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
Eosinophils not only defend the body against parasitic infection but are also involved in pathological inflammatory allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and contact dermatitis. Clearance of apoptotic eosinophils by macrophages is a key process responsible for driving the resolution of eosinophilic inflammation and can be defective in allergic diseases. However, enhanced resolution of eosinophilic inflammation by deliberate induction of eosinophil apoptosis using pharmacological agents has not been previously demonstrated. Here we investigated the effect of a novel cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor drug, AT7519, on human and mouse eosinophil apoptosis and examined whether it could enhance the resolution of a murine model of eosinophil-dominant inflammation in vivo.
Eosinophils from blood of healthy donors were treated with AT7519 and apoptosis assessed morphologically and by flow-cytometric detection of annexin-V/propidium iodide staining. AT7519 induced eosinophil apoptosis in a concentration dependent manner. Therapeutic administration of AT7519 in eosinophil-dominant allergic inflammation was investigated using an established ovalbumin-sensitised mouse model of allergic pleurisy. Following ovalbumin challenge AT7519 was administered systemically at the peak of pleural inflammation and inflammatory cell infiltrate, apoptosis and evidence of macrophage phagocytosis of apoptotic eosinophils assessed at appropriate time points. Administration of AT7519 dramatically enhanced the resolution of allergic pleurisy via direct induction of eosinophil apoptosis without detriment to macrophage clearance of these cells. This enhanced resolution of inflammation was shown to be caspase-dependent as the effects of AT7519 were reduced by treatment with a broad spectrum caspase inhibitor (z-vad-fmk).
Our data show that AT7519 induces human eosinophil apoptosis and enhances the resolution of a murine model of allergic pleurisy by inducing caspase-dependent eosinophil apoptosis and enhancing macrophage ingestion of apoptotic eosinophils. These findings demonstrate the utility of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors such as AT7519 as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of eosinophil dominant allergic disorders.
Fas receptor-mediated eosinophil apoptosis is currently forwarded as a mechanism resolving asthma-like inflammation. This view is based on observations in vitro and in airway lumen with unknown translatability to airway tissues in vivo. In fact, apoptotic eosinophils have not been detected in human diseased airway tissues whereas cytolytic eosinophils abound and constitute a major mode of degranulation of these cells. Also, Fas receptor stimulation may bypass the apoptotic pathway and directly evoke cytolysis of non-apoptotic cells. We thus hypothesized that effects of anti-Fas mAb in vivo may include both apoptosis and cytolysis of eosinophils and, hence, that established eosinophilic inflammation may not resolve by this treatment.
Weeklong daily allergen challenges of sensitized mice were followed by airway administration of anti-Fas mAb. BAL was performed and airway-pulmonary tissues were examined using light and electron microscopy. Lung tissue analysis for CC-chemokines, apoptosis, mucus production and plasma exudation (fibrinogen) were performed.
Anti-Fas mAb evoked apoptosis of 28% and cytolysis of 4% of eosinophils present in allergen-challenged airway tissues. Furthermore, a majority of the apoptotic eosinophils remained unengulfed and eventually exhibited secondary necrosis. A striking histopathology far beyond the allergic inflammation developed and included degranulated eosinophils, neutrophilia, epithelial derangement, plasma exudation, mucus-plasma plugs, and inducement of 6 CC-chemokines. In animals without eosinophilia anti-Fas evoked no inflammatory response.
An efficient inducer of eosinophil apoptosis in airway tissues in vivo, anti-Fas mAb evoked unprecedented asthma-like inflammation in mouse allergic airways. This outcome may partly reflect the ability of anti-Fas to evoke direct cytolysis of non-apoptotic eosinophils in airway tissues. Additionally, since most apoptotic tissue eosinophils progressed into the pro-inflammatory cellular fate of secondary necrosis this may also explain the aggravated inflammation. Our data indicate that Fas receptor mediated eosinophil apoptosis in airway tissues in vivo may cause severe disease exacerbation due to direct cytolysis and secondary necrosis of eosinophils.
asthma; allergy; eosinophils; apoptosis; chemokines
Allergic asthma is strongly associated with the exposure to house dust mite (HDM) and is characterized by eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Recently, there is an increased interest in using dietary oligosaccharides, also known as prebiotics, as a novel strategy to prevent the development of, or reduce, symptoms of allergy.
We investigated the preventive capacity of dietary galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) compared to an intra-airway therapeutic treatment with budesonide on the development of HDM-induced allergic asthma in mice.
BALB/c mice were intranasally sensitized with 1 μg HDM on day 0 followed by daily intranasal challenge with PBS or 10 μg HDM on days 7 to 11. Two weeks prior to the first sensitization and throughout the experiment mice were fed a control diet or a diet containing 1% GOS. Reference mice were oropharyngeally instilled with budesonide (500 μg/kg) on days 7, 9, 11, and 13, while being fed the control diet. On day 14, AHR was measured by nebulizing increasing doses of methacholine into the airways. At the end of the experiment, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lungs were collected.
Sensitization and challenge with HDM resulted in AHR. In contrast to budesonide, dietary intervention with 1% GOS prevented the development of AHR. HDM sensitization and challenge resulted in a significant increase in BALF leukocytes numbers, which was suppressed by budesonide treatment and dietary intervention with 1% GOS. Moreover, HDM sensitization and challenge resulted in significantly enhanced concentrations of IL-6, CCL17, IL-33, CCL5 and IL-13 in lung tissue. Both dietary intervention with 1% GOS or budesonide treatment significantly decreased the HDM-induced increased concentrations of CCL5 and IL-13 in lung tissue, while budesonide also reduced the HDM-enhanced concentrations of IL-6 and CCL17 in lung tissue.
Not only did dietary intervention with 1% GOS during sensitization and challenge prevent the induction of airway eosinophilia and Th2-related cytokine and chemokine concentrations in the lung equally effective as budesonide treatment, it also prevented AHR development in HDM-allergic mice. GOS might be useful for the prevention and/or treatment of symptoms in asthmatic disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12931-015-0171-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Asthma; House dust mite; Galacto-oligosaccharide; Budesonide
of eosinophils in target tissues is considered a key pathogenic event
in major chronic eosinophilic diseases. However, because of a lack of
appropriate methods, little is known about degranulation of eosinophils
in common eosinophilic diseases.
transmission electron microscopic (TEM) analysis, a novel approach has
been devised and validated to quantify eosinophil degranulation in
human tissues (assessed in individual cells as percentage granules with
structural signs of protein release). Biopsy specimens from patients
with inflammatory bowel disease, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and nasal
polyposis were evaluated.
displayed a similar degree of local tissue eosinophilia, with no
differences being observed in eosinophil numbers in the airway mucosa
of patients with airway diseases and the colonic mucosa of those with
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In contrast, marked differences in
the mean (SE) extent of eosinophil degranulation were observed between
the patient groups; IBD 9.3(1.4)% altered granules, artificial and
natural allergen challenge induced allergic rhinitis 67.8 (6.8)% and
86.6 (3.0)%, respectively, asthma 18.1 (2)%, and nasal polyposis 46.6 (7.6)%.
study provides the first quantitative data which show that different
eosinophilic conditions, despite having similar numbers of tissue
eosinophils, may exhibit markedly different degranulation patterns. The
present assessment of piecemeal degranulation would thus make it
possible to delineate the conditions under which eosinophils are likely
to contribute to disease processes. This novel type of analysis may
also guide and validate anti-eosinophilic treatment options.
desirable to prescribe the minimal effective dose of inhaled steroids
to control asthma. To ensure that inflammation is suppressed whilst
using the lowest possible dose, a sensitive and specific method for
assessing airway inflammation is needed.
of exhaled nitric oxide (NO), sputum eosinophils, and methacholine
airway responsiveness (PC20) for monitoring airway
inflammatory changes following four weeks of treatment with an inhaled
corticosteroid (budesonide via Turbohaler) were compared. Mild stable
steroid naive asthmatic subjects were randomised into two double blind,
placebo controlled studies. The first was a parallel group study
involving three groups receiving either 100 µg/day budesonide (n = 8), 400 µg/day budesonide (n = 7), or a matched placebo (n = 6). The
second was a crossover study involving 10 subjects randomised to
receive 1600 µg budesonide or placebo. The groups were matched with
respect to age, PC20, baseline FEV1 (% predicted), exhaled NO, and sputum eosinophilia.
significant improvements in FEV1 following 400 µg and
1600 µg budesonide (11.3% and 6.5%, respectively, p<0.05). This
was accompanied by significant reductions in eosinophil numbers in
induced sputum (0.7 and 0.9 fold, p<0.05). However, levels of exhaled
NO were reduced following each budesonide dose while PC20
was improved only with 1600 µg budesonide. These results suggest
that exhaled NO and PC20 may not reflect the control of airway inflammation as accurately as the number of eosinophils in
sputum. There were dose dependent changes in exhaled NO, sputum eosinophils, and PC20 to inhaled budesonide but a plateau
response of exhaled NO was found at a dose of 400 µg daily.
the number of eosinophils in induced sputum may be the most accurate
guide to establish the minimum dose of inhaled steroids needed to
control inflammation. This, however, requires further studies involving
a larger number of patients.
In this study, we have investigated CD40 expression in human peripheral blood eosinophils and in human chronically inflamed nasal tissues, i.e., nasal polyps. We show by both reverse transcriptase-PCR and Northern blot analysis that eosinophils from allergic subjects express human CD40 mRNA. We also show that constitutive CD40 mRNA expression in eosinophils could be upregulated by exposure to IgA immune complexes and downregulated by IL-10 and the synthetic steroid budesonide. In addition, we demonstrate that eosinophils express CD40 protein by flow cytometry. Such expression is biologically functional as cross-linking CD40 with CD40 mAbs enhances eosinophil survival in a dose-dependent fashion; in addition, CD40 ligation stimulates eosinophils to release GM-CSF. CD40-mediated eosinophil survival was largely inhibited by an anti-GM-CSF neutralizing antibody suggesting GM-CSF involvement in the survival enhancing mechanism. CD40 mRNA was also detected in total RNA extracted from nasal polyp tissues but not in RNA isolated from normal nasal mucosa (inferior turbinate); by immunohistochemistry, we were able to detect immunoreactive CD40 protein in a variety of cell types in the polyp stroma, but primarily in eosinophils. These observations suggest previously unforeseen interactions between eosinophils and cells expressing the CD40 ligand and, thus, novel pathways by which eosinophils may contribute to the regulation of airway inflammation.
Eosinophils and lymphocytes are pathogenically important in allergic inflammation and sensitive to Fas-mediated apoptosis. Fas Ligand (FasL) activity therefore should play a role in regulating the allergic immune response. We aimed to characterize the role of FasL expression in airway eosinophilia in Aspergillus fumigatus (Af)-induced sensitization, and to determine if FasL neutralization alters the inflammatory response.
Sensitized Balb/c mice were sacrificed before (Day 0) and 1, 7 and 10 days after a single intranasal challenge with Af. Animals received either neutralizing antibody to FasL (clone MFL4) or irrelevant hamster IgG via intraperitoneal injection on Days -1 and 5. FasL expression, BAL and tissue inflammatory cell and cytokine profile, and apoptosis were assessed.
Post challenge FasL gene expression in BAL cells and TUNEL positivity in the airways coincided with the height of inflammatory cell influx on Day 1 while soluble FasL protein was released on Day 7, preceding resolution of the inflammatory changes. Although eosinophil numbers showed a negative correlation with soluble FasL levels in the airways, MBP+ eosinophils remained TUNEL negative in the submucosal tissue, throughout the 10-day period after Af challenge. Systemic FasL neutralization significantly enhanced BAL and tissue eosinophil counts. This effect was associated with increased activation of T cells and release of IL-5, IL-9 and GM-CSF in the BAL fluid of mice indicating an involvement of pro-eosinophilic survival pathways.
FasL activity may play an active role in resolving eosinophilic inflammation through regulating T cells and pro-eosinophilic cytokine release during the allergic airway response.
Allergen Challenge; Animal Models; Asthma; Eosinophil; Fas Ligand
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
Tissue eosinophilia is a characteristic feature of a number of inflammatory diseases including asthma and nasal polyposis. Eosinophil migration into tissues is controlled in part by interactions between eosinophil adhesion receptors and counter-structures on the vascular endothelium. To determine the receptors used by eosinophils to adhere to vascular endothelium in allergic inflammation we have adapted the Stamper-Woodruff frozen section assay (FSA) to study eosinophil adhesion to nasal polyp endothelium. Immunohistology indicated that intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), E-selectin and P-selectin were well expressed by nasal polyp endothelium, whereas expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) was weak or absent. Unstimulated human peripheral blood eosinophils adhered specifically to nasal polyp endothelium. Adherence was temperature and divalent cation- dependent and saturable at cell densities > 5 x 10(6) cells/ml. Eosinophil adhesion was almost completely inhibited by a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against P-selectin and by a chimeric molecule consisting of the Fc portion of human IgG and the lectin binding domain of P- selectin, which binds to the P-selectin ligand on leucocytes. Anti-Mac- 1 mAb partially inhibited eosinophil adhesion whereas mAb against E- selectin, L-selectin, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, very late activation antigen 4, and lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 had no effect. P-selectin is stored in intracellular granules within the endothelial cell and in vitro is only transiently expressed. To determine if P-selectin was expressed on the membrane of the nasal polyp endothelium we compared P- selectin expression in normal skin and nasal polyps after acetone fixation, which permeabilizes cells, and paraformaldehyde, which only allows staining of membrane expressed receptors. In the skin, good expression was seen with acetone fixation but no expression was seen after paraformaldehyde treatment, whereas in nasal polyps, similar expression was observed with both fixatives. In addition immunofluorescence with confocal microscopy demonstrated lumenal staining of nasal polyp endothelium indicating that P-selectin was located on the surface of endothelial cells while in skin only an intracellular granular distribution was apparent. Lastly, whereas eosinophils bound consistently to nasal polyp endothelium, no binding was observed to blood vessels in normal skin further supporting the idea that eosinophils were binding to membrane expressed and not intracellular P-selectin. The importance of P-selectin in eosinophil adhesion to nasal polyp endothelium suggests that P-selectin antagonists may be effective at inhibiting eosinophil accumulation at sites of allergic inflammation.
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.
IL-33 activates eosinophils directly via the ST2 receptor. Like IL-5, IL-33 induces eosinophilia and eosinophilic airway inflammation in mouse models and primes human eosinophil responses. Previously, we reported that IL-5 priming enhances Siglec-8 mediated mitochondrial and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent eosinophilic apoptosis and eliminates caspase dependence of this cell death process. Whether IL-33, like IL-5, augments pro-apoptotic pathways involving receptors such as Siglec-8 and in a similar manner has not been explored. Annexin-V labeling was performed to detect apoptosis in human eosinophils pre-incubated with or without a range of concentrations of IL-33 and/or IL-5 in the presence or absence of Siglec-8 monoclonal antibody (mAb) 2C4 and inhibitors of caspases. Tetramethyl-rhoda-mine staining was used as a marker of mitochondrial membrane potential loss and injury. ROS production was determined by measuring the superoxide dismutase-inhibitable reduction of cytochrome c. Cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was assessed using Western blotting. Eosinophils cultured alone or with mAb 2C4 underwent low levels of apoptosis at 24 h. 2C4-induced eosinophil apoptosis was markedly and equally enhanced after culture for 24 h with either IL-33 or IL-5, although IL-5 was more potent. Effects on apoptosis with IL-33 and IL-5 were synergistic. In contrast, percentages of cells exhibiting reduced mitochondrial membrane potential were greater with IL-33 than IL-5 and effects of these cytokines were also synergistic. Antimycin, an inhibitor of mitochondrial electron transport, almost completely inhibited 2C4-induced apoptosis with either IL-33 or IL-5. Surprisingly, 2C4-induced eosinophil ROS production was significantly enhanced with IL-5 but not IL-33. Siglec-8-mediated apoptosis in the presence of IL-33 was more sensitive in magnitude than IL-5 to inhibition by the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK, yet both cytokine conditions were associated with PARP cleavage. These data demonstrate that IL-33 is as effective but less potent than IL-5 in enhancing Siglec-8-mediated eosinophil apoptosis, and can synergize with IL-5. Eosinophils primed by IL-33 and/or IL-5 in vivo would be expected to display enhanced susceptibility to undergoing Siglec-8-induced apoptosis.
Siglec-8; IL-33; Eosinophils; Apoptosis; Reactive oxygen species
Surfactant protein-A (SP-A) has well-established functions in reducing bacterial and viral infections but its role in chronic lung diseases such as asthma is unclear. Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Mp) frequently colonizes the airways of chronic asthmatics and is thought to contribute to exacerbations of asthma. Our lab has previously reported that during Mp infection of non-allergic airways, SP-A aides in maintaining airway homeostasis by inhibiting an overzealous TNF-alpha mediated response and, in allergic mice, SP-A regulates eosinophilic infiltration and inflammation of the airway. In the current study, we used an in vivo model with wild type (WT) and SP-A−/− allergic mice challenged with the model antigen ovalbumin (Ova) that were concurrently infected with Mp (Ova+Mp) to test the hypothesis that SP-A ameliorates Mp-induced stimulation of eosinophils. Thus, SP-A could protect allergic airways from injury due to release of eosinophil inflammatory products. SP-A deficient mice exhibit significant increases in inflammatory cells, mucus production and lung damage during concurrent allergic airway disease and infection (Ova+Mp) as compared to the WT mice of the same treatment group. In contrast, SP-A deficient mice have significantly decreased Mp burden compared to WT mice. The eosinophil specific factor, eosinophil peroxidase (EPO), which has been implicated in pathogen killing and also in epithelial dysfunction due to oxidative damage of resident lung proteins, is enhanced in samples from allergic/infected SP-A−/− mice as compared to WT mice. In vitro experiments using purified eosinophils and human SP-A suggest that SP-A limits the release of EPO from Mp-stimulated eosinophils thereby reducing their killing capacity. These findings are the first to demonstrate that although SP-A interferes with eosinophil-mediated biologic clearance of Mp by mediating the interaction of Mp with eosinophils, SP-A simultaneously benefits the airway by limiting inflammation and damage.
Glucocorticoids can either suppress gene transcription (transrepression) or activate it (transactivation). This latter process may contribute to certain side effects caused by these agents. Mapracorat (also known as BOL-303242-X or ZK 245186) is a novel selective glucocorticoid receptor agonist that maintains a beneficial anti-inflammatory activity but seems to be less effective in transactivation, resulting in a lower potential for side effects; it has been proposed for the topical treatment of inflammatory skin disorders. This study assessed the anti-allergic activity of mapracorat at the ocular level and whether eosinophils and mast cells are targets of its action.
With in vitro studies apoptosis was evaluated in human eosinophils by flow cytometry and western blot of caspase-3 fragments. Eosinophil migration toward platelet-activating factor was evaluated by transwell assays. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5)/regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed, and presumably secreted (RANTES) were measured using a high-throughput multiplex luminex technology. Annexin I and the chemochine receptor C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) were detected by flow cytometry. With in vivo studies, allergic conjunctivitis was induced in guinea pigs sensitized to ovalbumin by an ocular allergen challenge and evaluated by a clinical score. Conjunctival eosinophils were determined by microscopy or eosinophil peroxidase assay.
In cultured human eosinophils, mapracorat showed the same potency as dexamethasone but displayed higher efficacy in increasing spontaneous apoptosis and in counteracting cytokine-sustained eosinophil survival. These effects were prevented by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone. Mapracorat inhibited eosinophil migration and IL-8 release from eosinophils or the release of IL-6, IL-8, CCL5/RANTES, and TNF-α from a human mast cell line with equal potency as dexamethasone, whereas it was clearly less potent than this glucocorticoid in inducing annexin I and CXCR4 expression on the human eosinophil surface; this was taken as a possible sign of glucocorticoid-dependent transactivation. In the guinea pig, mapracorat or dexamethasone eye drops induced an analogous reduction in clinical symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis and conjunctival eosinophil accumulation.
Mapracorat appears to be a promising candidate for the topical treatment of allergic eye disorders. It maintains an anti-allergic profile similar to that of dexamethasone but seems to have fewer transactivation effects in comparison to this classical glucocorticoid. Some of its cellular targets may contribute to eosinophil apoptosis and/or to preventing their recruitment and activation and to inhibiting the release of cytokines and chemokines.
Mapracorat, a novel nonsteroidal selective glucocorticoid receptor agonist, has been proposed for the topical treatment of inflammatory disorders as it binds with high affinity and selectivity to the human glucocorticoid receptor and displays a potent anti-inflammatory activity, but seems to be less effective in transactivation of a number of genes, resulting in a lower potential for side effects. Contrary to classical glucocorticoids, mapracorat displays a reduced ability to increase intraocular pressure and in inducing myocilin, a protein linked to intraocular pressure elevation. Allergic conjunctivitis is the most common form of ocular allergy and can be divided into an early phase, developing immediately after allergen exposure and driven primarily by mast cell degranulation, and a late phase, developing from 6–10 hours after the antigen challenge, and characterized by conjunctival infiltration of eosinophils and other immune cells as well as by the production of cytokines and chemokines.
In this study, mapracorat was administered into the conjunctival sac of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea pigs 2 hours after the induction of allergic conjunctivitis, with the aim of investigating its activity in reducing clinical signs of the late-phase ocular reaction and to determine its mechanism of anti-allergic effects with respect to apoptosis of conjunctival eosinophils and expression of the chemokines C-C motif ligand 5 (CCL5), C-C motif ligand 11 (CCL11), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) and the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α).
Mapracorat, administered into the conjunctival sac of OVA-sensitized guinea pigs 2 hours after allergen exposure, was effective in reducing clinical signs, eosinophil infiltration, and eosinophil peroxidase activity in the guinea pig conjunctiva; furthermore, it reduced conjunctival mRNA levels and protein expression of both CCL5 and CCL11. Mapracorat was more effective than dexamethasone in increasing, in conjunctival sections of OVA-treated guinea pigs, apoptotic eosinophils.
Mapracorat displays anti-allergic properties in controlling the late phase of ocular allergic conjunctivitis and is a promising candidate for the topical treatment of allergic eye disorders.
allergic conjunctivitis; late-phase response; eosinophil
Many subjects with asthma exhibit sputum eosinophilia associated with exacerbations. Benralizumab targets eosinophils by binding interleukin-5 receptor alpha, inducing apoptosis via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity.
To evaluate the safety of benralizumab in adults with eosinophilic asthma, and its effects on eosinophil counts in airway mucosal/submucosal biopsies, sputum, bone marrow, and peripheral blood.
In this multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase I study, 13 subjects were randomized to single intravenous placebo or benralizumab 1 mg/kg (day 0) [Cohort 1], and 14 subjects were randomized to three monthly subcutaneous doses of placebo or benralizumab 100 or 200 mg (days 0, 28, and 56) [Cohort 2]. Cohorts 1 and 2 were consecutive.
The incidence of adverse events was similar between groups. No serious adverse events related to benralizumab occurred. Cohort 1: intravenous benralizumab produced a median decrease from baseline of 61.9% in airway mucosal eosinophils (day 28; placebo: +19.6%; P = .28), 18.7% (day 21) in sputum and 100% (day 28) in blood. Eosinophils were not detectable in bone marrow of benralizumab-treated subjects (day 28, n=4). Cohort 2: subcutaneous benralizumab demonstrated a combined (100 + 200 mg) median reduction of 95.8% in airway eosinophils (day 84; placebo −46.7%; P = .06), 89.9% (day 28) in sputum and 100% (day 84) in blood.
Single-dose intravenous and multiple-dose subcutaneous benralizumab reduced eosinophil counts in airway mucosa/submucosa and sputum, and suppressed eosinophils in bone marrow and peripheral blood. The safety profile supports further development. Additional studies are needed to assess clinical benefit in asthma.
eosinophils; IL-5; IL-5 receptors; asthma; antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity
Th17 cells and IL-17A play a role in the development and progression of allergic diseases. We analyzed the IL-17A levels in sputum supernatants (Ss), nasal wash (NW) and plasma (P) from Healthy Controls (HC) and children with Asthma/Rhinitis. We tested the expression of IL-17A, RORγ(t) and FOXP3 in peripheral blood T-lymphocytes from intermittent and mild-moderate asthma. The effect of Budesonide and Formoterol was tested “in vitro” on IL-17A, RORγ(t) and FOXP3 expression in cultured T-lymphocytes from mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis patients, and on nasal and bronchial epithelial cells stimulated with NW and Ss from mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis. Further, the effect of 12 weeks of treatment with Budesonide and Formoterol was tested “in vivo” in T-lymphocytes from mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis patients. IL-17A was increased in Ss, NW and P from children with mild-moderate asthma compared with intermittent and HC. In cultured T-lymphocytes IL-17A and RORγ(t) expression were higher in mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis than in mild-moderate asthma/intermittent rhinitis, while FOXP3 was reduced. Budesonide with Formoterol reduced IL-17A and RORγ(t), while increased FOXP3 in cultured T-lymphocytes from mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis, and reduced the IL-8 release mediated by IL-17A present in NW and Ss from mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis in nasal and bronchial epithelial cells. Finally, Budesonide with Formoterol reduced IL-17A levels in P and Ss, CD4+IL-17A+T-cells, in naïve children with mild-moderate asthma/persistent rhinitis after 12 weeks of treatment. Th17 mediated immunity may be involved in the airway disease of children with allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis. Budesonide with Formoterol might be a useful tool for its therapeutic control.
Staphylococcus aureus, a major human pathogen, exacerbates allergic disorders, including atopic dermatitis, nasal polyps and asthma, which are characterized by tissue eosinophilia. Eosinophils, via their destructive granule contents, can cause significant tissue damage, resulting in inflammation and further recruitment of inflammatory cells. We hypothesised that the relationship between S. aureus and eosinophils may contribute to disease pathology. We found that supernatants from S. aureus (SH1000 strain) cultures cause rapid and profound eosinophil necrosis, resulting in dramatic cell loss within 2 hours. This is in marked contrast to neutrophil granulocytes where no significant cell death was observed (at equivalent dilutions). Supernatants prepared from a strain deficient in the accessory gene regulator (agr) that produces reduced levels of many important virulence factors, including the abundantly produced α-hemolysin (Hla), failed to induce eosinophil death. The role of Hla in mediating eosinophil death was investigated using both an Hla deficient SH1000-modified strain, which did not induce eosinophil death, and purified Hla, which induced concentration-dependent eosinophil death via both apoptosis and necrosis. We conclude that S. aureus Hla induces aberrant eosinophil cell death in vitro and that this may increase tissue injury in allergic disease.
The CC-chemokine receptor-3 (CCR3) has emerged as a target molecule for pharmacological intervention in allergic inflammation.
To examine whether a dual CCR3 and H1-receptor antagonist (AZD3778) affects allergic inflammation and symptoms in allergic rhinitis.
Patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis were subjected to three seven days' allergen challenge series. Treatment with AZD3778 was given in a placebo and antihistamine-controlled design. Symptoms and nasal peak inspiratory flow (PIF) were monitored in the morning, ten minutes post challenge, and in the evening. Nasal lavages were carried out at the end of each challenge series and α2-macroglobulin, ECP, and tryptase were monitored as indices of allergic inflammation.
Plasma levels of AZD3778 were stable throughout the treatment series. AZD3778 and the antihistamine (loratadine) reduced rhinitis symptoms recorded ten minutes post challenge during this period. AZD3778, but not the anti-histamine, also improved nasal PIF ten minutes post challenge. Furthermore, scores for morning and evening nasal symptoms from the last five days of the allergen challenge series showed statistically significant reductions for AZD3778, but not for loratadine. ECP was reduced by AZD3778, but not by loratadine.
AZD3778 exerts anti-eosinophil and symptom-reducing effects in allergic rhinitis and part of this effect can likely be attributed to CCR3-antagonism. The present data are of interest with regard to the potential use of AZD3778 in allergic rhinitis and to the relative importance of eosinophil actions to the symptomatology of allergic rhinitis.
EudraCT No: 2005-002805-21.
TNFα may contribute to the pathophysiology of airway inflammation. For example, we have recently shown that nasal administration of TNFα produces late phase co-appearance of granulocyte and plasma exudation markers on the mucosal surface. The objective of the present study was to examine indices of granulocyte presence and activity in response to intranasal TNFα challenge.
Healthy subjects and patients with allergic rhinitis (examined out of season) were subjected to nasal challenge with TNFα (10 μg) in a sham-controlled and crossover design. Nasal lavages were carried out prior to and 24 hours post challenge. Nasal biopsies were obtained post challenge. Nasal lavage fluid levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) were analyzed as indices of neutrophil and eosinophil activity. Moreover, IL-8 and α2-macroglobulin were analyzed as markers of pro-inflammatory cytokine production and plasma exudation. Nasal biopsy numbers of neutrophils and eosinophils were monitored.
Nasal lavage fluid levels of MPO recorded 24 hours post TNFα challenge were increased in healthy subjects (p = 0.0081) and in patients with allergic rhinitis (p = 0.0081) (c.f. sham challenge). Similarly, α2-macroglobulin was increased in healthy subjects (p = 0.014) and in patients with allergic rhinitis (p = 0.0034). Lavage fluid levels of ECP and IL-8 were not affected by TNFα challenge. TNFα increased the numbers of subepithelial neutrophils (p = 0.0021), but not the numbers of eosinophils.
TNFα produces a nasal inflammatory response in humans that is characterised by late phase (i.e., 24 hours post challenge) neutrophil activity and plasma exudation.
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.
Due to the key role of the lung in efficient transfer of oxygen in exchange for carbon dioxide, a controlled inflammatory response is essential for restoration of tissue homeostasis following airway exposure to bacterial pathogens or environmental toxins. Unregulated or prolonged inflammatory responses in the lungs can lead to tissue damage, disrupting normal tissue architecture, and consequently compromising efficient gaseous exchange. Failure to resolve inflammation underlies the development and/or progression of a number of inflammatory lung diseases including asthma. Eosinophils, granulocytic cells of the innate immune system, are primarily involved in defense against parasitic infections. However, the propagation of the allergic inflammatory response in chronic asthma is thought to involve excessive recruitment and impaired apoptosis of eosinophils together with defective phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells (efferocytosis). In terms of therapeutic approaches for the treatment of asthma, the widespread use of glucocorticoids is associated with a number of adverse health consequences after long-term use, while some patients suffer from steroid-resistant disease. A new approach for therapeutic intervention would be to promote the resolution of inflammation via modulation of eosinophil apoptosis and the phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells. This review focuses on the mechanisms underpinning eosinophil-mediated lung damage, currently available treatments and therapeutic targets that might in future be harnessed to facilitate inflammation resolution by the manipulation of cell survival and clearance pathways.
eosinophil; lung; inflammation; apoptosis; phagocytosis; allergy; airway; resolution
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) may play an important role in both inflammation and remodeling of nasal polyposis. The aim of the current study was to compare the expression levels of MMPs and TIMP-1 between nasal mucosa and polyps, and to evaluate the effect of corticosteroid treatment in their expression in nasal polyps.
Nasal mucosa (NM, n = 12) were obtained from patients undergoing nasal corrective surgery while nasal polyp biopsies (NP, n = 33) were obtained from patients before (week 0) and after 2 (week 2) and 12 (week 12) weeks of corticoisteroid treatment (oral prednisone for 2 weeks and intranasal budesonide for 12 weeks). Matrix metalloproteases (MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases type 1 (TIMP-1) expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in tissue structural cells (epithelium, glands, vessels) and eosinophils.
MMP and TIMP-1 expression were found in the epithelium, glands, vessels (in both NM and NP), and in eosinophils (only in NP). Expression of MMP-7 in epithelium (34% of tissues) and MMP-9 (19%) in glands was lower (P < 0.05) in NP than in NM (78 and 67%, respectively). Corticoisteroid treatment reduced tissue eosinophilia (Eos/5 fields) at week 2 (8.0 ± 2.9, P = 0.001) and week 12 (10.0 ± 2.3, P < 0.003) compared to week 0 (25.5 ± 8.4); and also decreased the expression of MMPs and TIMP-1 in eosinophils at week 2 and week 12 compared to week 0 (P < 0.05). In the epithelium, corticosteroids increased MMP-7 and TIMP-1 at week 2 and week 12, while decreased MMP-9 at week 12 (P < 0.05). In vessels, corticosteroids increased MMP-9 at week 2 and decreased MMP-1 at week 12 (P < 0.05). No effects were found in the glands.
Treatment of nasal polyposis with corticosteroids reduces both tissue eosinophilia and MMP expression in eosinophils while modifying the expression of remodeling markers in nasal polyp structural cells.
Asthmatic chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (aCRSwNP) is a common disruptive eosinophilic disease without effective medical treatment. Therefore, we sought to identify gene expression changes, particularly those occurring early, in aCRSwNP. To highlight expression changes associated with eosinophilic epithelial inflammation, we further compared the changes in aCRSwNP with those in a second eosinophilic epithelial disease, atopic dermatitis (AD), which is also closely related to asthma.
Genome-wide mRNA levels measured by exon array in both nasosinus inflamed mucosa and adjacent polyp from 11 aCRSwNP patients were compared to those in nasosinus tissue from 17 normal or rhinitis subjects without polyps. Differential expression of selected genes was confirmed by qRT-PCR or immunoassay, and transcription changes common to AD were identified. Comparison of aCRSwNP inflamed mucosa and polyp to normal/rhinitis tissue identified 447 differentially transcribed genes at ≥2 fold-change and adjusted p-value<0.05. These included increased transcription of chemokines localized to chromosome 17q11.2 (CCL13, CCL2, CCL8, and CCL11) that favor eosinophil and monocyte chemotaxis and chemokines (CCL18, CCL22, and CXCL13) that alternatively-activated monocyte-derived cells have been shown to produce. Additional transcription changes likely associated with Th2-like eosinophilic inflammation were prominent and included increased IL1RL1 (IL33 receptor) and EMR1&3 and decreased CRISP2&3. A down-regulated PDGFB-centric network involving several smooth muscle-associated genes was also implicated. Genes at 17q11.2, genes associated with alternative activation or smooth muscle, and the IL1RL1 gene were also differentially transcribed in AD.
Our data implicate several genes or gene sets in aCRSwNP and eosinophilic epithelial inflammation, some that likely act in the earlier stages of inflammation. The identified gene expression changes provide additional diagnostic and therapeutic targets for aCRSwNP and other eosinophilic epithelial diseases.