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1.  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
2.  Kinetics of Eotaxin Generation and Its Relationship to Eosinophil Accumulation in Allergic Airways Disease: Analysis in a Guinea Pig Model In Vivo  
Challenge of the airways of sensitized guinea pigs with aerosolized ovalbumin resulted in an early phase of microvascular protein leakage and a delayed phase of eosinophil accumulation in the airway lumen, as measured using bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Immunoreactive eotaxin levels rose in airway tissue and BAL fluid to a peak at 6 h falling to low levels by 12 h. Eosinophil numbers in the tissue correlated with eotaxin levels until 6 h but eosinophils persisted until the last measurement time point at 24 h. In contrast, few eosinophils appeared in BAL over the first 12 h, major trafficking through the airway epithelium occurring at 12–24 h when eotaxin levels were low. Constitutive eotaxin was present in BAL fluid. Both constitutive and allergen-induced eosinophil chemoattractant activity in BAL fluid was neutralized by an antibody to eotaxin. Allergen-induced eotaxin appeared to be mainly in airway epithelium and macrophages, as detected by immunostaining. Allergen challenge of the lung resulted in a rapid release of bone marrow eosinophils into the blood. An antibody to IL-5 suppressed bone marrow eosinophil release and lung eosinophilia, without affecting lung eotaxin levels. Thus, IL-5 and eotaxin appear to cooperate in mediating a rapid transfer of eosinophils from the bone marrow to the lung in response to allergen challenge.
PMCID: PMC2199038  PMID: 9254658
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  Epithelial eotaxin-2 and eotaxin-3 expression: relation to asthma severity, luminal eosinophilia and age at onset 
Thorax  2012;67(12):1061-1066.
Eosinophilic inflammation is implicated in asthma. Eotaxin 1–3 regulate eosinophil trafficking into the airways along with other chemotactic factors. However, the epithelial and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell expression of these chemokines in relation to asthma severity and eosinophilic phenotypes has not been addressed.
To measure the expression of the three eotaxin isoforms in bronchoscopically obtained samples and compare them with clinically relevant parameters between normal subjects and patients with asthma.
Normal subjects and patients with asthma of varying severity recruited through the Severe Asthma Research Program underwent clinical assessment and bronchoscopy with airway brushing and BAL. Eotaxin 1–3 mRNA/protein were measured in epithelial and BAL cells and compared with asthma severity, control and eosinophilic inflammation.
Eotaxin-2 and eotaxin-3 mRNA and eotaxin-2 protein were increased in airway epithelial brushings from patients with asthma and were highest in cases of severe asthma (p values 0.0155, 0.0033 and 0.0006, respectively), with eotaxin-2 protein increased with age at onset. BAL cells normally expressed high levels of eotaxin-2 mRNA/protein but BAL fluid levels of eotaxin-2 were lowest in severe asthma. Epithelial eotaxin-2 and eotaxin-3 mRNA/protein was associated with sputum eosinophilia, lower forced expiratory volume in 1 s and more asthma exacerbations. Airway epithelial cell eotaxin-2 protein differed by asthma severity only in those with late onset disease, and tended to be highest in those with late onset eosinophilic asthma.
Epithelial eotaxin-2 and 3 are increased in asthma and severe asthma. Their expression may contribute to luminal migration of eosinophils, especially in later onset disease, asthma control and severity.
PMCID: PMC3652589  PMID: 23015684
7.  CCR4 blockade does not inhibit allergic airways inflammation 
Journal of leukocyte biology  2003;74(4):558-563.
The CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) shows selectivity for the recruitment of memory T cell subsets, including those of the T helper cell type 2 (Th2) phenotype. In humans, CCR4+ T cells are recruited to the asthmatic lung in response to allergen challenge; however, the contribution of this pathway to allergic disease remains uncertain. We therefore investigated the role of CCR4 in allergic airways inflammation in the guinea pig. Blockade of CCR4 with a specific antibody resulted in only minor changes in numbers of CCR4+ Th cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of allergen-challenged guinea pigs and failed to inhibit the generation of eotaxin/CC chemokine ligand (CCL)11 or macrophage-derived chemokine/CCL22 or the recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes to the lung. These data suggest that although CCR4 was originally proposed as a marker of Th2 status, antigen-specific Th2 cells are recruited to the lung predominantly by other pathways. This study casts doubts on the validity of CCR4 as a therapeutic target in the treatment of asthma.
PMCID: PMC3428841  PMID: 12960268
T lymphocytes; chemokines; allergy
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.  Allergen-Induced Eotaxin-rich Pro-angiogenic Bone Marrow Progenitors: A Blood Borne Cellular Envoy for Lung Eosinophilia 
Eosinophilic inflammation is closely related to angiogenesis in asthmatic airway remodeling. In ovalbumin-sensitized mice, bone marrow-derived pro-angiogenic endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are rapidly recruited into the lungs after ovalbumin aerosol challenge, and promptly followed by mobilization and recruitment of eosinophils.
We hypothesized that bone marrow-derived EPCs initiate the recruitment of eosinophils through expression of eosinophil chemoattractant eotaxin-1.
EPCs were isolated from ovalbumin murine model of allergic airway inflammation and from asthma patients. Endothelial and smooth muscle cells were isolated from mice. Eotaxin-1 expression was analyzed by immunofluorescence, real-time PCR or by ELISA. In vivo recruitment of eosinophils by EPCs was analyzed in mice.
Circulating EPCs of asthmatic individuals had higher levels of eotaxin-1 as compared to controls. In the murine model, ovalbumin allergen exposure augmented eotaxin-1 mRNA and protein levels in EPCs. The EPCs from ovalbumin-sensitized and challenged mice released high levels of eotaxin-1 upon contact with lung endothelial cells from sensitized and challenged mice, but not from control animals, and not upon contact with cardiac or hepatic endothelial cells from sensitized and challenged mice. Intranasal administration of the eotaxin-rich media overlying cultures of EPCs caused recruitment into lungs, confirming functional chemoattractant activity.
Bone marrow-derived EPCs are early responders to environmental allergen exposures, and initiate a parallel switch to a pro-angiogenic and pro-eosinophilic environment in the asthmatic lungs.
PMCID: PMC2850950  PMID: 20227754
eosinophils; allergy; airway inflammation; angiogenesis; bone marrow; eotaxin
10.  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
11.  Targeted Disruption of the Chemokine Eotaxin Partially Reduces Antigen-induced Tissue Eosinophilia 
The chemokines are a large group of chemotactic cytokines that regulate leukocyte trafficking and have recently been shown to inhibit human immunodeficiency virus entry into cells. Eotaxin is a C–C chemokine implicated in the recruitment of eosinophils in a variety of inflammatory disorders and, unlike all other eosinophil chemoattractants, is eosinophil specific. However, given the large number of chemoattractants that have activities on eosinophils, it is unclear whether eotaxin has an important role in vivo. Furthermore, it remains unclear why there is constitutive expression of eotaxin in healthy states in the absence of eosinophilic inflammation. To begin to determine the significance of eotaxin at baseline and during eosinophil-mediated disease processes, we have used targeted gene disruption to generate mice that are deficient in eotaxin. Such mice demonstrate that eotaxin enhances the magnitude of the early (but not late) eosinophil recruitment after antigen challenge in models of asthma and stromal keratitis. Surprisingly, a role for eotaxin in regulating the constitutive number of eosinophils in the peripheral circulation is also demonstrated. These results indicate a contributory role for eotaxin in the generation of peripheral blood and antigen-induced tissue eosinophilia.
PMCID: PMC2196140  PMID: 9034156
12.  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
13.  Licorice Flavonoids Inhibit Eotaxin-1 Secretion by Human Fetal Lung Fibroblast in vitro 
Glycyrrhizae uralensis (Gan-Cao) commonly called “licorice” is one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the United States licorice products are most often consumed as flavoring and sweetening agents in food products. The licorice triterpenoid glycyrrhizin has several biological activities, including anti-inflammatory activity. Other potential anti-inflammatory constituents in Glycyrrhizae uralensis have not been fully investigated. Airway eosinophilic inflammation is a major feature of allergic asthma. Eotaxin-1 is involved in the recruitment of eosinophils to sites of antigen induced inflammation in asthmatic airways. Because human lung fibroblasts are the major source of eotaxin, inhibition of eosinophil recruitment by suppression of fibroblast eotaxin production is a potentially valuable approach for the pharmacological intervention in asthma. A systematic bioassay guided purification of G. uralensis yielded 5 flavonoids-liquiritin (1), liquiritigenin (2), isoliquiritigenin (3), 7, 4′-dihydroxyflavone (4) and isoononin (5). The structure of the compounds was established by 1H, 13C NMR and LC-MS. Potential ability of these isolated pure compounds, and glycyrrhizin, to inhibit secretion of eotaxin-1 by human fetal lung fibroblasts (HFL-1) was tested. Liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, and 7, 4′-dihydroxyflavone were more effective than liquiritin, isoononin and glycyrrhizin in suppressing eotaxin secretion. A dose response study showed the IC50 concentration of liquiritigenin (2), isoliquiritigenin (3), 7, 4-dihydroxyflavone (4) were 4.2, 0.92 and 0.21 µg/mL, respectively. We therefore, for the first time, show that Glycyrrhiza flavonoids inhibit eotaxin-1 secretion, suggesting that these compounds may have potential for the development of new therapies for asthma, allergy and other inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC2748415  PMID: 19132888
Glycyrrhiza uralensis; Gan-Cao; flavonoids; liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin and 7, 4′-dihydroxyflavone; eotaxin-1 inhibition
14.  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.
PMCID: PMC3045045  PMID: 20622891
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
15.  Expression of eotaxin by human lung epithelial cells: induction by cytokines and inhibition by glucocorticoids. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;99(7):1767-1773.
Eotaxin is a potent and specific eosinophil chemoattractant that is mobilized in the respiratory epithelium after allergic stimulation. Pulmonary levels of eotaxin mRNA are known to increase after allergen exposure in sensitized animals. In this study we demonstrate that TNF alpha and IL-1beta induce the accumulation of eotaxin mRNA in the pulmonary epithelial cell lines A549 and BEAS 2B in a dose-dependent manner. Cytokine-induced A549 cell mRNA accumulation was maximal at 4 h and was significantly enhanced when the cells were costimulated with IFNgamma. TNFalpha- and IL-1beta-induced increases in eotaxin mRNA were diminished in a dose-dependent manner by the glucocorticoid dexamethasone and were augmented by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Cytokine-induced increases in eotaxin mRNA expression correlated with increased eotaxin protein production and secretion, and dexamethasone inhibition of cytokine-induced eotaxin mRNA augmentation was associated with diminished eotaxin protein secretion. These findings, together with the known kinetics of TNF alpha and IL-1beta mobilization in asthmatic airways and the potent eosinophil chemotactic effects of eotaxin, define a mechanism linking inflammatory cytokine mobilization to eosinophil recruitment that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of asthma.
PMCID: PMC507998  PMID: 9120022
16.  Rhinovirus infection of allergen-sensitized and -challenged mice induces eotaxin release from functionally polarized macrophages 
Human rhinovirus is responsible for the majority of virus-induced asthma exacerbations. To determine the immunologic mechanisms underlying rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbations, we combined mouse models of allergic airways disease and human rhinovirus infection. We inoculated ovalbumin-sensitized and challenged BALB/c mice with rhinovirus serotype 1B, a minor group strain capable of infecting mouse cells. Compared to sham-infected, ovalbumin-treated mice, virus-infected mice showed increased lung infiltration with neutrophils, eosinophils and macrophages, airway cholinergic hyperresponsiveness, and increased lung expression of cytokines including eotaxin-1/CCL11, IL-4, IL-13 and IFN-γ. Administration of anti-eotaxin-1 attenuated rhinovirus-induced airway eosinophilia and responsiveness. Immunohistochemistry showed eotaxin-1 in the lung macrophages of virus-infected, ovalbumin-treated mice, and confocal fluorescence microscopy revealed co-localization of rhinovirus, eotaxin-1 and IL-4 in CD68-positive cells. RV inoculation of lung macrophages from ovalbumin-treated, but not PBS-treated, mice induced expression of eotaxin-1, IL-4, and IL-13 ex vivo. Macrophages from ovalbumin-treated mice showed increased expression of arginase-1, Ym-1, Mgl-2 and IL-10, indicating a shift in macrophage activation status. Depletion of macrophages from ovalbumin-sensitized and -challenged mice reduced eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyperreactivity following RV infection. We conclude that augmented airway eosinophilic inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in RV-infected mice with allergic airways disease is directed in part by eotaxin-1. Airway macrophages from mice with allergic airways disease demonstrate a change in activation state characterized in part by altered eotaxin and IL-4 production in response to RV infection. These data provide a new paradigm to explain RV-induced asthma exacerbations.
PMCID: PMC3208235  PMID: 20644177
17.  The roles of a Th2 cytokine and CC chemokine in children with stable asthma: Potential implication in eosinophil degranulation 
Th2 cytokine IL-5 and CC chemokine eotaxin are thought to be key regulators of eosinophils in bronchial asthma. However, their involvement in children with stable asthma (SA) has not been determined. We investigated the roles of IL-5 and eotaxin in eosinophil degranulation in children with SA. Induced sputum was obtained from 30 SA, 21 allergic rhinitis (AR), and 22 non-atopic healthy control (HC) children. We measured sputum levels of IL-5, eotaxin, and eosinophil indices [percentage eosinophils, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), and eosinophil- cationic protein (ECP)]. We also examined correlations of IL-5 and eotaxin with eosinophil indices. Sputum percentage eosinophils and EDN and ECP levels were significantly higher in the SA group than in the HC group, while only the sputum EDN and ECP levels were significantly higher in the AR group than in the HC group. Unexpectedly, sputum levels of IL-5 were not significantly different among the three groups; however, the levels of eotaxin were higher in the SA group when compared to the HC group. No significant correlations were found between IL-5 and percentage eosinophils, EDN, or ECP levels; in contrast, eotaxin levels correlated significantly with percentage eosinophils (R­= 0.638; p = 0.0001), EDN (R­= 0.522; p = 0.003), and ECP levels (R­= 0.630 and p = 0.0002). The elevated levels and good correlations of eotaxin with sputum eosinophil indices, and no elevation or correlation of IL-5 with these indices, suggest that CC chemokine eotaxin may play a more important role in eosinophil degranulation in children with SA.
PMCID: PMC3899091  PMID: 20444156
eosinophil degranulation; eosinophil indices; eotaxin; interleukin-5; stable asthma
18.  Eotaxin-2, a Novel CC Chemokine that Is Selective for the Chemokine Receptor CCR3, and Acts Like Eotaxin on Human Eosinophil and Basophil Leukocytes 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1997;185(12):2171-2176.
A novel human CC chemokine consisting of 78 amino acids and having a molecular mass of 8,778.3 daltons (VVIPSPCCMF FVSKRIPENR VVSYQLSSRS TCLKAGVIFT TKKGQQ SCGD PKQEWVQRYM KNLDAKQKKA SPRARAVA) was isolated together with three minor COOH-terminally truncated variants with 73, 75, and 76 residues. The new chemokine was termed eotaxin-2 because it is functionally very similar to eotaxin. In terms of structure, however, eotaxin and eotaxin-2 are rather distant, they share only 39% identical amino acids and differ almost completely in the NH2-terminal region. Eotaxin-2 induced chemotaxis of eosinophils as well as basophils, with a typically bimodal concentration dependence, and the release of histamine and leukotriene C4 from basophils that had been primed with IL-3. In all assays, eotaxin-2 had the same efficacy as eotaxin, but was somewhat less potent. The migration and the release responses were abrogated in the presence of a monoclonal antibody that selectively blocks the eotaxin receptor, CCR3, indicating that eotaxin-2, like eotaxin, acts exclusively via CCR3. Receptor usage was also studied in desensitization experiments by measuring [Ca2+]i changes in eosinophils. Complete cross-desensitization was observed between eotaxin-2, eotaxin and MCP-4 confirming activation via CCR3. No Ca2+ mobilization was obtained in neutrophils, monocytes and lymphocytes, in agreement with the lack of chemotactic responsiveness. Intradermal injection of eotaxin-2 in a rhesus monkey (100 or 1,000 pmol per site) induced a marked local infiltration of eosinophils, which was most pronounced in the vicinity of postcapillary venules and was comparable to the effect of eotaxin.
PMCID: PMC2196360  PMID: 9182688
19.  Effect and mechanism of lipopolysaccharide on allergen-induced interleukin-5 and eotaxins production by whole blood cultures of atopic asthmatics 
Interleukin (IL)-5 and eotaxin families regulate the development of eosinophilic inflammation of asthma in a co-operative manner. The exposure to airborne lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces varying degrees of airflow obstruction and neutrophilic airway inflammation. Production of IL-5 and eotaxin subfamily chemokines was analysed in response to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus allergen (D.p.) according to the presence of specific IgE to D.p., and investigated the mechanism underlying their LPS-mediated regulation of these cytokines in response to the specific allergen. Peripheral blood cells (PBCs) from asthmatics with (group 1) or without (group 2) specific IgE to D.p. and from non-asthmatics with (group 3) or without (group 4) were stimulated with D.p. or LPS. For LPS-mediated inhibition of IL-5 and eotaxin-2 production, LPS-induced cytokines were added to the D.p.-stimulated PBCs. IL-5 and eotaxin-2, but not eotaxin-1 and 3, were significantly increased by D.p.-stimulated-PBCs from group 1, while only eotaxin-2 was elevated in group 3. Eotaxin-2 production was found in monocytes and correlated with the level of specific IgE to D.p. LPS treatment resulted in the decrease in eotaxin-2 and IL-5 production by the D.p.-stimulated PBCs. LPS-induced IL-10 completely inhibited D.p.-stimulated production of eotaxin-2 and IL-5. The differential responses of the eotaxin family to specific antigens suggest that the predominant role of eotaxin-2 and LPS may attenuate eosinophilic inflammation by inhibiting IL-5 and eotaxin-2 synthesis through IL-10 production.
PMCID: PMC1810488  PMID: 17302892
asthma; D.p. antigen; eotaxin-2; interleukin-10; interleukin-5; LPS
20.  Effect and mechanism of lipopolysaccharide on allergen-induced interleukin-5 and eotaxins production by whole blood cultures of atopic asthmatics 
Interleukin (IL)-5 and eotaxin families regulate the development of eosinophilic inflammation of asthma in a co-operative manner. The exposure to airborne lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces varying degrees of airflow obstruction and neutrophilic airway inflammation. Production of IL-5 and eotaxin subfamily chemokines was analysed in response to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus allergen (D.p.) according to the presence of specific IgE to D.p., and investigated the mechanism underlying their LPS-mediated regulation of these cytokines in response to the specific allergen. Peripheral blood cells (PBCs) from asthmatics with (group 1) or without (group 2) specific IgE to D.p. and from non-asthmatics with (group 3) or without (group 4) were stimulated with D.p. or LPS. For LPS-mediated inhibition of IL-5 and eotaxin-2 production, LPS-induced cytokines were added to the D.p.-stimulated PBCs. IL-5 and eotaxin-2, but not eotaxin-1 and 3, were significantly increased by D.p.-stimulated-PBCs from group 1, while only eotaxin-2 was elevated in group 3. Eotaxin-2 production was found in monocytes and correlated with the level of specific IgE to D.p. LPS treatment resulted in the decrease in eotaxin-2 and IL-5 production by the D.p.-stimulated PBCs. LPS-induced IL-10 completely inhibited D.p.-stimulated production of eotaxin-2 and IL-5. The differential responses of the eotaxin family to specific antigens suggest that the predominant role of eotaxin-2 and LPS may attenuate eosinophilic inflammation by inhibiting IL-5 and eotaxin-2 synthesis through IL-10 production.
PMCID: PMC1810488  PMID: 17302892
asthma; D.p. antigen; eotaxin-2; interleukin-10; interleukin-5; LPS
21.  Monocyte chemotactic protein 4 (MCP-4), a novel structural and functional analogue of MCP-3 and eotaxin 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;183(5):2379-2384.
A novel human CC chemokine complementary DNA was identified in a library constructed from human fetal RNA, cloned into a baculovirus vector, and expressed in Sf9 insect cells. The mature recombinant protein that was released had the NH2-terminal sequence pyro- QPDALNVPSTC...and consisted of 75 amino acids. Minor amounts of two variants of 77 and 82 residues (NH2 termini: LAQPDA...and FNPQGLAQPDA...) were released as well. The novel chemokine was designated monocyte chemotactic protein 4 (MCP-4) and the variants were designated (LA)MCP-4 and (FNPQGLA)MCP-4. MCP-4 shares the pyroglutamic acidproline NH2-terminal motif and 56-61% sequence identity with the three known monocyte chemotactic proteins and is 60% identical to eotaxin. It has marked functional similarities to MCP-3 and eotaxin. Like MCP-3, MCP-4 is a chemoattractant of high efficacy for monocytes and T lymphocytes. On these cells, it binds to receptors that recognize MCP-1, MCP-3, and RANTES. On eosinophils, MCP-4 has similar efficacy and potency as MCP-3, RANTES, and cotaxin. It shares receptors with eotaxin and shows full cross-desensitization with this cosinophil- selective chemokine. Of the two variants, only (LA)MCP-4 could be purified in sufficient quantities for testing and was found to be at least 30-fold less potent than MCP-4 itself. This suggests that the 75- residue form with the characteristic NH2 terminus of an MCP is the biologically relevant species.
PMCID: PMC2192560  PMID: 8642349
22.  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
23.  Leukotriene D4 and Interleukin-13 Cooperate to Increase the Release of Eotaxin-3 by Airway Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43544.
Airway epithelial cells play a central role in the physiopathology of asthma. They release eotaxins when treated with TH2 cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-4 or IL-13, and these chemokines attract eosinophils and potentiate the biosynthesis of cysteinyl leukotrienes (cysLTs), which in turn induce bronchoconstriction and mucus secretion. These effects of cysLTs mainly mediated by CysLT1 and CysLT2 receptors on epithelial cell functions remain largely undefined. Because the release of inflammatory cytokines, eotaxins, and cysLTs occur relatively at the same time and location in the lung tissue, we hypothesized that they regulate inflammation cooperatively rather than redundantly. We therefore investigated whether cysLTs and the TH2 cytokines would act in concert to augment the release of eotaxins by airway epithelial cells.
A549 cells or human primary bronchial epithelial cells were incubated with or without IL-4, IL-13, and/or LTD4. The release of eotaxin-3 and the expression of cysLT receptors were assessed by ELISA, RT-PCR, and flow cytometry, respectively.
IL-4 and IL-13 induced the release of eotaxin-3 by airway epithelial cells. LTD4 weakly induced the release of eotaxin-3 but clearly potentiated the IL-13-induced eotaxin-3 release. LTD4 had no effect on IL-4-stimulated cells. Epithelial cells expressed CysLT1 but not CysLT2. CysLT1 expression was increased by IL-13 but not by IL-4 and/or LTD4. Importantly, the upregulation of CysLT1 by IL-13 preceded eotaxin-3 release.
These results demonstrate a stepwise cooperation between IL-13 and LTD4. IL-13 upregulates CysLT1 expression and consequently the response to cysLTs This results in an increased release of eotaxin-3 by epithelial cells which at its turn increases the recruitment of leukocytes and their biosynthesis of cysLTs. This positive amplification loop involving epithelial cells and leukocytes could be implicated in the recruitment of eosinophils observed in asthmatics.
PMCID: PMC3432028  PMID: 22952702
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.
PMCID: PMC3627984  PMID: 23616768
airway remodeling; asthma; eosinophils; experimental models of asthma; inflammation; respiratory hypersensitivity
25.  Intrinsic Defect in T Cell Production of Interleukin (IL)-13 in the Absence of Both IL-5 and Eotaxin Precludes the Development of Eosinophilia and Airways Hyperreactivity in Experimental Asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2002;195(11):1433-1444.
Interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13 are thought to play key roles in the pathogenesis of asthma. Although both cytokines use eotaxin to regulate eosinophilia, IL-13 is thought to operate a separate pathway to IL-5 to induce airways hyperreactivity (AHR) in the allergic lung. However, identification of the key pathway(s) used by IL-5 and IL-13 in the disease process is confounded by the failure of anti–IL-5 or anti–IL-13 treatments to completely inhibit the accumulation of eosinophils in lung tissue. By using mice deficient in both IL-5 and eotaxin (IL-5/eotaxin−/−) we have abolished tissue eosinophilia and the induction of AHR in the allergic lung. Notably, in mice deficient in IL-5/eotaxin the ability of CD4+ T helper cell (Th)2 lymphocytes to produce IL-13, a critical regulator of airways smooth muscle constriction and obstruction, was significantly impaired. Moreover, the transfer of eosinophils to IL-5/eotaxin−/− mice overcame the intrinsic defect in T cell IL-13 production. Thus, factors produced by eosinophils may either directly or indirectly modulate the production of IL-13 during Th2 cell development. Our data show that IL-5 and eotaxin intrinsically modulate IL-13 production from Th2 cells and that these signaling systems are not necessarily independent effector pathways and may also be integrated to regulate aspects of allergic disease.
PMCID: PMC2193548  PMID: 12045241
allergy; cytokines; eosinophils; lung; inflammation

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