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.
Eosinophils are an important source of leukotriene (LT)C4, which can be synthesized within lipid bodies—cytoplasmic organelles where eicosanoid formation may take place. Allergy-driven lipid body formation and function have never been investigated. Here, we studied the in vivo induction and role of lipid bodies within eosinophils recruited to sites of allergic inflammation. Using two murine models of allergic inflammation (asthma and pleurisy), we verified that parallel to the eosinophil influx, allergic challenge also induced lipid body formation within recruited eosinophils. Neutralizing antibodies to eotaxin/CCL11, RANTES/CCL5, or CCR3 partially inhibited lipid body formation within recruited eosinophils in the allergic pleurisy model. Likewise, intrapleural administration of RANTES or eotaxin also induced significant influx of eosinophils loaded with lipid bodies. By immunolabeling, we detected the presence of a key enzyme involved in the leukotriene metabolism—5-lipoxygenase—within eosinophil lipid bodies formed in vivo after allergen challenge. Furthermore, specific immunolocalization of newly formed LTC4 demonstrated that lipid bodies were the sites of formation of this eicosanoid within infiltrating eosinophils. Therefore, allergic inflammation triggers in vivo formation of new lipid bodies within infiltrating eosinophils, a phenomenon largely mediated by eotaxin/RANTES acting via CCR3 receptors. Such in vivo allergen-driven lipid bodies function as intracellular compartments of LTC4 synthesis.
allergy; CCR3; eosinophils; lipid bodies; LTC4
Allergic airway inflammation is characterized by elaboration of cytokines and chemokines leading to recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes, predominantly eosinophils, to the airways. Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is generated in the lungs of human subjects with asthma in response to allergen challenge and is necessary for the development of allergen-induced bronchial eosinophilia in mice. The effect of GM-CSF on human eosinophil and neutrophil interactions with the vascular endothelium under conditions of blood flow was investigated in post-capillary venules of the rabbit mesentery by intravital microscopy.
While GM-CSF significantly reduced the rolling fraction of neutrophils in vivo and induced consistent shedding of neutrophil L-selectin in vitro, its effect on eosinophil rolling was variable. Eosinophils from 57% of the donors demonstrated inhibition of rolling, while eosinophils from the remaining 43% of donors demonstrated no inhibition or increased rolling. The variable effect of GM-CSF on inhibition of eosinophil rolling was associated with variable shedding of L-selectin in vitro. In contrast to the differential effect of GM-CSF on neutrophils versus eosinophils, stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate demonstrated a similar degree of inhibition of rolling and L-selectin shedding by neutrophils and eosinophils suggesting that there was no defect in L-selectin shedding in the eosinophil donors who did not respond to GM-CSF.
Overall, these studies demonstrate that GM-CSF consistently inhibits interaction of neutrophils with endothelium in vivo, whereas its effect on eosinophil-endothelial interactions is variable. GM-CSF may thus be one factor accounting for the varying percentage of eosinophils and neutrophils recruited to sites of allergic inflammation in different individuals.
Allergic Inflammation; Cytokines; Leukocyte Rolling; L-selectin
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.
Allergic asthma is characterized by Th2 type inflammation, leading to airway hyperresponsivenes, mucus hypersecretion and tissue remodeling. S-Nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) is an alcohol dehydrogenase involved in the regulation of intracellular levels of S-nitrosothiols. GSNOR activity has been shown to be elevated in human asthmatic lungs, resulting in diminished S-nitrosothiols and thus contributing to increased airway hyperreactivity. Using a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation, we report that intranasal administration of a new selective inhibitor of GSNOR, SPL-334, caused a marked reduction in airway hyperreactivity, allergen-specific T cells and eosinophil accumulation, and mucus production in the lungs in response to allergen inhalation. Moreover, SPL-334 treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the production of the Th2 cytokines IL-5 and IL-13 and the level of the chemokine CCL11 (eotaxin-1) in the airways. Collectively, these observations reveal that GSNOR inhibitors are effective not only in reducing airway hyperresponsiveness but also in limiting lung inflammatory responses mediated by CD4+ Th2 cells. These findings suggest that the inhibition of GSNOR may provide a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of allergic airway inflammation.
Allergic rhinitis and asthma are conditions of airway inflammation that often coexist.
In susceptible individuals, exposure of the nose and lungs to allergen elicits early phase and late phase responses. Contact with antigen by mast cells results in their degranulation, the release of selected mediators, and the subsequent recruitment of other inflammatory cell phenotypes. Additional proinflammatory mediators are released, including histamine, prostaglandins, cysteinyl leukotrienes, proteases, and a variety of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. Nasal biopsies in allergic rhinitis demonstrate accumulations of mast cells, eosinophils, and basophils in the epithelium and accumulations of eosinophils in the deeper subepithelium (that is, lamina propria). Examination of bronchial tissue, even in mild asthma, shows lymphocytic inflammation enriched by eosinophils. In severe asthma, the predominant pattern of inflammation changes, with increases in the numbers of neutrophils and, in many, an extension of the changes to involve smaller airways (that is, bronchioli). Structural alterations (that is, remodeling) of bronchi in mild asthma include epithelial fragility and thickening of its reticular basement membrane. With increasing severity of asthma there may be increases in airway smooth muscle mass, vascularity, interstitial collagen, and mucus-secreting glands. Remodeling in the nose is less extensive than that of the lower airways, but the epithelial reticular basement membrane may be slightly but significantly thickened.
Inflammation is a key feature of both allergic rhinitis and asthma. There are therefore potential benefits for application of anti-inflammatory strategies that target both these anatomic sites.
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.
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
Patients with allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma demonstrate comparable local and systemic eosinophil inflammation, and yet they present with different clinical pictures. Less is even known about the contribution of neutrophil inflammation in allergic diseases. The aim of the study was to examine the propensity and selectivity of granule release from primed systemic eosinophils and neutrophils in allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma after seasonal and experimental allergen exposure. We hypothesize that the dissimilar clinical manifestations are due to diverse eosinophil and neutrophil degranulation.
Nine birch pollen allergic patients with rhinitis, eight with asthma and four controls were studied during pollen season and after nasal and bronchial allergen challenge. Eosinophils and neutrophils were incubated in vitro with assay buffer and opsonized Sephadex particles for spontaneous and C3b-induced granule protein release. The released amount of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) was measured by specific radioimmunoassay.
C3b-induced degranulation resulted in increased release of ECP and MPO from primed blood eosinophils and neutrophils in both allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma during pollen season and after both nasal and bronchial challenge (p-values 0.008 to 0.043). After bronchial challenge, the ECP release was significantly higher in the rhinitic group compared to the asthmatic group [19.8 vs. 13.2%, (p = 0.010)]. The propensity for EPO release was weak in all challenge models but followed the same pattern in both allergic groups.
Systemically activated eosinophils and neutrophils have similar patterns of degranulation after allergen exposure in allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. The released amount of ECP, EPO and MPO was similar in all allergen challenge models in both allergic groups. Our results indicate that other mechanisms than the magnitude of eosinophil and neutrophil inflammation or the degranulation pattern of the inflammatory cells determines whether or not an allergic patient develops asthma.
T lymphocytes have been implicated in controlling the recruitment of eosinophils into the lung in murine models of allergic asthma. The mechanism by which T cells assist in the recruitment of eosinophils to the lung in these models is not completely understood. We hypothesized that eosinophil-active chemokines might be regulated by antigen (Ag)- induced T cell activation in vivo and thereby mediate T cell-dependent eosinophil recruitment. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of an anti-CD3 mAb on Ag-induced pulmonary eosinophilia and correlated this with the expression of three eosinophil-active chemokines: eotaxin, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 alpha, and RANTES. We found that Ag-induced pulmonary eosinophilia was associated with the induction of eotaxin and MIP-1 alpha, but not RANTES mRNA. Prechallenge treatment with anti-CD3 mAb inhibited eotaxin, but not MIP-1 alpha and RANTES mRNA induction, and significantly reduced eosinophil accumulation in the lung. In addition, Ag-specific antibody responses and mast cell degranulation after Ag challenge in sensitized mice were not affected by T cell elimination, and were not sufficient to induce the expression of eotaxin and cause pulmonary eosinophilia. These findings suggest that eotaxin is one of the molecular links between Ag- specific T cell activation and the recruitment of eosinophils into the airways.
Inhalation of antigen in immunized mice induces an infiltration of eosinophils into the airways and increased bronchial hyperreactivity as are observed in human asthma. We employed a model of late-phase allergic pulmonary inflammation in mice to address the role of leukotrienes (LT) in mediating airway eosinophilia and hyperreactivity to methacholine. Allergen intranasal challenge in OVA-sensitized mice induced LTB4 and LTC4 release into the airspace, widespread mucus occlusion of the airways, leukocytic infiltration of the airway tissue and broncho-alveolar lavage fluid that was predominantly eosinophils, and bronchial hyperreactivity to methacholine. Specific inhibitors of 5- lipoxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) blocked airway mucus release and infiltration by eosinophils indicating a key role for leukotrienes in these features of allergic pulmonary inflammation. The role of leukotrienes or eosinophils in mediating airway hyperresponsiveness to aeroallergen could not be established, however, in this murine model.
Allergic rhinitis is a condition which affects over 15% of the population in the United Kingdom. The pathological process involves two stages: nasal inflammation, and the development of nasal airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to allergen and a number of other stimuli. This results in the amplification of any subsequent allergic reaction, contributing to the chronic allergic state. A number of different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the underlying mechanism of AHR, including a role for eosinophil-derived proteins, free radicals and neuropeptides. While there may be a number of independent pathways which can result in AHR, evidence obtained from both animal models and in vivo experiments in humans indicate that some mediators may interact with one another, resulting in AHR. Further research into these interactions may open new avenues for the pharmacological treatment of chronic allergic rhinitis, and possibly other allergic airway diseases.
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.
BACKGROUND--Hyperpermeability of the airway mucosa is thought to be characteristic of allergic rhinitis and asthma. Nine subjects with seasonal rhinitis caused by birch pollen were studied and the nasal mucosal absorption of chromium-51 labelled EDTA was examined both in an asymptomatic period before the season and late into the season when significant allergic rhinitis symptoms were present. METHODS--A nasal pool device was used to keep a concentration of the absorption tracer in contact with a larger part of the mucosa of the ipsilateral nasal cavity. Absorption was allowed for 15 minutes and measured as the radioactivity appearing in the 24 hour urine sample. RESULTS--The nasal absorption of 51Cr-EDTA in subjects with seasonal allergic rhinitis was less during active disease than before the season. CONCLUSIONS--An airway epithelial barrier that is subject to prolonged eosinophilic inflammation may not be disrupted but may rather increase its functional tightness.
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
Selective eosinophil recruitment into tissues is a characteristic feature of allergic diseases. Chemokines are effective leukocyte chemoattractants and may play an important role in mediating eosinophil recruitment in various allergic conditions in man. Here, we describe a novel mouse model of eosinophil recruitment in which we have compared the in vivo chemoattractant activity of different C-C chemokines. Furthermore, we describe the use of antibodies to chemokines and receptor blockade to address the endogenous mechanisms involved in eosinophil recruitment in a late-phase allergic reaction in mouse skin. Intradermal injection of mEotaxin and mMIP-1alpha, but not mMCP-1, mRANTES, mMCP-5, or mMIP-1beta, induced significant 111In-eosinophil recruitment in mouse skin. Significant 111In-eosinophil recruitment was also observed in an active cutaneous anaphylactic reaction. Pretreatment of skin sites with antieotaxin antiserum, but not an antiMIP-1alpha antibody, suppressed 111In-eosinophil recruitment in this delayed-onset allergic reaction. Similarly, desensitization of the eosinophil eotaxin receptor CCR3 with mEotaxin, or blockade of the receptor with metRANTES, significantly inhibited 111In-eosinophil recruitment in the allergic reaction. These results demonstrate an important role for endogenous eotaxin in mediating the 111In-eosinophil recruitment in allergic inflammation, and suggest that blockade of the CCR3 receptor is a valid strategy to inhibit eosinophil migration in vivo.
Eosinophils 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
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
Eosinophils are circulating granulocytes involved in pathogenesis of asthma. A cascade of processes directed by Th2 cytokine producing T-cells influence the recruitment of eosinophils into the lungs. Furthermore, multiple elements including interleukin (IL)-5, IL-13, chemoattractants such as eotaxin, Clara cells, and CC chemokine receptor (CCR)3 are already directly involved in recruiting eosinophils to the lung during allergic inflammation. Once recruited, eosinophils participate in the modulation of immune response, induction of airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling, characteristic features of asthma. Various types of promising treatments for reducing asthmatic response are related to reduction in eosinophil counts both in human and experimental models of pulmonary allergic inflammation, showing that the recruitment of these cells really plays an important role in the pathophysiology of allergic diseases such asthma.
airway remodeling; asthma; eosinophils; experimental models of asthma; inflammation; respiratory hypersensitivity
Eosinophils are multifunctional leukocytes that degrade and remodel tissue extracellular matrix through production of proteolytic enzymes, release of proinflammatory factors to initiate and propagate inflammatory responses, and direct activation of mucus secretion and smooth muscle cell constriction. Thus, eosinophils are central effector cells during allergic airway inflammation and an important clinical therapeutic target. Here we describe the use of an injectable MMP-targeted optical sensor that specifically and quantitatively resolves eosinophil activity in the lungs of mice with experimental allergic airway inflammation. Through the use of real-time molecular imaging methods, we report the visualization of eosinophil responses in vivo and at different scales. Eosinophil responses were seen at single-cell resolution in conducting airways using near-infrared fluorescence fiberoptic bronchoscopy, in lung parenchyma using intravital microscopy, and in the whole body using fluorescence-mediated molecular tomography. Using these real-time imaging methods, we confirmed the immunosuppressive effects of the glucocorticoid drug dexamethasone in the mouse model of allergic airway inflammation and identified a viridin-derived prodrug that potently inhibited the accumulation and enzyme activity of eosinophils in the lungs. The combination of sensitive enzyme-targeted sensors with noninvasive molecular imaging approaches permitted evaluation of airway inflammation severity and was used as a model to rapidly screen for new drug effects. Both fluorescence-mediated tomography and fiberoptic bronchoscopy techniques have the potential to be translated into the clinic.
Eosinophils are involved in various inflammatory processes including allergic inflammation during which angiogenesis has been documented. Angiogenesis is most likely connected to the hypoxia which characterizes inflamed tissues. Eosinophils produce VEGF and are pro-angiogenic. However, to the best of our knowledge no study has been performed to verify the existence of a direct link between eosinophils, hypoxia and angiogenesis in allergic inflammation.
To characterize eosinophil function and angiogenic potential under hypoxic conditions.
Human peripheral blood eosinophils were cultured in normoxic or hypoxic conditions with or without cytokines. Viability and apoptosis were assessed by Annexin V/PI staining. Anti- or pro-apoptotic protein levels, HIF-1α levels and MAPK phosphorylation were analyzed by immunoblot analysis. Angiogenic mediator release was evaluated by ELISA.
Hypoxic eosinophils were more viable than normoxic ones after up to three days. In addition in hypoxia, anti-apoptotic Bcl-XL protein levels increased more than pro-apoptotic Bax levels. Hypoxia increased VEGF and IL-8 release. In hypoxic eosinophils high levels of HIF-1α were observed, particularly in the presence of GM-CSF. MAPK, particularly ERK1/2 inhibitors, decreased hypoxia-mediated VEGF release and HIF-1α expression.
Eosinophils respond to hypoxia by up-regulation of survival and of some of their pro-angiogenic functions indicating a correlation between eosinophilic inflammation and angiogenesis.
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway inflammation associated with recruitment and activation of eosinophils. In mice, allergen exposure induces platelet migration to the airways that is necessary for eosinophil recruitment and activation. We therefore hypothesized that in the airways of human subjects with asthma, (1) platelet activation would be positively associated with eosinophil activation and (2) platelet and eosinophil activation would both be associated with clinical asthma characteristics.
Nasal wash levels of p-selectin (a measure of platelet activation) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) (a measure of eosinophil activation) were compared with each other and with clinical asthma characteristics in a cross-sectional study of urban children and adolescents (6-20y) with asthma.
Regression analysis revealed a significantly positive association between log10 p-selectin levels and log10 ECP levels (Beta=0.50 ng/mL [95%CI: 0.05 to 0.94 ng/mL]; P=0.029). Additionally, ECP was significantly and negatively associated with two asthma-related quality of life measurements and p-selectin was associated with one of these.
Our study shows the first significant association between platelet and eosinophil activation in airways of human subjects with asthma. These data provide a first step toward delineating what appears to be an important role for platelets in airway eosinophilia.
Asthma; Eosinophils; Platelets
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.
Previous studies established that IL-5–producing CD4+ T cells play a pivotal role in allergic respiratory inflammation. It was also reported that CD4+ T cells express higher levels of CD44 in the airway than in peripheral blood of patients with allergic respiratory diseases. We have used experimental pulmonary eosinophilia induced in mice by Ascaris suum (Asc) extract to investigate the role of CD44 in the development of allergic respiratory inflammation. Intraperitoneal administration of anti-CD44 mAb prevented both lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced elevation of Th2 cytokines as well as chemokines (CCL11, CCL17) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Treatment with anti-CD44 mAb inhibited the increased levels of hyaluronic acid (HA) and leukotriene concentrations in BALF that typically result from antigen challenge. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. An anti-CD44 mAb (IM7) inhibited the HA-binding ability of splenocytes associated with decreased levels of CD44. Soluble CD44 levels in serum were increased in Asc-challenged IM7–treated mice, but not in KM201-treated mice, compared with Asc-challenged rat IgG–treated mice. Ab’s that block CD44-HA binding reduced allergic respiratory inflammation by preventing lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Thus, CD44 may be critical for development of allergic respiratory inflammation.