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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Airway eosinophilia is considered a central event in the pathogenesis of asthma. The toxic components of eosinophils are thought to be important in inducing bronchial mucosal injury and dysfunction. Previous studies have suggested an interaction between nitric oxide (NO) and chemokines in modulating eosinophil functions, but this is still conflicting. In the present study, we have carried out functional assays (adhesion and degranulation) and flow cytometry analysis of adhesion molecules (VLA-4 and Mac-1 expression) to evaluate the interactions between NO and CC-chemokines (eotaxin and RANTES) in human eosinophils.
Eosinophils were purified using a percoll gradient followed by immunomagnetic cell separator. Cell adhesion and degranulation were evaluated by measuring eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) activity, whereas expression of Mac-1 and VLA-4 was detected using flow cytometry.
At 4 h incubation, both eotaxin (100 ng/ml) and RANTES (1000 ng/ml) increased by 133% and 131% eosinophil adhesion, respectively. L-NAME alone (but not D-NAME) also increased the eosinophil adhesion, but the co-incubation of L-NAME with eotaxin or RANTES did not further affect the increased adhesion seen with chemokines alone. In addition, L-NAME alone (but not D-NAME) caused a significant cell degranulation, but it did not affect the CC-chemokine-induced cell degranulation. Incubation of eosinophils with eotaxin or RANTES, in absence or presence of L-NAME, did not affect the expression of VLA-4 and Mac-1 on eosinophil surface. Eotaxin and RANTES (100 ng/ml each) also failed to elevate the cyclic GMP levels above baseline in human eosinophils.
Eotaxin and RANTES increase the eosinophil adhesion to fibronectin-coated plates and promote cell degranulation by NO-independent mechanisms. The failure of CC-chemokines to affect VLA-4 and Mac-1 expression suggests that changes in integrin function (avidity or affinity) are rather involved in the enhanced adhesion.
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
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 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
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.
chemokines; allergic inflammation; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; eosinophilia; leukocytes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steroid treatment of allergic eosinophilic airway diseases is considered to attenuate cell recruitment by inhibiting several chemokines and to cause eosinophil clearance through inducement of apoptosis of these cells. However, roles of these mechanisms in the actions of steroids in vivo have not been fully established. Also, as regards clearance of tissue eosinophils other mechanisms than apoptosis may operate in vivo.
This study explores anti-inflammatory effects of steroids instituted during either development or resolution of airway allergic inflammation.
Immunized mice were subjected to week-long daily allergen challenges (ovalbumin). Steroid treatment was instituted either amidst the challenges or exclusively post-allergen challenge. CC chemokines, goblet cell hyperplasia, occurrence of eosinophil apoptosis, and airway tissue as well as lumen eosinophilia were examined at different time-points.
Daily steroids instituted amid the allergen challenges non-selectively attenuated a range of chemokines, permitted egression of tissue eosinophils into airway lumen to increase, and reduced development of lung tissue eosinophilia. Steroid treatment instituted post-challenge selectively inhibited the CC-chemokine regulation upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secrted (RANTES), permitted continued egression of eosinophils into airway lumen, and resolved the tissue eosinophilia. Eosinophil apoptosis rarely occurred at development and resolution of the allergic eosinophilic inflammation whether the animals were steroid treated or not. However, anti-Fas monoclonal antibodies given to mice with established eosinophilia post-challenge produced apoptosis of the tissue eosinophils indicating that apoptotic eosinophils, if they occur, are well detectible in vivo.
Airway tissue eosinophils are likely eliminated through egression into airway lumen with little involvement of apoptosis and phagocytosis. Our data further suggest that therapeutic steroids may resolve airway inflammation by permitting clearance of tissue eosinophils through egression and inhibiting RANTES-dependent cell recruitment to lung tissues.
apoptosis; asthma; chemokines; glucocorticoids
Recent studies suggest that erythromycin can suppress the production of some cytokines and may be an effective treatment for asthma. Eosinophil chemotactic cytokines have been suggested to contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma by the recruitment of eosinophils. We hypothesized that erythromycin modulates eosinophil chemotactic cytokine production. To test the hypothesis, we evaluated the potential of erythromycin to modulate the release of eosinophil chemoattractants from the human lung fibroblast cell line HFL-1. HFL-1 released eotaxin, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and regulated and normal T-cell expressed and presumably secreted (RANTES) in response to interleukin-1β or tumor necrosis factor alpha. Erythromycin attenuated the release of these cytokines and eosinophil chemotactic activity by the HFL-1. The suppressive effect on eotaxin was the most marked of these cytokines. Erythromycin therapy also suppressed eotaxin mRNA significantly. These results suggest a mechanism that may account for the apparent beneficial action of macrolide antibiotics in the treatment of allergic airway disorders.
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
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.
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
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.
allergy; cytokines; eosinophils; lung; inflammation
Leukocyte infiltration into inflammatory sites is regulated by the expression of adhesion and activation proteins, yet the role of these proteins in shear-dependent transmigration is poorly understood. We examined eosinophil recruitment on cytokine-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) under laminar flow conditions. Eosinophils rapidly transmigrated on interleukin (IL)-4–, but not TNF-stimulated HUVECs. Transmigration was shear dependent, with up to 90% of eosinophils transmigrating in the presence of shear and less than 25% of cells transmigrating under static conditions. Eosinophils express CC chemokine receptor CCR3 and are responsive to various CC chemokines. The effects of chemokines are mediated primarily through Gαi, which is pertussis toxin sensitive. Greater than 65% of shear-dependent eosinophil transmigration on IL-4–stimulated HUVECs was blocked by either pertussis toxin or by an anti-CCR3 monoclonal antibody. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blots, we found that IL-4–stimulated HUVECs produce both mRNA and protein for eotaxin-3. Eotaxin-3 was both released by HUVECs and expressed on the endothelial cell surface. Pretreatment of HUVECs with an anti–eotaxin-3 antibody blocked eosinophil transmigration to the same extent as an anti-CCR3 antibody. These results indicate that IL-4–stimulated HUVECs support shear-dependent eosinophil transmigration by upregulating eotaxin-3, and that surface association is critical for the role of eotaxin-3 in transmigration.
chemokines; cell adhesion; cytokines; trafficking; leukocytes