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.
Airway mycoplasma infection may be associated with asthma pathophysiology. However, the direct effects of mycoplasma infection on asthma remain unknown. Using a murine allergic-asthma model, we evaluated the effects of different timing of airway Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection on bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), lung inflammation, and the protein levels of Th1 (gamma interferon [IFN-γ]) and Th2 (interleukin 4 [IL-4]) cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. When mycoplasma infection occurred 3 days before allergen (ovalbumin) sensitization and challenge, the infection reduced the BHR and inflammatory-cell influx into the lung. This was accompanied by a significant induction of Th1 responses (increased IFN-γ and decreased IL-4 production). Conversely, when mycoplasma infection occurred 2 days after allergen sensitization and challenge, the infection initially caused a temporary reduction of BHR and then increased BHR, lung inflammation, and IL-4 levels. Our data suggest that mycoplasma infection could modulate both physiological and immunological responses in the murine asthma model. Our animal models may also provide a new means to understand the role of infection in asthma pathogenesis and give evidence for the asthma hygiene hypothesis.
There are increasing evidences that allergic rhinitis (AR) may influence the clinical course of asthma. We conducted methacholine challenge test and nasal eosinophils on nasal smear to patients with allergic rhinitis in order to investigate the mechanism of connecting upper and lower airway inflammation in 35 patients with AR during exacerbation. The methacholine concentration causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20) was used as thresholds of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). Thresholds of 25 mg/dL or less were assumed to indicate BHR. All patients had normal pulmonary function. Significant differences in BHR were detected in the comparison of patients with cough or postnasal drip and without cough or postnasal drip. There were significant differences of PC20 between patients with cough or postnasal drip and those without cough or postnasal drip (3.41+/-3.59 mg/mL vs 10.2+/-1.2 mg/mL, p=0.001). The levels of total IgE were higher in patients with seasonal AR than in patients with perennial AR with exacerbation (472.5+/-132.5 IU/L vs. 389.0+/-70.9 IU/L, p<0.05). Nasal eosinophils were closely related to log PC20 (r=-0.65, p<0.01). These findings demonstrated that nasal eosinophilic inflammation might contribute to BHR in patients with AR.
Both atopy and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) are characteristic features of asthma. They are also found among non-asthmatic subjects, including allergic rhinitis patients and the general population. Atopy and BHR in asthma are closely related. Atopy induces airway inflammation as an IgE response to a specific allergen, which causes or amplifies BHR. Moreover, significant evidence of the close relationship between atopy and BHR has been found in non-asthmatic subjects. In this article, we discuss the relationship between atopy and BHR in the general population, asthmatic subjects, and those with allergic rhinitis. This should widen our understanding of the pathophysiology of atopy and BHR.
Allergic rhinitis; asthma; atopy; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; patients; population
Although basic mechanisms of bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR)
are still incompletely understood, inflammation of airways is likely
to play a fundamental role in modulating BHR in patients with
asthma. The involvement of several inflammatory cells (eosinophils,
mast cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils, macrophages and platelets) and
of bioactive mediators secreted by these cells in the pathogenesis
of asthma is well documented. Sodium cromoglycate and nedocromil
sodium are two pharmacological agents which have anti-allergic and
anti-inflammatory properties. Their clinical effectiveness in mild
to moderate asthma, and the capacity to reduce BHR under different
natural and experimental conditions, make them valuable drugs for
maintenance therapy in patients with asthma.
The prevalence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) to methacholine inhalation in a consecutive series of 21 patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome was studied prospectively. Slight to severe BHR was seen in 12/20 (60%) of the patients. Ten of 12 patients with BHR (83%) had a non-productive cough, wheezing, or intermittent breathlessness. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness was more common in patients with extraglandular symptoms (10/14, 71%) than in those with only glandular symptoms (29%). Spirometrically 29% (6/21) of the patients had 'small airways' disease', and all those had BHR. Of 6/21 (29%) who had diffuse interstitial lung disease, two had BHR. Three of the four patients with obstructive lung function were challenged with methacholine and two of them had BHR. Only two patients with BHR had normal spirometry findings. The data showed that respiratory disease--mostly mild or moderate but even severe bronchial hyperresponsiveness--is commonly seen in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome.
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is an important pathophysiological feature of asthma. In addition to the diagnostic significance, BHR is associated with the severity of airway inflammation and BHR- based treatment approaches has been shown to be effective. Nevertheless, challenge tests are time consuming, inconvenient to patients, and are not accessible in every primary care physicians. We aimed to develop a questionnaire for the assessment of BHR in Korean subjects.
From the 24 University-affiliated hospitals, we recruited 149 adults between age 20 and 40 years with more than one asthmatic symptom (cough, sputum or dyspnea) and who had bronchial provocation test. A list of 33 symptoms, past history of allergy or smoking and 10 provoking stimuli were selected for the BHR questionnaire. After a methacholine challenge test patients were asked to complete each questionnaire. For each item of questionnaire, diagnostic odds ratios for the presence of BHR were calculated and multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to select final questionnaire items. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the selected questionnaire items.
Methacholine challenge test was positive in 36 patients (24.2%). Eleven symptoms and 2 provoking stimuli items were statistically significant by the results of diagnostic odds ratio. According to the result of multiple logistic regression analysis, 4 items were finally selected for the significant BHR questionnaire: the presence of wheezing episode, past history of physician-diagnosed asthma, family history of asthma. The psychiatric stress was negatively associated provoking stimuli item for the presence of BHR. The area under the ROC curve was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.72-0.86). Sensitivity was 84.9% (95% CI, 68.1-94.9) and specificity was 65.5% (95% CI, 55.8-74.3).
Four BHR questionnaire items including wheezing episode, past history of physician-diagnosed asthma, family history of asthma and psyachiatric stress stimuli were able to assess the presence of BHR in Korean adults.
Overactivation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) orchestrates airway eosinophilia, but does not dampen airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma. NF-κB repression by arsenic trioxide (As2O3) contributes to apoptosis of eosinophils (EOS) in airways. Here we provide evidence that As2O3 abrogates allergen (OVA)-induced airway eosinophilia by modulating the expression of IκBα, an NF-κB inhibitory protein, and decreases the airway hyperresponsiveness.
Using a murine model of asthma, the airway hyperresponsiveness was conducted by barometric whole-body plethysmography. Airway eosinophilia, OVA-specific IgE in serum, and chemokine eotaxin and RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were measured by lung histology, Diff-Quick staining, and ELISA. Chemokine-induced EOS chemotactic activity was evaluated using EOS chemotaxis assay. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and Western blot analysis were performed to assess pulmonary NF-κB activation and IκBα expression, respectively.
As2O3 attenuated the allergen-induced serum IgE, chemokine expression of eotaxin and RANTES, and the EOS recruitment in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, which is associated with an increased IκBα expression as well as a decreased NF-κB activation. Also, As2O3 suppressed the chemotaxis of EOS dose-dependently in vitro. Additionally, As2O3 significantly ameliorated the allergen-driven airway hyperresponsiveness, the cardinal feature underlying asthma.
These findings demonstrate an essential role of NF-κB in airway eosinophilia, and illustrate a potential dissociation between airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness. As2O3 likely exerts its broad anti-inflammatory effects by suppression of NF-κB activation through augmentation of IκBα expression in asthma.
Selective eosinophil recruitment into tissues is a characteristic feature of allergic diseases. Chemokines are effective leukocyte chemoattractants and may play an important role in mediating eosinophil recruitment in various allergic conditions in man. Here, we describe a novel mouse model of eosinophil recruitment in which we have compared the in vivo chemoattractant activity of different C-C chemokines. Furthermore, we describe the use of antibodies to chemokines and receptor blockade to address the endogenous mechanisms involved in eosinophil recruitment in a late-phase allergic reaction in mouse skin. Intradermal injection of mEotaxin and mMIP-1alpha, but not mMCP-1, mRANTES, mMCP-5, or mMIP-1beta, induced significant 111In-eosinophil recruitment in mouse skin. Significant 111In-eosinophil recruitment was also observed in an active cutaneous anaphylactic reaction. Pretreatment of skin sites with antieotaxin antiserum, but not an antiMIP-1alpha antibody, suppressed 111In-eosinophil recruitment in this delayed-onset allergic reaction. Similarly, desensitization of the eosinophil eotaxin receptor CCR3 with mEotaxin, or blockade of the receptor with metRANTES, significantly inhibited 111In-eosinophil recruitment in the allergic reaction. These results demonstrate an important role for endogenous eotaxin in mediating the 111In-eosinophil recruitment in allergic inflammation, and suggest that blockade of the CCR3 receptor is a valid strategy to inhibit eosinophil migration in vivo.
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.
airway remodeling; asthma; eosinophils; experimental models of asthma; inflammation; respiratory hypersensitivity
Background: Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is characteristic of asthmatic airways, is induced by airway inflammation, and is reduced by inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). The time course for the onset and cessation of the effect of ICS on BHR is unclear. The effect of inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP) on BHR in patients with mild persistent asthma was assessed using time intervals of hours, days and weeks.
Methods: Twenty six asthmatic patients aged 21–59 years were selected for this randomised, double blind, parallel group study. The effect of 250 µg inhaled FP (MDI) administered twice daily was compared with that of placebo on BHR assessed using a dosimetric histamine challenge method. The dose of histamine inducing a decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) by 15% (PD15FEV1) was measured before and 6, 12, 24 and 72 hours, and 2, 4 and 6 weeks after starting treatment, and 48 hours, 1 week and 2 weeks after cessation of treatment. Doubling doses of changes in PD15FEV1 were calculated and area under the curve (AUC) statistics were used to summarise the information from individual response curves.
Results: The increase in PD15FEV1 from baseline was greater in the FP group than in the placebo group; the difference achieved significance within 72 hours and remained significant until the end of treatment. In the FP group PD15FEV1 was 1.85–2.07 doubling doses above baseline between 72 hours and 6 weeks after starting treatment. BHR increased significantly within 2 weeks after cessation of FP treatment.
Conclusions: A sustained reduction in BHR to histamine in patients with mild asthma was achieved within 3 days of starting treatment with FP at a daily dose of 500 µg. The effect tapered within 2 weeks of cessation of treatment.
BACKGROUND: Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) to methacholine has been reported to occur in most lung transplant recipients. BHR to physical stimuli such as exercise and non-isotonic aerosols has not been as extensively studied in this subject population. This report aims to assess the presence and degree of BHR to methacholine and hypertonic saline in stable lung transplant recipients and to relate it to the presence of airway inflammation. METHODS: Ten patients undergoing bilateral sequential lung transplantation and six heart-lung transplant recipients, all with stable lung function, were recruited 66- 1167 days following transplantation. Subjects underwent a methacholine challenge and bronchoscopy for sampling of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, transbronchial and endobronchial biopsy tissues. Hypertonic saline challenge was performed six days later. RESULTS: Nine of the 16 transplant recipients had positive methacholine challenges (geometric mean PD20 0.18 mg, interquartile range 0.058-0.509) and three of these subjects also had positive hypertonic saline challenges (PD15 = 2.3, 33.0, and 51.5 ml). No clear relationship was found between BHR to either methacholine or hypertonic saline and levels of mast cells, eosinophils or lymphocytes in samples of biopsy tissue or lavage fluid. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the lung transplant recipients studied were responsive to methacholine and unresponsive to hypertonic saline. BHR was not clearly related to airway inflammation, suggesting an alternative mechanism for BHR following lung transplantation from that usually assumed in asthma.
Key features of asthma include bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), eosinophilic airway inflammation, and bronchial remodeling, characterized by subepithelial collagen deposition, airway fibrosis, and increased bronchial smooth muscle (BSM) mass. The calcium-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 is expressed by many cells implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma, and is involved in both inflammatory and remodeling responses in a number of tissues. The specific KCa3.1 blocker 5-[(2-chlorophenyl)(diphenyl)methyl]-1H-pyrazole (TRAM-34) attenuates BSM cell proliferation, and both mast cell and fibrocyte recruitment in vitro. We aimed to examine the effects of KCa3.1 blockade on BSM remodeling, airway inflammation, and BHR in a murine model of chronic asthma. BALB/c mice were sensitized with intraperitoneal ovalbumin (OVA) on Days 0 and 14, and then challenged with intranasal OVA during Days 14–75. OVA-sensitized/challenged mice received TRAM-34 (120 mg/kg/day, subcutaneous) from Days −7 to 75 (combined treatment), Days −7 to 20 (preventive treatment), or Days 21 to 75 (curative treatment). Untreated mice received daily injections of vehicle (n = 8 per group). Bronchial remodeling was assessed by histological and immunohistochemical analyses. Inflammation was evaluated using bronchoalveolar lavage and flow cytometry. We also determined BHR in both conscious and anesthetized mice via plethysmography. We demonstrated that curative treatment with TRAM-34 abolishes BSM remodeling and subbasement collagen deposition, and attenuates airway eosinophilia. Although curative treatment alone did not significantly reduce BHR, the combined treatment attenuated nonspecific BHR to methacholine. This study indicates that KCa3.1 blockade could provide a new therapeutic strategy in asthma.
asthma; KCa3.1; ion channel; remodeling; smooth muscle
Methods: Levels of eNO in a sample of 450 children aged 7–12 years out of a total sample of 2504 school children living in different urban areas near motorways were determined. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore the relationship between eNO, impairment of lung function (PEF, FVC, FEV1 and MMEF), bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), and blood eosinophilia in children with and without atopy as assessed by skin prick testing.
Results: Regression analysis showed that wheezing and nasal discharge and conjunctivitis that had occurred during the previous 12 months were positively associated with eNO levels in atopic children (relative increase of 1.48 and 1.41, respectively; p<0.05) but not in non-atopic children. Similarly, BHR and the number of blood eosinophils per ml were positively associated with eNO levels in atopic children (relative increase of 1.55 and 2.29, respectively; p<0.05) but not in non-atopic children. The lung function indices PEF, FVC, FEV1 and MMEF were not associated with eNO levels.
Conclusions: In addition to conventional lung function tests and symptom questionnaires, eNO is a suitable measure of airway inflammation and its application may reinforce the power of epidemiological surveys on respiratory health.
Eotaxin is a member of the C-C family of chemokines and is related during antigen challenge in a guinea pig model of allergic airway inflammation (asthma). Consistent with its putative role in eosinophilic inflammation, eotaxin induces the selective infiltration of eosinophils when injected into the lung and skin. Using a guinea pig lung cDNA library, we have cloned full-length eotaxin cDNA. The cDNA encodes a protein of 96 amino acids, including a putative 23-amino acid hydrophobic leader sequence, followed by 73 amino acids composing the mature active eotaxin protein. The protein-coding region of this cDNA is 73, 71, 50, and 48% identical in nucleic acid sequence to those of human macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP) 3, MCP-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP) 1 alpha, and RANTES, respectively. Analysis of genomic DNA suggested that there is a single eotaxin gene in guinea pig which is apparently conserved in mice. High constitutive levels of eotaxin mRNA expression were observed in the lung, while the intestines, stomach, spleen, liver, heart, thymus, testes, and kidney expressed lower levels. To determine if eotaxin mRNA levels are elevated during allergen-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation, ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea pigs were challenged with aerosolized antigen. Compared with the lungs from saline-challenged animals, eotaxin mRNA levels increased sixfold within 3 h and returned to baseline by 6 h. Thus, eotaxin mRNA levels are increased in response to allergen challenge during the late phase response. The identification of constitutive eotaxin mRNA expression in multiple tissues suggests that in addition to regulating airway eosinophilia, eotaxin is likely to be involved in eosinophil recruitment into other tissues as well as in baseline tissue homing.
To identify the predictive factors of early childhood wheezing in children of low socioeconomic status.
The Childhood Asthma Prevention Study (CAPS) enrolled 177 low-income children (9–24 months old) with frequent wheezing. At age 7 years, presence of asthma was assessed through caregiver reports of physician diagnosis of asthma (CRPDA) and corroborated by assessment of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). Lung function, inflammatory markers, and asthma symptom severity were compared for children with ±CRPDA, ±BHR, and asthma. Baseline predictors for CRPDA, BHR and asthma at 7 years of age were examined.
Maternal symptom report strongly differentiated children with +CRPDA (50%) despite comparable airflow measurements (p<0.0001), and spirometric lung function measurements were different for +BHR (65%) vs. −BHR (p<0.005). Univariate analyses revealed different baseline predictors of +CRPDA and +BHR for children at age 7 years. Higher levels of maternal psychological resources were associated with +CRPDA, but not +BHR. Only 39% of children with a history of frequent wheezing met the conservative definition of asthma at age 7 years, with the following significant predictors found: low birth weight, baseline symptom severity and maternal psychological resources.
This low-income, multi-ethnic group of wheezing infants represents a unique population of children with distinct characteristics and risks for persistent asthma. Determination of asthma status at 7 years of age required objective measurement of BHR in addition to CRPDA. The association of maternal psychological resources with +CRPDA may represent a previously unrecognized factor in determination of asthma status among low-income groups.
The effects of different sensitization and allergen provocation regimens on the development of allergen-induced bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR) to histamine were investigated in conscious, unrestrained guinea-pigs. Similar early and late phase asthmatic reactions, BHR for inhaled histamine after the early (6 h) as well as after the late reaction (24 h), and airway inflammation were observed after a single allergen provocation in animals sensitized to produce mainly IgG or IgE antibodies, respectively. Repeating the allergen provocation in the IgE-sensitized animals after 7 days, using identical provocation conditions, resulted in a similar development of BHR to histamine inhalation. Repetition of the allergen provocation during 4 subsequent days resulted in a decreased development of BHR after each provocation, despite a significant increase in the allergen provocation dose necessary to obtain similar airway obstruction. The number of inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage was not significantly changed after repeated provocation, when compared with a single allergen provocation. Finally, we investigated allergen-induced bronchial hyperreactivity by repetition of the sensitization procedure at day 7 and 14 (booster), followed by repeated allergen provocation twice a week for 5 weeks. Surprisingly, no BHR to histamine could be observed after either provocation, while the number of inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after 5 weeks was enhanced compared with controls. These data indicate that both IgE and IgG sensitized guinea-pigs may develop bronchial hyperreactivity after a single allergen provocation. Repeated allergen exposure of IgE sensitized animals causes a gradual fading of the induced hyperreactivity despite the on-going presence of inflammatory cells in the airways, indicating a mechanism of reduced cellular activation.
T helper (Th)17 cells producing interleukin (IL)-17 play a role in autoimmune and allergic inflammation. Here, we show that IL-23 induces IL-17 in the lung and IL-17 is required during antigen sensitization to develop allergic asthma, as shown in IL-17R–deficient mice. Since IL-17 expression increased further upon antigen challenge, we addressed its function in the effector phase. Most strikingly, neutralization of IL-17 augmented the allergic response in sensitized mice. Conversely, exogenous IL-17 reduced pulmonary eosinophil recruitment and bronchial hyperreactivity, demonstrating a novel regulatory role of IL-17. Mechanistically, IL-17 down modulated eosinophil-chemokine eotaxin (CCL11) and thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine/CCL17 (TARC) in lungs in vivo and ex vivo upon antigen restimulation. In vitro, IL-17 reduced TARC production in dendritic cells (DCs)—the major source of TARC—and antigen uptake by DCs and IL-5 and IL-13 production in regional lymph nodes. Furthermore, IL-17 is regulated in an IL-4–dependent manner since mice deficient for IL-4Rα signaling showed a marked increase in IL-17 concentration with inhibited eosinophil recruitment. Therefore, endogenous IL-17 is controlled by IL-4 and has a dual role. Although it is essential during antigen sensitization to establish allergic asthma, in sensitized mice IL-17 attenuates the allergic response by inhibiting DCs and chemokine synthesis.
The relationship between sensitisation to helminths and atopy, bronchial-hyperresponsiveness and allergic diseases may differ depending on many factors, including the genes of the population studied. We sought to examine this relationship in an African cohort.
Urban Xhosa children were tested for ascaris IgE levels, bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) by methacholine challenge, atopic sensitisation (skin tests to aeroallergens) and allergic disease (asthma, eczema and rhinitis) assessed by questionnaire.
Ascaris sensitisation was strongly associated with BHR but not with asthma, eczema or rhinitis. There was a dose-response relationship between increasing class of ascaris IgE and increased BHR (Prevalence ratio (PR) 1.75; CI 1.09-2.82). Higher levels of ascaris IgE were seen in those with BHR. Ascaris IgE was associated with atopic sensitisation to aeroallergens. There was a dose-response relationship between increasing class of ascaris IgE and sensitisation to one or more allergen (PR 1.65; CI, 1.27-2.13), sensitisation to house dust mites (HDM) (PR 1.79; CI, 1.29-2.46) and grass (PR 2.66; CI, 1.24-5.71) and number of positive skin prick tests (PR 1.78; CI, 1.27-2.49). Presence of any sensitisation to ascaris was associated with more than doubling the prevalence of HDM sensitisation (41.5 vs 18.5%) and almost quadrupling the prevalence of grass sensitisation (10.8 vs 2.8%).
Ascaris sensitisation was strongly associated with BHR and with atopy, but not with allergic diseases. Possible explanations might be that the type of ascaris infection that causes high levels of ascaris IgE in this genetic population may also favour the development of atopy or that atopics in Africa have upregulation of their defence system against parasitic infection. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive.
The definition of "clinical asthma remission" is based on absence of symptoms and use of medication. However, in the majority of these subjects airway inflammation is still present when measured. In the present study we investigated whether "complete asthma remission", additionally defined by the absence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) and the presence of a normal lung function, is associated with the absence of airway inflammation.
Patients with a former diagnosis of asthma and a positive histamine provocation test were re-examined to identify subjects with complete asthma remission (no asthma symptoms or medication, PC20 histamine > 32 mg/ml, FEV1 > 90% predicted). Patients with PC20 histamine ≤ 32 mg/ml were defined as current asthmatics and were divided in two groups, i.e. asthmatics with and without BHR to adenosine 5'monophoshate (AMP). Sputum induction was performed 1 week before and 1 hour after AMP provocation. Sputum induction and AMP provocation were previously shown to be sensitive markers of airway inflammation.
Seven patients met criteria for complete asthma remission. Twenty-three were current asthmatics, including twelve without hyperresponsiveness to AMP. Subjects with complete asthma remission showed no AMP-induced sputum eosinophilia (median (range) 0.2 (0 - 4.6)% at baseline and 0.2 (0 - 2.6)% after AMP). After AMP, current asthmatics had a significant increase in sputum eosinophils (0.5 (0 - 26.0)% at baseline and 2.6 (0 - 32.0) % after AMP), as had the subgroup of current asthmatics without hyperresponsiveness to AMP (0.2 (0 - 1.8)% at baseline and 1.3 (0 - 6.3)% after AMP).
Subjects with complete asthma remission, in contrast to subjects with current asthma, do not respond with eosinophilic inflammation in sputum after AMP provocations. These data lend support to the usefulness of the definition of complete asthma remission.
Previous studies have suggested that the asthmatic responses of airway inflammation, remodeling, and hyperresponsiveness (AHR) are interrelated; in this study, we used exercise to examine the nature of this interrelationship. Mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA); mice were then exercised via running on a motorized treadmill at a moderate intensity. Data indicate that, within the lungs of OVA-treated mice, exercise attenuated the production of inflammatory mediators, including chemokines KC, RANTES, and MCP-1 and IL-12p40/p80. Coordinately, OVA-treated and exercised mice displayed decreases in leukocyte infiltration, including eosinophils, as compared with sedentary controls. Results also show that a single bout of exercise significantly decreased phosphorylation of the NFκB p65 subunit, which regulates the gene expression of a wide variety of inflammatory mediators. In addition, OVA-treated and exercised mice exhibited decreases in the levels of Th2-derived cytokines IL-5 and IL-13 and the prostaglandin PGE2, as compared with sedentary controls. In contrast, results show that a single bout of exercise had no effect on AHR in OVA-treated mice challenged with increasing doses of aerosolized methacholine (0–50 mg/ml) as compared with sedentary mice. Exercise also had no effect on epithelial cell hypertrophy, mucus production, or airway wall thickening in OVA-treated mice as compared with sedentary controls. These findings suggest that a single bout of aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity attenuates airway inflammation but not AHR or airway remodeling in OVA-treated mice. The implication of these findings for the interrelationship between airway inflammation, airway remodeling, and AHR is discussed.
asthma; aerobic exercise; airway inflammation; remodeling; hyperresponsiveness
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.
The involvement of chemokines in inflammation is well established, but their functional role in disease progression, and particularly in the development of fibrosis, is not yet understood. To investigate the functional role that the chemokines monocyte chemoattractant protein–1 (MCP-1) and RANTES play in inflammation and the progression to fibrosis during crescentic nephritis we have developed and characterized a murine model for this syndrome. Significant increases in T-lymphocytes and macrophages were observed within glomeruli and interstitium, paralleled by an induction of mRNA expression of MCP-1 and RANTES, early after disease initiation. Blocking the function of MCP-1 or RANTES resulted in significant decreases in proteinuria as well as in numbers of infiltrating leukocytes, indicating that both MCP-1 and RANTES (regulated upon activation in normal T cells expressed and secreted) play an important role in the inflammatory phase of crescentic nephritis. In addition, neutralization of MCP-1 resulted in a dramatic decrease in both glomerular crescent formation and deposition of type I collagen. These results highlight a novel role for MCP-1 in crescent formation and development of interstitial fibrosis, and indicate that in addition to recruiting inflammatory cells this chemokine is critically involved in irreversible tissue damage.
Asthma is frequently caused and/or exacerbated by sensitization to fungal allergens, which are ubiquitous in many indoor and outdoor environments. Severe asthma with fungal sensitization is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and bronchial constriction in response to an inhaled allergen that is worsened by environmental exposure to airborne fungi and which leads to a disease course that is often very difficult to treat with standard asthma therapies. As a result of complex interactions among inflammatory cells, structural cells, and the intercellular matrix of the allergic lung, patients with sensitization to fungal allergens may experience a greater degree of airway wall remodeling and progressive, accumulated pulmonary dysfunction as part of the disease sequela. From their development in the bone marrow to their recruitment to the lung via chemokine and cytokine networks, eosinophils form an important component of the inflammatory milieu that is associated with this syndrome. Eosinophils are recognized as complex multi-factorial leukocytes with diverse functions in the context of allergic fungal asthma. In this review, we will consider recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are associated with eosinophil development and migration to the allergic lung in response to fungal inhalation, along with the eosinophil’s function in the immune response to and the immunopathology attributed to fungus-associated allergic pulmonary disease.
allergic asthma; inflammation; eosinophils; fungus
Allergic airway inflammation is characterized by elaboration of cytokines and chemokines leading to recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes, predominantly eosinophils, to the airways. Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is generated in the lungs of human subjects with asthma in response to allergen challenge and is necessary for the development of allergen-induced bronchial eosinophilia in mice. The effect of GM-CSF on human eosinophil and neutrophil interactions with the vascular endothelium under conditions of blood flow was investigated in post-capillary venules of the rabbit mesentery by intravital microscopy.
While GM-CSF significantly reduced the rolling fraction of neutrophils in vivo and induced consistent shedding of neutrophil L-selectin in vitro, its effect on eosinophil rolling was variable. Eosinophils from 57% of the donors demonstrated inhibition of rolling, while eosinophils from the remaining 43% of donors demonstrated no inhibition or increased rolling. The variable effect of GM-CSF on inhibition of eosinophil rolling was associated with variable shedding of L-selectin in vitro. In contrast to the differential effect of GM-CSF on neutrophils versus eosinophils, stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate demonstrated a similar degree of inhibition of rolling and L-selectin shedding by neutrophils and eosinophils suggesting that there was no defect in L-selectin shedding in the eosinophil donors who did not respond to GM-CSF.
Overall, these studies demonstrate that GM-CSF consistently inhibits interaction of neutrophils with endothelium in vivo, whereas its effect on eosinophil-endothelial interactions is variable. GM-CSF may thus be one factor accounting for the varying percentage of eosinophils and neutrophils recruited to sites of allergic inflammation in different individuals.
Allergic Inflammation; Cytokines; Leukocyte Rolling; L-selectin