing the proliferation of a panel of murine T helper 1 (Th1) clones. Maximal stimulation of Th1 clones was achieved using unseparated splenic antigen presenting cells (APC). An explanation for these findings is provided in the present study where we show that FcR+ L cells transfected with B7 stimulate minimal proliferation of Th1 clones in response to anti-CD3 antibodies, in contrast to induction of significant proliferation of naive T cells. However, addition of interleukin 12 (IL-12) to cultures of Th1 cells stimulated with anti-CD3 and FcR+ B7 transfectants resulted in a very pronounced increase in proliferation and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) production. Exogenous IL-12 did not affect the B7- induced proliferation of naive T cells. This showed that whereas costimulatory signals delivered via B7-CD28 interaction are sufficient to induce significant proliferation of naive T cells activated through occupancy of the T cell receptor, Th1 T cell clones require cooperative costimulation by B7 and IL-12. This costimulation was shown to be specific by inhibition of proliferation and IFN-gamma production using chimeric soluble cytolytic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4-human IgG1Fc (CTLA4-Ig) and anti-IL-12 antibodies. Furthermore, the significant antigen specific proliferation and IFN-gamma production by Th1 clones observed when splenocytes were used as APC was almost completely abrogated using CTLA4-Ig and anti-IL-12 antibodies. Thus two costimulatory signals, B7 and IL-12, account for the ability of splenic APC to induce maximal stimulation of Th1 clones. IL-10 downregulates the expression of IL-12 by IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages and this may account largely for t the ability of IL-10 to inhibit APC function of splenic and macrophage APC for the induction of Th1 cell proliferation and IFN-gamma production. Indeed we show that IL-12 can overcome the inhibitory effect of IL-10 for the APC-dependent induction of proliferation and IFN-gamma production by Th1 clones. These results suggest that proliferation by terminally differentiated Th1 clones, in contrast to naive T cells, requires stimulation via membrane-bound B7 and a cytokine, IL-12. It is possible that these signals may result in the activation of unresponsive T cells during an inflammatory response. IL-10, by its role in regulating such innate inflammatory responses, may thus help to maintain these T cells in an unresponsive state.