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.
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.
Over 40% of chronic stable asthma patients have evidence of respiratory Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Mp) infection as detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), but not by serology and culture, suggesting a low-level Mp involved in chronic asthma. However, the role of such a low-level Mp infection in regulation of allergic inflammation remains unknown.
To determine the impact of a low-level Mp infection in mice with established airway allergic inflammation on allergic responses such as eosinophilia and chemokine eotaxin-2, and the underlying mechanisms (i.e., prostaglandin E2 [PGE2] pathway) since PGE2 inhalation before allergen challenge suppressed eosinophil infiltration in human airways.
BALB/c mouse models of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic asthma with an ensuing low-dose or high-dose Mp were used to assess IL-4 expression, BAL eosinophil, eotaxin-2 and PGE2 levels, and lung mRNA levels of microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1). Primary alveolar macrophages (pAMs) from naïve BALB/c mice were cultured to determine if Mp-induced PGE2 or exogenous PGE2 down-regulates IL-4/IL-13-induced eotaxin-2.
Low-dose Mp in allergic mice significantly enhanced IL-4 and eotaxin-2, and moderately promoted lung eosinophilia, whereas high-dose Mp significantly reduced lung eosinophilia and tended to decrease IL-4 and eotaxin-2. Moreover, in both OVA-naïve and allergic mice, lung mPGES-1 mRNA and BAL PGE2 levels were elevated in mice infected with high-dose, but not low-dose Mp. In pAMs, IL-4/IL-13 significantly increased eotaxin-2, which was reduced by Mp infection accompanied by dose-dependent PGE2 induction. Exogenous PGE2 inhibited IL-4/IL-13-induced eotaxin-2 in a dose-dependent manner.
This study highlights a novel concept on how differing bacterial loads in the lung modify the established allergic airway inflammation, and thus interact with an allergen to further induce Th2 responses. That is: Unlike high-level Mp, low-level Mp fails to effectively induce PGE2 to down-regulate allergic responses (e.g., eotaxin-2), thus maintaining or even worsening allergic inflammation in asthmatic airways.
asthma; Mycoplasma pneumoniae; eotaxin-2; PGE2; alveolar macrophages
Eosinophil accumulation is a prominent feature of allergic inflammatory reactions, such as those occurring in the lung of the allergic asthmatic, but the endogenous chemoattractants involved have not been identified. We have investigated this in an established model of allergic inflammation, using in vivo systems both to generate and assay relevant activity. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was taken from sensitized guinea pigs at intervals after aerosol challenge with ovalbumin. BAL fluid was injected intradermally in unsensitized assay guinea pigs and the accumulation of intravenously injected 111In- eosinophils was measured. Activity was detected at 30 min after allergen challenge, peaking from 3 to 6 h and declining to low levels by 24 h. 3-h BAL fluid was purified using high performance liquid chromatography techniques in conjunction with the skin assay. Microsequencing revealed a novel protein from the C-C branch of the platelet factor 4 superfamily of chemotactic cytokines. The protein, "eotaxin," exhibits homology of 53% with human MCP-1, 44% with guinea pig MCP-1, 31% with human MIP-1 alpha, and 26% with human RANTES. Laser desorption time of flight mass analysis gave four different signals (8.15, 8.38, 8.81, and 9.03 kD), probably reflecting differential O- glycosylation. Eotaxin was highly potent, inducing substantial 111In- eosinophil accumulation at a 1-2 pmol dose in the skin, but did not induce significant 111In-neutrophil accumulation. Eotaxin was a potent stimulator of both guinea pig and human eosinophils in vitro. Human recombinant RANTES, MIP-1 alpha, and MCP-1 were all inactive in inducing 111In-eosinophil accumulation in guinea pig skin; however, evidence was obtained that eotaxin shares a binding site with RANTES on guinea pig eosinophils. This is the first description of a potent eosinophil chemoattractant cytokine generated in vivo and suggests the possibility that similar molecules may be important in the human asthmatic lung.
BACKGROUND: Understanding the processes that control selective eosinophilia is of fundamental importance in a variety of human diseases (e.g., allergies, parasitic infections, malignancy). Interleukin 5, an eosinophil-specific growth and activating factor, and eotaxin appear to collaborate in this process. Eotaxin is a recently described chemotactic factor that belongs to the C-C (or beta) chemokine family and has been implicated in animal and human eosinophilic inflammatory states. We have recently reported the molecular characterization of murine eotaxin and now report the biological properties of purified recombinant murine eotaxin in vitro and in vivo in the presence or absence of interleukin 5 (IL-5) in mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Murine eotaxin was expressed in bacteria and purified by affinity chromatography and HPLC. Activity was tested in vitro by examining chemotactic and calcium flux responses of purified murine leukocytes. Additionally, desensitization of calcium flux responses to other chemokines, eosinophil survival assays, and basophil histamine release were examined. Finally, eotaxin was delivered to wild-type or IL-5 transgenic mice and the host response was examined. RESULTS: Eotaxin had activity only when the recombinant molecule had the native mature amino terminus and contained the first 25 amino acids of the mature protein. It was active in vitro at an effective concentration between 10 and 100 ng/ml in both chemotaxis and calcium flux assays toward eosinophils, but not macrophages or neutrophils. Furthermore, intranasal or subcutaneous application of eotaxin selectively recruited large numbers of eosinophils into the mouse lung and skin, respectively, only in the presence of interleukin 5. Macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha, a related C-C chemokine active on eosinophils, and eotaxin were not able to cross-desensitize. Eotaxin had no affect on the in vitro survival of eosinophils and did not induce basophil histamine release. CONCLUSIONS: Mouse eotaxin is an eosinophil specific chemoattractant that has a markedly enhanced effect in vivo in the presence of another eosinophil selective cytokine IL-5, and utilizes a signal transduction receptor pathway that is distinct from that utilized by macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha. This data suggests that the development of tissue eosinophilia in vivo involves a two-step mechanism elicited by interleukin 5 and eotaxin.
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.
eosinophils; allergy; airway inflammation; angiogenesis; bone marrow; eotaxin
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.
We have documented that exposure of rhesus monkeys to house dust mite aeroallergen during postnatal development resulted in significant recruitment of eosinophils into the airway mucosa (Clin Exp Allergy 33:1686–1694, 2003). Because eosinophils were not uniformly distributed throughout the five conducting airway generations examined, we speculated that trafficking within anatomic microenvironments of the lung is mediated by differential chemokine expression. To address this question, we used quantitative real-time RT-PCR to evaluate the related eosinophilic chemokines, eotaxin (CCL11), eotaxin-2 (CCL24), and eotaxin-3 (CCL26) within isolated airways of infant monkey lung. Overall, chemokine mRNA expression levels in house dust mite–exposed airways were as follows: eotaxin-3 > eotaxin > eotaxin-2. Immunofluorescence staining for eotaxin-3 and CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3) showed positive cells within epithelium and peripherally located nerve fiber bundles of the airway wall. Epithelial volume of eotaxin-3 within the trachea correlated with epithelial volume of major basic protein. CCR3+ and MHC Class II+ dendritic cells, but not eosinophils or mast cells, co-localized within eotaxin-3+ nerve fiber bundles. We conclude that localized expression of eotaxin-3 plays an important role in the recruitment of diverse CCR3+ cell populations to different anatomic microenvironments within the infant airway in response to chronic allergen exposure.
lung; development; chemokine; eosinophil
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.
We have cloned a novel mouse CC chemokine cDNA from the lung during an allergic inflammatory reaction. The protein encoded by this cDNA is chemotactic for eosinophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo. Based on its similarities in sequence and function with other CC chemokines, we have named it mouse monocyte chemotactic protein-5 (mMCP- 5). Under noninflammatory conditions, expression of mMCP-5 in the lymph nodes and thymus is constitutive and is generally restricted to stromal cells. Neutralization of mMCP-5 protein with specific antibodies during an allergic inflammatory reaction in vivo resulted in a reduction in the number of eosinophils that accumulated in the lung. Moreover, mMCP- 5 mRNA expression in vivo is regulated differently from that of other major CC chemokines in the lung during the allergic reaction, including Eotaxin. The presence of lymphocytes is essential for expression of mMCP-5 by alveolar macrophages and smooth muscle cells in the lung, and the induction of mMCP-5 RNA occurs earlier than that of the eosinophil chemokine Eotaxin during allergic inflammation. In contrast to Eotaxin, mRNA for mMCP-5 can be produced by mast cells. From these results, we postulate that mMCP-5 plays a pivotal role during the early stages of allergic lung inflammation.
Clinical studies have demonstrated a link between the eosinophil-selective chemokines, eotaxins (eotaxin-1/CCL11 and eotaxin-2/CCL24), eosinophils, and the inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). However, the cellular source and individual contribution of the eotaxins to colonic eosinophilic accumulation in inflammatory bowel diseases remain unclear. In this study we demonstrate, by gene array and quantitative PCR, elevated levels of eotaxin-1 mRNA in the rectosigmoid colon of pediatric UC patients. We show that elevated levels of eotaxin-1 mRNA positively correlated with rectosigmoid eosinophil numbers. Further, colonic eosinophils appeared to be degranulating, and the levels positively correlated with disease severity. Using the dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced intestinal epithelial injury model, we show that DSS treatment of mice strongly induced colonic eotaxin-1 and eotaxin-2 expression and eosinophil levels. Analysis of eosinophil-deficient mice defined an effector role for eosinophils in disease pathology. DSS treatment of eotaxin-2−/− and eotaxin-1/2−/− mice demonstrated that eosinophil recruitment was dependent on eotaxin-1. In situ and immunofluorescence analysis-identified eotaxin-1 expression was restricted to intestinal F4/80+CD11b+ macrophages in DSS-induced epithelial injury and to CD68+ intestinal macrophages and the basolateral compartment of intestinal epithelial cells in pediatric UC. These data demonstrate that intestinal macrophage and epithelial cell-derived eotaxin-1 plays a critical role in the regulation of eosinophil recruitment in colonic eosinophilic disease such as pediatric UC and provides a basis for targeting the eosinophil/eotaxin-1 axis in UC.
Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) and gastrooesophageal reflux disease (GORD) can have similar clinical and histological features. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used to distinguish the disorders, with the assumption that only GORD can respond to PPIs. Oesophageal expression of eotaxin-3 stimulated by Th2 cytokines might contribute to oesophageal eosinophilia in EoE. Th2 cytokine effects on the oesophagus in GORD are not known. Our objective was to explore the molecular mechanisms of Th2 cytokines on eotaxin-3 expression by oesophageal squamous cells from patients with GORD and EoE, and the effects of omeprazole on that eotaxin-3 expression.
Using telomerase-immortalised and primary cultures of oesophageal squamous cells from GORD and EoE patients, we measured eotaxin-3 protein secretion stimulated by Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-13). Eotaxin-3 promoter constructs were used to study transcriptional regulation. Cytokine-induced eotaxin-3 mRNA and protein expression were measured in the presence or absence of omeprazole.
There were no significant differences between EoE and GORD primary cells in cytokine-stimulated eotaxin-3 protein secretion levels. In EoE and GORD cell lines, IL-4 and IL-13 activated the eotaxin-3 promoter, and significantly increased eotaxin-3 mRNA and protein expression. Omeprazole blocked the cytokine-stimulated increase in eotaxin-3 mRNA and protein expression in EoE and GORD cell lines.
Oesophageal squamous cells from GORD and EoE patients express similar levels of eotaxin-3 when stimulated by Th2 cytokines, and omeprazole blocks that eotaxin-3 expression. These findings suggest that PPIs might have eosinophil-reducing effects independent of effects on acid reflux, and that response to PPIs might not distinguish EoE from GORD.
eosinophilic oesophagitis; GORD; proton pump inhibitors; Th2 cytokines; eotaxin-3
Short palate, lung and nasal epithelium clone 1 (SPLUNC1) is enriched in normal airway lining fluid, but is significantly reduced in airway epithelium exposed to a Th2 cytokine milieu. The role of SPLUNC1 in modulating airway allergic inflammation (e.g., eosinophils) remains unknown. We used SPLUNC1 knockout (KO) and littermate wild-type (C57BL/6 background) mice and recombinant SPLUNC1 protein to determine the impact of SPLUNC1 on airway allergic/eosinophilic inflammation, and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. An acute ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge protocol was used to induce murine airway allergic inflammation (e.g., eosinophils, eotaxin-2, and Th2 cytokines). Our results showed that SPLUNC1 in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of OVA-challenged wild-type mice was significantly reduced (P < 0.05), which was negatively correlated with levels of lung eosinophilic inflammation. Moreover, SPLUNC1 KO mice demonstrated significantly higher numbers of eosinophils in the lung after OVA challenges than did wild-type mice. Alveolar macrophages isolated from OVA-challenged SPLUNC1 KO versus wild-type mice had higher concentrations of baseline eotaxin-2 that was amplified by LPS (a known risk factor for exacerbating asthma). Human recombinant SPLUNC1 protein was applied to alveolar macrophages to study the regulation of eotaxin-2 in the context of Th2 cytokine and LPS stimulation. Recombinant SPLUNC1 protein attenuated LPS-induced eotaxin-2 production in Th2 cytokine–pretreated murine macrophages. These findings demonstrate that SPLUNC1 inhibits airway eosinophilic inflammation in allergic mice, in part by reducing eotaxin-2 production in alveolar macrophages.
SPLUNC1; asthma; alveolar macrophage; Th2 cytokines; eotaxin-2
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.
Eosinophils play important roles in asthma and lung infections. Murine models are widely used for assessing the functional significance and mechanistic basis for eosinophil involvements in these diseases. However, little is known about tissue eosinophils in homeostasis. In addition, little data on eosinophil chemokine production during allergic airway inflammation are available. In this study, the properties and functions of homeostatic and activated eosinophils were compared. Eosinophils from normal tissues expressed costimulation and adhesion molecules B7-1, B7-2 and ICAM-1 for Ag presentation but little major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, and were found to be poor stimulators of T-cell proliferation. However, these eosinophils expressed high levels of chemokine mRNA including C10, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1γ, MIP-2, eotaxin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-5 (MCP-5), and produced chemokine proteins. Eosinophil intracellular chemokines decreased rapidly with concomitant surface marker downregulation upon in vitro culturing consistent with piecemeal degranulation. Lung eosinophils from mice with induced allergic airway inflammation exhibited increased chemokines mRNA expression and chemokines protein production and upregulated MHC class II and CD11c expression. They were also found to be the predominant producers of the CCR1 ligands CCL6/C10 and CCL9/MIP-1γ in inflamed lungs. Eosinophil production of C10 and MIP-1γ correlated with the marked influx of CD11bhigh lung dendritic cells during allergic airway inflammation and the high expression of CCR1 on these dendritic cells (DCs). The study provided baseline information on tissue eosinophils, documented the upregulation of activation markers and chemokine production in activated eosinophils, and indicated that eosinophils were a key chemokine-producing cell type in allergic lung inflammation.
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
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.
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
Eosinophils cluster around airway nerves in patients with fatal asthma and in antigen-challenged animals. Activated eosinophils release major basic protein, which blocks inhibitory M2 muscarinic receptors (M2Rs) on nerves, increasing acetylcholine release and potentiating vagally mediated bronchoconstriction. We tested whether GW701897B, an antagonist of CCR3 (the receptor for eotaxin as well as a group of eosinophil active chemokines), affected vagal reactivity and M2R function in ovalbumin-challenged guinea pigs. Sensitized animals were treated with the CCR3 antagonist before inhaling ovalbumin. Antigen-challenged animals were hyperresponsive to vagal stimulation, but those that received the CCR3 antagonist were not. M2R function was lost in antigen-challenged animals, but not in those that received the CCR3 antagonist. Although the CCR3 antagonist did not decrease the number of eosinophils in lung tissues as assessed histologically, CCR3 antagonist prevented antigen-induced clustering of eosinophils along the nerves. Immunostaining revealed eotaxin in airway nerves and in cultured airway parasympathetic neurons from both guinea pigs and humans. Both IL-4 and IL-13 increased expression of eotaxin in cultured airway parasympathetic neurons as well as in human neuroblastoma cells. Thus, signaling via CCR3 mediates eosinophil recruitment to airway nerves and may be a prerequisite to blockade of inhibitory M2Rs by eosinophil major basic protein.
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.
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.
To evaluate the effect of airborne particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) in winter on airway inflammation, water-soluble supernatant (Sup) and water-insoluble precipitate (Pre) in PM2.5 were inoculated in NC/Nga mice with high sensitivity to mite allergens. Sup with aluminum oxide was injected intraperitoneally for sensitization. Five days later, Sup, Pre or both Sup and Pre were inoculated via the nasal route five times for more sensitization and a challenge inoculation on the 11th day in NC/Nga mice. On the 12th day, mice were examined for airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), BALF cell count and IL-1β concentration, mRNA expression of Th1 and Th2 cytokines, chemokines such as eotaxin 1 and eotaxin 2, inflammasomal complex molecules such as IL-1β, caspase 1 and the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat protein 3 (NLRP3) in lung tissue as well as histopathology. The synergistic effect of Sup and Pre was observed in terms of increases in AHR, BALF cells, the mRNA expression of IL-13, eotaxin1 and IL-1β, and the IL-1β concentration in BALF. Intracellular deposits of insoluble particulates were observed in macrophages around inflammatory granulation of the mouse group treated with Sup and Pre. These results suggest that PM2.5 can induce airway hyperresponsiveness in mice with genetically high sensitivity to mite allergens by an inflammasome-associated mechanism and synergistic action of insoluble particulates and soluble components.
Airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma including airway inflammation and remodeling. We focused our study on the regulation of chemokine expression by cytokines and analyzed the mechanisms of eotaxin/CCL-11 expression in ASM cells.
Human ASM cells were cultured in vitro and treated with IL-4, interferon-γ (IFNγ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). Secretion of chemokines into the culture medium was analyzed by ELISA. Expression of eotaxin mRNA was analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Binding of transcription factor signal transducer activator of transcription (STAT) 6 to the eotaxin promoter-derived DNA was analyzed by pull-down Western blot. To assess transcriptional regulation of eotaxin, cells were transfected with eotaxin promoter-luciferase reporter plasmids, and activity was determined by dual luciferase assay.
The Th2 cytokine IL-4 preferentially stimulated the expression of the CC chemokine receptor (CCR) 3-ligand chemokines eotaxin, eotaxin-3, and MCP-4. The Th1 cytokine IFNγ stimulated the expression of chemokines IP-10 and RANTES. IL-4 stimulated nuclear translocation of signal transducer activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) and its binding to the eotaxin promoter region. IL-4 activated the eotaxin promoter and its activity was inhibited by mutation of the binding site for STAT6 in the promoter.
The Th2 cytokine IL-4 preferentially stimulated the expression of CCR3 ligand chemokines including eotaxin in ASM cells. The transcription factor STAT6 may play a pivotal role in the activation of eotaxin transcription in response to IL-4.
Interleukin-4; Signal transducer activator of transcription 6; Eotaxin; Smooth muscle cells
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.
Eosinophil leukocytes express high numbers of the chemokine receptor CCR3 which binds eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-4, and some other CC chemokines. In this paper we show that CCR3 is also highly expressed on human blood basophils, as indicated by Northern blotting and flow cytometry, and mediates mainly chemotaxis. Eotaxin and MCP-4 elicited basophil migration in vitro with similar efficacy as regulated upon activation normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) and MCP-3. They also induced the release of histamine and leukotrienes in IL-3-primed basophils, but their efficacy was lower than that of MCP-1 and MCP-3, which were the most potent stimuli of exocytosis. Pretreatment of the basophils with a CCR3-blocking antibody abrogated the migration induced by eotaxin, RANTES, and by low to optimal concentrations of MCP-4, but decreased only minimally the response to MCP-3. The CCR3-blocking antibody also affected exocytosis: it abrogated histamine and leukotriene release induced by eotaxin, and partially inhibited the response to RANTES and MCP-4. In contrast, the antibody did not affect the responses induced by MCP-1, MCP-3, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, which may depend on CCR1 and CCR2, two additional receptors detected by Northern blotting with basophil RNA. This study demonstrates that CCR3 is the major receptor for eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-4 in human basophils, and suggests that basophils and eosinophils, which are the characteristic effector cells of allergic inflammation, depend largely on CCR3 for migration towards different chemokines into inflamed tissues.
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.
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.
asthma; D.p. antigen; eotaxin-2; interleukin-10; interleukin-5; LPS