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1.  Protection against the allergic airway inflammation depends on the modulation of spleen dendritic cell function and induction of regulatory T cells in mice 
Allergen-induced imbalance of specific T regulatory (Treg) cells and T helper 2 cells plays a decisive role in the development of immune response against allergens.
To evaluate effects and potential mechanisms of DNA vaccine containing ovalbumin (OVA) and Fc fusion on allergic airway inflammation.
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) levels of inflammatory mediators and leukocyte infiltration, expression of CD11c+CD80+ and CD11c+CD86+ co-stimulatory molecules in spleen dendritic cells (DCs), circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, Foxp3+ in spleen CD4+ T cells and spleen CD4+ T cells were measured in OVA-sensitized and challenged animals pretreated with pcDNA, OVA-pcDNA, Fc-pcDNA, and OVA-Fc-pcDNA.
OVA-Sensitized and challenged mice developed airway inflammation and Th2 responses, and decreased the proliferation of peripheral CD4+and CD8+ T cells and the number of spleen Foxp3+ Treg. Those changes with increased INF-γ production and reduced OVA-specific IgE production were protected by the pretreatment with OVA-Fc-pcDNA.
DNA vaccine encoding both Fc and OVA showed more effective than DNA vaccine encoding Fc or OVA alone, through the balance of DCs and Treg.
PMCID: PMC2861055  PMID: 20334668
2.  Modulation of the Effects of Lung Immune Response on Bone Marrow by Oral Antigen Exposure 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:474132.
Allergic airway inflammation is attenuated by oral tolerization (oral exposure to allergen, followed by conventional sensitization and challenge with homologous antigen), which decreases airway allergen challenge-induced eosinophilic infiltration of the lungs and bone marrow eosinophilia. We examined its effects on bone marrow eosinophil and neutrophil production. Mice of wild type (BP-2, BALB/c, and C57BL/6) and mutant strains (lacking iNOS or CD95L) were given ovalbumin (OVA) or water (vehicle) orally and subsequently sensitized and challenged with OVA (OVA/OVA/OVA and H2O/OVA/OVA groups, resp.). Anti-OVA IgG and IgE, bone marrow eosinophil and neutrophil numbers, and eosinophil and neutrophil production ex vivo were evaluated. T lymphocytes from OVA/OVA/OVA or control H2O/OVA/OVA donors were transferred into naïve syngeneic recipients, which were subsequently sensitized/challenged with OVA. Alternatively, T lymphocytes were cocultured with bone marrow eosinophil precursors from histocompatible sensitized/challenged mice. OVA/OVA/OVA mice of the BP-2 and BALB/c strains showed, relative to H2O/OVA/OVA controls, significantly decreased bone marrow eosinophil counts and ex vivo eosinopoiesis/neutropoiesis. Full effectiveness in vivo required sequential oral/subcutaneous/intranasal exposures to the same allergen. Transfer of splenic T lymphocytes from OVA/OVA/OVA donors to naive recipients prevented bone marrow eosinophilia and eosinopoiesis in response to recipient sensitization/challenge and supressed eosinopoiesis upon coculture with syngeneic bone marrow precursors from sensitized/challenged donors.
PMCID: PMC3793322  PMID: 24171165
3.  ASHMI™ induced long-lasting tolerance to allergen exposure in an asthma model is interferon - γ, but not TGF-β dependent 
Chronic allergic asthma is the result of a Th2- biased immune status. Current asthma therapies control symptoms in some patients, but a long lasting therapy has not been established. ASHMI™, a Chinese herbal formula improved symptoms and lung function, and reduced Th2 responses in a controlled trial of patients with persistent moderate to severe asthma.
We evaluated the persistence of ASHMI™ beneficial effects following therapy in a murine model of persistent asthma and the immunological mechanisms underlying such effects. BALB/c mice sensitized intraperitoneally with ovalbumin (OVA) received 3 weekly intratracheal OVA challenges to induce airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and inflammation (OVA mice). Additional OVA mice were treated with ASHMI™ (OVA/ASHMI™) or water (OVA/Sham) for 4 weeks, and then challenged immediately and eight weeks post-therapy. In other experiments OVA mice received ASHMI™ treatment with concomitant neutralization of IFN-γ or TGF-β. Effects on airway responses, cytokine and OVA-specific IgE levels were determined 8 weeks post-therapy.
Prior to treatment, OVA mice exhibited AHR and pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation following OVA challenge, which was almost completely resolved immediately after completing treatment with ASHMI™ and did not re-occur following OVA re-challenge up to 8 wks post-therapy. Reduced allergen-specific IgE and Th2 cytokine levels, and increased IFN-γ levels also persisted at least 8 wks post-therapy. ASHMI™ effects were eliminated by neutralization of IFN-γ, but not TGF-β, during therapy.
ASHMI™ induced long-lasting post-therapy tolerance to antigen-induced inflammation and AHR. IFN-γ is a critical factor in ASHMI™ effects.
PMCID: PMC2946973  PMID: 20573156
Allergic asthma; Mice; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Th-2 cytokines; Interferon-γ; IgE
4.  Acinetobacter baumannii Infection Inhibits Airway Eosinophilia and Lung Pathology in a Mouse Model of Allergic Asthma 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22004.
Allergic asthma is a dysregulation of the immune system which leads to the development of Th2 responses to innocuous antigens (allergens). Some infections and microbial components can re-direct the immune response toward the Th1 response, or induce regulatory T cells to suppress the Th2 response, thereby inhibiting the development of allergic asthma. Since Acinetobacter baumannii infection can modulate lung cellular and cytokine responses, we studied the effect of A. baumannii in modulating airway eosinophilia in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were treated with live A. baumannii or phosphate buffered saline (PBS), then intranasally challenged with OVA. Compared to PBS, A. baumannii treatment significantly reduced pulmonary Th2 cytokine and chemokine responses to OVA challenge. More importantly, the airway inflammation in A. baumannii-treated mice was strongly suppressed, as seen by the significant reduction of the proportion and the total number of eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In addition, A. baumannii-treated mice diminished lung mucus overproduction and pathology. However, A. baumannii treatment did not significantly alter systemic immune responses to OVA. Serum OVA-specific IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a levels were comparable between A. baumannii- and PBS-treated mice, and tracheobronchial lymph node cells from both treatment groups produced similar levels of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in response to in vitro OVA stimulation. Moreover, it appears that TLR-4 and IFN-γ were not directly involved in the A. baumannii-induced suppression of airway eosinophilia. Our results suggest that A. baumannii inhibits allergic airway inflammation by direct suppression of local pulmonary Th2 cytokine responses to the allergen.
PMCID: PMC3138758  PMID: 21789200
5.  Acrolein exposure suppresses antigen-induced pulmonary inflammation 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):107.
Adverse health effects of tobacco smoke arise partly from its influence on innate and adaptive immune responses, leading to impaired innate immunity and host defense. The impact of smoking on allergic asthma remains unclear, with various reports demonstrating that cigarette smoke enhances asthma development but can also suppress allergic airway inflammation. Based on our previous findings that immunosuppressive effects of smoking may be largely attributed to one of its main reactive electrophiles, acrolein, we explored the impact of acrolein exposure in a mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic asthma.
C57BL/6 mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) by intraperitoneal injection with the adjuvant aluminum hydroxide on days 0 and 7, and challenged with aerosolized OVA on days 14–16. In some cases, mice were also exposed to 5 ppm acrolein vapor for 6 hrs/day on days 14–17. Lung tissues or brochoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) were collected either 6 hrs after a single initial OVA challenge and/or acrolein exposure on day 14 or 48 hrs after the last OVA challenge, on day 18. Inflammatory cells and Th1/Th2 cytokine levels were measured in BALF, and lung tissue samples were collected for analysis of mucus and Th1/Th2 cytokine expression, determination of protein alkylation, cellular thiol status and transcription factor activity.
Exposure to acrolein following OVA challenge of OVA-sensitized mice resulted in markedly attenuated allergic airway inflammation, demonstrated by decreased inflammatory cell infiltrates, mucus hyperplasia and Th2 cytokines. Acrolein exposure rapidly depleted lung tissue glutathione (GSH) levels, and induced activation of the Nrf2 pathway, indicated by accumulation of Nrf2, increased alkylation of Keap1, and induction of Nrf2-target genes such as HO-1. Additionally, analysis of inflammatory signaling pathways showed suppressed activation of NF-κB and marginally reduced activation of JNK in acrolein-exposed lungs, associated with increased carbonylation of RelA and JNK.
Acrolein inhalation suppresses Th2-driven allergic inflammation in sensitized animals, due to direct protein alkylation resulting in activation of Nrf2 and anti-inflammatory gene expression, and inhibition of NF-κB or JNK signaling. Our findings help explain the paradoxical anti-inflammatory effects of cigarette smoke exposure in allergic airways disease.
PMCID: PMC3852782  PMID: 24131734
Cigarette smoke; Electrophile; Inflammation; Asthma; COPD; Nrf2; NF-κB; JNK
6.  Contribution of Nitric Oxide Synthases 1, 2, and 3 to Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Inflammation in a Murine Model of Asthma  
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1999;189(10):1621-1630.
Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by increased airway responsiveness and airway inflammation. The functional role of nitric oxide (NO) and the various nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms in human asthma is controversial. To investigate the role of NO in an established model of allergic asthma, mice with targeted deletions of the three known isoforms of NOS (NOS1, 2, and 3) were studied. Although the inducible (NOS2) isoform was significantly upregulated in the lungs of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and -challenged (OVA/OVA) wild-type (WT) mice and was undetectable in similarly treated NOS2-deficient mice, airway responsiveness was not significantly different between these groups. OVA/OVA endothelial (NOS3)-deficient mice were significantly more responsive to methacholine challenge compared with similarly treated NOS1 and NOS1&3-deficient mice. Airway responsiveness in OVA/OVA neuronal (NOS1)-deficient and neuronal/endothelial (NOS1&3) double-deficient mice was significantly less than that observed in similarly treated NOS2 and WT groups. These findings demonstrate an important function for the nNOS isoform in controlling the inducibility of airway hyperresponsiveness in this model of allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC2193630  PMID: 10330441
nitric oxide; allergen; mice; asthma; nitric oxide synthase
7.  Concomitant Exposure to Ovalbumin and Endotoxin Augments Airway Inflammation but Not Airway Hyperresponsiveness in a Murine Model of Asthma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98648.
Varying concentrations of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in ovalbumin (OVA) may influence the airway response to allergic sensitization and challenge. We assessed the contribution of LPS to allergic airway inflammatory responses following challenge with LPS-rich and LPS-free commercial OVA. BALB/c mice were sensitized with LPS-rich OVA and alum and then underwent challenge with the same OVA (10 µg intranasally) or an LPS-free OVA. Following challenge, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), airway responsiveness to methacholine and the lung regulatory T cell population (Treg) were assessed. Both OVA preparations induced BAL eosinophilia but LPS-rich OVA also evoked BAL neutrophilia. LPS-free OVA increased interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4 and IL-5 whereas LPS-rich OVA additionally increased IL-1β, IL-12, IFN-γ, TNF-α and KC. Both OVA-challenged groups developed airway hyperresponsiveness. TLR4-deficient mice challenged with either OVA preparation showed eosinophilia but not neutrophilia and had increased IL-5. Only LPS-rich OVA challenged mice had increased lung Tregs and LPS-rich OVA also induced in vitro Treg differentiation. LPS-rich OVA also induced a Th1 cytokine response in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.We conclude that LPS-rich OVA evokes mixed Th1, Th2 and innate immune responses through the TLR-4 pathway, whereas LPS-free OVA evokes only a Th2 response. Contaminating LPS is not required for induction of airway hyperresponsiveness but amplifies the Th2 inflammatory response and is a critical mediator of the neutrophil, Th1 and T regulatory cell responses to OVA.
PMCID: PMC4072597  PMID: 24968337
8.  Schistosoma mansoni-Mediated Suppression of Allergic Airway Inflammation Requires Patency and Foxp3+ Treg Cells 
The continual rise of asthma in industrialised countries stands in strong contrast to the situation in developing lands. According to the modified Hygiene Hypothesis, helminths play a major role in suppressing bystander immune responses to allergens, and both epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that the tropical parasitic trematode Schistosoma mansoni elicits such effects. The focus of this study was to investigate which developmental stages of schistosome infection confer suppression of allergic airway inflammation (AAI) using ovalbumin (OVA) as a model allergen. Moreover, we assessed the functional role and localization of infection-induced CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) in mediating such suppressive effects. Therefore, AAI was elicited using OVA/adjuvant sensitizations with subsequent OVA aerosolic challenge and was induced during various stages of infection, as well as after successful anti-helminthic treatment with praziquantel. The role of Treg was determined by specifically depleting Treg in a genetically modified mouse model (DEREG) during schistosome infection. Alterations in AAI were determined by cell infiltration levels into the bronchial system, OVA-specific IgE and Th2 type responses, airway hyper-sensitivity and lung pathology. Our results demonstrate that schistosome infection leads to a suppression of OVA-induced AAI when mice are challenged during the patent phase of infection: production of eggs by fecund female worms. Moreover, this ameliorating effect does not persist after anti-helminthic treatment, and depletion of Treg reverts suppression, resulting in aggravated AAI responses. This is most likely due to a delayed reconstitution of Treg in infected-depleted animals which have strong ongoing immune responses. In summary, we conclude that schistosome-mediated suppression of AAI requires the presence of viable eggs and infection-driven Treg cells. These data provide evidence that helminth derived products could be incorporated into treatment strategies that specifically target suppression of immune responses in AAI by inducing Treg cells.
Author Summary
Infections with schistosomes, such as S. mansoni, S. japonicum and S. haematobium, are considered a major public health concern. Morbidity arises through granulomatous responses to eggs that become trapped in infected tissues. Interestingly, schistosomes belong to the group of helminths that have been shown to reduce allergy or autoimmunity. Indeed, the evidence provided by epidemiological surveys and experimental animal models has been so overwhelming that such helminths are now included in the Hygiene Hypothesis. However, since helminths provoke immunological responses that are similar to those seen in allergy (increased eosinophilia and IgE) it is suggested that additional mechanisms dampen such allergic responses. Helminth-induced regulatory T cells (Treg) are considered a component of these modulatory networks. Using an allergic airway inflammation model, we have elucidated that schistosome-mediated protection requires patency, that is, active egg production from fecund female worms. In addition, protection was shown to be mediated by infection-induced Treg. Interestingly, in endemic countries it is usually individuals with strong patent infections that show reduced allergic prevalence. Thus, further research into the immunomodulatory capacity of schistosome-egg derived factors may elucidate novel drug candidates or enhance treatment strategies to reduce allergic responses on the cellular level.
PMCID: PMC3744427  PMID: 23967364
9.  Oral Administration of T Cell Epitope Peptide Inhibits the Systemic IL-4 Response Elicited by an Egg-White Diet in a TCR Transgenic Mouse Model 
Oral immunotherapy with T cell epitope peptides is a promising treatment for food allergy. We examined the effect of oral administration of an ovalbumin T cell epitope peptide (OVA323-339) in a TCR transgenic mouse model (OVA23-3 mice). OVA23-3 mice were fed egg-white diet containing ovalbumin and subsequently orally administrated the OVA323-339 peptide. Cytokine measurements revealed that the IL-4 production of splenic CD4+ T cells was significantly decreased by feeding the OVA323-339 peptide. Our study suggested that oral administration of the OVA323-339 T cell epitope peptide was capable of inhibiting systemic IL-4 response after elicitation of predominant Th2 responses.
PMCID: PMC4034323  PMID: 24936382
food allergy; oral immunotherapy; ovalbumin; T cell epitope; TCR transgenic mice
10.  Exaggerated IL-17 response to epicutaneous sensitization mediates airway inflammation in the absence of IL-4 and IL-13 
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized by local and systemic Th2 responses to cutaneously introduced allergens and is a risk factor for asthma. Blockade of Th2 cytokines has been suggested as therapy for AD.
To examine the effect of the absence of IL-4 and IL-13 on the Th-17 response to epicutaneous (EC) sensitization in a mouse model of allergic skin inflammation with features of AD.
Wild-type (WT), IL-4KO, IL-13KO and IL-4/13 double KO (DKO) mice were subjected to EC sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA) or saline and airway challenged with OVA. Systemic immune responses to OVA, skin and airway inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) were examined.
OVA sensitized DKO mice exhibited impaired Th2 driven responses with undetectable OVA specific IgE and severely diminished eosinophil infiltration at sensitized skin sites, but intact dermal infiltration with CD4+ cells. DKO mice mounted an exaggerated IL-17A, but normal IFN-γ and IL-5 systemic responses. Airway challenge of these mice with OVA caused marked upregulation of IL-17 mRNA expression in the lungs, increased neutrophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), airway inflammation characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration with no detectable eosinophils, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine that were reversed by IL-17 blockade. IL-4, but not IL-13, was identified as the major Th2 cytokine that downregulates the IL-17 response in EC sensitized mice.
EC sensitization in the absence of IL-4/IL-13 induces an exaggerated Th17 response systemically, and in lungs following antigen challenge that results in airway inflammation and AHR.
Clinical implications
Blockade of IL-4 may promote IL-17-mediated airway inflammation in AD.
PMCID: PMC2895457  PMID: 19815118
IL-17; Th2 cytokines; atopic dermatitis; asthma
11.  Sublingual Immunotherapy Induces Regulatory Function of IL-10-Expressing CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T Cells of Cervical Lymph Nodes in Murine Allergic Rhinitis Model 
Journal of Allergy  2012;2012:490905.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been considered to be a painless and efficacious therapeutic treatment of allergic rhinitis which is known as type I allergy of nasal mucosa. Nevertheless, its mechanisms need to be further investigated. In this study, we constructed an effective murine model of sublingual immunotherapy in allergic rhinitis, in which mice were sublingually administered with ovalbumin (OVA) followed by intraperitoneal sensitization and nasal challenge of OVA. Sublingually treated mice showed significantly decreased specific IgE responses as well as suppressed Th2 immune responses. Sublingual administration of OVA did not alter the frequency of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), but led to upregulation of Foxp3- and IL-10-specific mRNAs in the Tregs of cervical lymph nodes (CLN), which strongly suppressed Th2 cytokine production from CD4+CD25− effector T cells in vitro. Furthermore, sublingual administration of plasmids encoding the lymphoid chemokines CCL19 and CCL21-Ser DNA together with OVA suppressed allergic responses. These results suggest that IL-10-expressing CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs in CLN are involved in the suppression of allergic responses and that CCL19/CCL21 may contribute to it in mice that received SLIT.
PMCID: PMC3483773  PMID: 23118775
12.  Adam8 Limits the Development of Allergic Airway Inflammation in Mice 
To determine whether a disintegrin and a metalloproteinase-8 (Adam8) regulates allergic airway inflammation (AAI) and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR), we compared AAI and AHR in wild type (WT) versus Adam8−/− mice in different genetic backgrounds sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) or house dust mite protein extract (HDM). OVA- and HDM-treated Adam8−/− mice had higher lung leukocyte counts, more airway mucus metaplasia, greater lung levels of some TH2 cytokines, and higher methacholine-induced increases in central airway resistance than allergen-treated WT mice. Studies of OVA-treated Adam8 bone marrow chimeric mice confirmed that leukocyte-derived Adam8 predominantly mediated Adam8’s anti-inflammatory activities in murine airways. Airway eosinophils and macrophages both expressed Adam8 in WT mice with AAI. Adam8 limited AAI and AHR in mice by reducing leukocyte survival because: 1) Adam8−/− mice with AAI had fewer apoptotic eosinophils and macrophages in their airways than WT mice with AAI; and 2) Adam8−/− macrophages and eosinophils had reduced rates of apoptosis compared with WT leukocytes when the intrinsic (but not the extrinsic) apoptosis pathway was triggered in the cells in vitro. ADAM8 was robustly expressed by airway granulocytes in lung sections from human asthma patients but, surprisingly, airway macrophages had less ADAM8 staining than airway eosinophils. Thus, ADAM8 has anti-inflammatory activities during AAI in mice by activating the intrinsic apoptosis pathway in myeloid leukocytes. Strategies that increase ADAM8 levels in myeloid leukocytes may have therapeutic efficacy in asthma.
PMCID: PMC3679335  PMID: 23670189
13.  Augmentation of arginase 1 expression by exposure to air pollution exacerbates the airways hyperresponsiveness in murine models of asthma 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):19.
Arginase overexpression contributes to airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in asthma. Arginase expression is further augmented in cigarette smoking asthmatics, suggesting that it may be upregulated by environmental pollution. Thus, we hypothesize that arginase contributes to the exacerbation of respiratory symptoms following exposure to air pollution, and that pharmacologic inhibition of arginase would abrogate the pollution-induced AHR.
To investigate the role of arginase in the air pollution-induced exacerbation of airways responsiveness, we employed two murine models of allergic airways inflammation. Mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) and challenged with nebulized PBS (OVA/PBS) or OVA (OVA/OVA) for three consecutive days (sub-acute model) or 12 weeks (chronic model), which exhibit inflammatory cell influx and remodeling/AHR, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the final challenge, mice were exposed to concentrated ambient fine particles plus ozone (CAP+O3), or HEPA-filtered air (FA), for 4 hours. After the CAP+O3 exposures, mice underwent tracheal cannulation and were treated with an aerosolized arginase inhibitor (S-boronoethyl-L-cysteine; BEC) or vehicle, immediately before determination of respiratory function and methacholine-responsiveness using the flexiVent®. Lungs were then collected for comparison of arginase activity, protein expression, and immunohistochemical localization.
Compared to FA, arginase activity was significantly augmented in the lungs of CAP+O3-exposed OVA/OVA mice in both the sub-acute and chronic models. Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining revealed that the increased activity was due to arginase 1 expression in the area surrounding the airways in both models. Arginase inhibition significantly reduced the CAP+O3-induced increase in AHR in both models.
This study demonstrates that arginase is upregulated following environmental exposures in murine models of asthma, and contributes to the pollution-induced exacerbation of airways responsiveness. Thus arginase may be a therapeutic target to protect susceptible populations against the adverse health effects of air pollution, such as fine particles and ozone, which are two of the major contributors to smog.
PMCID: PMC3037317  PMID: 21291525
14.  Role of the Adiponectin Binding Protein, T-Cadherin (Cdh13), in Allergic Airways Responses in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41088.
Adiponectin is an adipose derived hormone that declines in obesity. We have previously shown that exogenous administration of adiponectin reduces allergic airways responses in mice. T-cadherin (T-cad; Cdh13) is a binding protein for the high molecular weight isoforms of adiponectin. To determine whether the beneficial effects of adiponectin on allergic airways responses require T-cad, we sensitized wildtype (WT), T-cadherin deficient (T-cad−/−) and adiponectin and T-cad bideficient mice to ovalbumin (OVA) and challenged the mice with aerosolized OVA or PBS. Compared to WT, T-cad−/− mice were protected against OVA-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, increases in BAL inflammatory cells, and induction of IL-13, IL-17, and eotaxin expression. Histological analysis of the lungs of OVA-challenged T-cad−/− versus WT mice indicated reduced inflammation around the airways, and reduced mucous cell hyperplasia. Combined adiponectin and T-cad deficiency reversed the effects of T-cad deficiency alone, indicating that the observed effects of T-cad deficiency require adiponectin. Compared to WT, serum adiponectin was markedly increased in T-cad−/− mice, likely because adiponectin that is normally sequestered by endothelial T-cad remains free in the circulation. In conclusion, T-cad does not mediate the protective effects of adiponectin. Instead, mice lacking T-cad have reduced allergic airways disease, likely because elevated serum adiponectin levels act on other adiponectin signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC3398886  PMID: 22815927
15.  The Adjuvant Effect of Ambient Particulate Matter Is Closely Reflected by the Particulate Oxidant Potential 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2009;117(7):1116-1123.
It has been demonstrated that ambient particulate matter (PM) can act as an adjuvant for allergic sensitization. Redox-active organic chemicals on the particle surface play an important role in PM adverse health effects and may determine the adjuvant effect of different particle types according to their potential to perturb redox equilibrium in the immune system.
We determined whether the adjuvant effect of ambient fine particles versus ultrafine particles (UFPs) is correlated to their prooxidant potential.
We have established an intranasal sensitization model that uses ambient PM as a potential adjuvant for sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA), which enhances the capacity for secondary OVA challenge to induce allergic airway inflammation.
UFPs with a greater polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) content and higher oxidant potential enhanced OVA sensitization more readily than did fine particles. This manifests as enhanced allergic inflammation upon secondary OVA challenge, leading to eosinophilic inflammation and mucoid hyperplasia starting at the nasal turbinates all the way down to the small pulmonary airways. The thiol antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine was able to suppress some of these sensitization events.
The adjuvant effects of ambient UFP is determined by their oxidant potential, which likely plays a role in changing the redox equilibrium in the mucosal immune system.
PMCID: PMC2717139  PMID: 19654922
adjuvant; allergic inflammation; allergic sensitization; ambient ultrafine particles; asthma; oxidant potential; oxidative stress; redox-active organic chemicals; TH2 immune response
16.  Hu.4-1BB-Fc fusion protein inhibits allergic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in a murine model of asthma 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(9):373-379.
4-1BB (CD 137) is a costimulatory molecule expressed on activated T-cells. Repression by 4-1BB is thought to attenuate Th2-mediated allergic reactions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 4-1BB on allergic airway inflammation in a murine asthma model.
BALB/c mice were sensitized to and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). Hu.4-1BB-Fc was administered 1 day before the first OVA sensitization or 1 day after the second OVA sensitization. Following antigen challenge, airway responsiveness to methacholine was assessed and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was analyzed. Total immunoglobulin (Ig) E, OVA-specific IgE, IgG1, and IgG2a levels in sera were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lung pathology was also evaluated.
In mice treated with Hu.4-1BB-Fc before the first OVA sensitization, there was a marked decrease in airway hyperresponsiveness, total cell count, and eosinophil count in the BAL fluid. In addition, Hu.4-1BB-Fc treatment decreased serum OVA-specific IgG1 levels and increased serum IgG2a level significantly compared with the corresponding levels in mice sensitized to and challenged with OVA. Hu.4-1BB-Fc-treated mice also showed suppressed peribronchial and perivascular inflammatory cell infiltration. In contrast, treatment with Hu.4-1BB-Fc 1 day after sensitization had no effect on airway hyperresponsiveness and showed less suppression of inflammation in lung tissue.
Administration of Hu.4-1BB-Fc can attenuate airway inflammation and hyperreactivity in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation. In addition, administration before sensitization may be more effective. These findings suggest that 4-1BB may be a useful therapeutic molecule against asthma.
PMCID: PMC3250603  PMID: 22232630
4-1BB (CD137); Asthma; Allergic inflammation; Airway hyperresponsiveness; Mouse
17.  Breastmilk from Allergic Mothers Can Protect Offspring from Allergic Airway Inflammation 
Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of developing asthma in children. Using a murine model we previously demonstrated that mothers with Th1-type immunity to ovalbumin (OVA) transfer antigen-specific protection from OVA-induced allergic airway disease (AAD) to their offspring. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of breastmilk and maternal B cell immunity from allergic mothers in the vertical transmission of protection from AAD.
This was investigated using an adoptive nursing strategy. Naive offspring were nursed by allergic wild-type or B cell-deficient foster mothers with histories of Th2-type immunity to OVA. Following weaning, offspring were immunized with OVA-Al(OH)3 and challenged with aerosolized OVA to induce AAD.
Offspring nursed by wild-type OVA-immune foster mothers demonstrated lower levels of OVA-specific immunoglobulin E, interleukin-5, and airway eosinophilia than progeny nursed by naive control mothers. In contrast, offspring nursed by B cell-deficient OVA-immune foster mothers had similar parameters of OVA-induced AAD as progeny nursed by naive control mothers.
These data demonstrate the ability of breastmilk from allergic mothers to protect offspring from AAD was dependent on intact maternal B cell immunity. Nursing alone, when done by wild-type mothers with AAD, was sufficient for offspring to acquire the antigen-specific protective factor(s) from breastmilk.
PMCID: PMC2757118  PMID: 19301986
18.  Breastmilk from Allergic Mothers Can Protect Offspring from Allergic Airway Inflammation 
Breastfeeding Medicine  2009;4(3):167-174.
Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of developing asthma in children. Using a murine model we previously demonstrated that mothers with Th1-type immunity to ovalbumin (OVA) transfer antigen-specific protection from OVA-induced allergic airway disease (AAD) to their offspring. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of breastmilk and maternal B cell immunity from allergic mothers in the vertical transmission of protection from AAD.
This was investigated using an adoptive nursing strategy. Naive offspring were nursed by allergic wild-type or B cell-deficient foster mothers with histories of Th2-type immunity to OVA. Following weaning, offspring were immunized with OVA-Al(OH)3 and challenged with aerosolized OVA to induce AAD.
Offspring nursed by wild-type OVA-immune foster mothers demonstrated lower levels of OVA-specific immunoglobulin E, interleukin-5, and airway eosinophilia than progeny nursed by naive control mothers. In contrast, offspring nursed by B cell-deficient OVA-immune foster mothers had similar parameters of OVAinduced AAD as progeny nursed by naive control mothers.
These data demonstrate the ability of breastmilk from allergic mothers to protect offspring from AAD was dependent on intact maternal B cell immunity. Nursing alone, when done by wild-type mothers with AAD, was sufficient for offspring to acquire the antigen-specific protective factor(s) from breastmilk.
PMCID: PMC2757118  PMID: 19301986
19.  Inhibition of Th2 Adaptive Immune Responses and Pulmonary Inflammation by Leukocyte Ig-like Receptor B4 on Dendritic Cells1,2 
We previously established that the inhibitory receptor LILRB4 mitigates LPS-induced, neutrophil-dependent pathologic effector mechanisms in inflammation. We now report that LILRB4 on dendritic cells (DCs) counterregulates development of an adaptive Th2 immune response and ensuing inflammation in a model of allergic pulmonary inflammation initiated by inhalation sensitization with OVA and LPS followed by airway challenge with OVA. We found that Lilrb4−/− mice had significantly exacerbated eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation as assessed in bronchoalveolar lavage and lung tissue, as well as elevated levels of OVA-specific IgE and Th2 cytokines produced by OVA-restimulated lymph node cells. LILRB4 was preferentially expressed on MHC class IIhighCD86high OVA-bearing DCs in lung-draining lymph nodes after sensitization or challenge. Moreover, the lymph nodes of Lilrb4−/− mice had significantly more of these mature DCs after challenge with OVA, which was accompanied by significantly more IL-4-producing lymphocytes, compared with Lilrb4+/+ mice. Sensitization of naïve Lilrb4+/+ mice by transfer of OVA-LPS-pulsed Lilrb4−/− bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) was sufficient to confer exacerbated allergic lung pathology upon challenge with OVA, compared with mice that received Lilrb4+/+ BMDCs. Our findings establish that maturation and migration of pulmonary DCs to lymph nodes in response to Ag and an innate immune stimulus is associated with upregulated expression of LILRB4. In addition, this receptor attenuates the number of these mature DCs and attendant IL-4-producing lymphocytes in the lymph nodes, and accordingly, the ability of DCs to elicit pathologic Th2 pulmonary inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2836496  PMID: 19966208
Dendritic Cells; Inflammation; Allergy; Lung
20.  Induction of Immune Tolerance in Asthmatic Mice by Vaccination with DNA Encoding an Allergen–Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte-Associated Antigen 4 Combination ▿ 
Allergen-specific immunotherapy is a potential treatment for allergic diseases. We constructed an allergen–cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4)-encoding DNA vaccine, administered it directly to antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and investigated its ability and mechanisms to ameliorate allergic airway inflammation in an asthmatic mouse model. An allergen-CTLA-4 DNA plasmid (OVA-CTLA-4-pcDNA3.1) encoding an ovalbumin (OVA) and the mouse CTLA-4 extracellular domain was constructed and transfected into COS-7 cells to obtain the fusion protein OVA-CTLA-4, which was able to bind the B7 ligand on dendritic cells (DCs), and induced CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells by the coculture of naive CD4+ T cells with DCs in vitro. In an animal study, BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA to establish the asthmatic model. Vaccination with a high dose of OVA-CTLA-4-pcDNA3.1 significantly decreased interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5 levels and eosinophil counts and prevented OVA-induced reduction of the gamma interferon level in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In addition, these mice suffered less severe airway inflammation and had lower levels of OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 titers in serum. Also, high-dose OVA-CTLA-4-pcDNA3.1 vaccination inhibited the development of airway hyperreactivity and prevented OVA-induced reduction of the percentages of Foxp3+ Treg cells in the spleen. Our results indicate that a high dose of allergen-CTLA-4-encoding DNA vaccine was more effective in preventing an allergen-induced Th2-skewed immune response through the induction of Treg cells and may be a new alternative therapy for asthma.
PMCID: PMC3122522  PMID: 21346053
21.  Cbl-b Regulates Airway Mucosal Tolerance to Aeroallergen 
As an E3 ubiquitin ligase and a molecular adaptor, Cbl-b controls the activation threshold of the antigen receptor and negatively regulates CD28 co-stimulation, functioning as an intrinsic mediator of T cell anergy that maintains tolerance. However, the role of Cbl-b in the airway immune response to aeroallergens is unclear.
To determine the contribution of Cbl-b in tolerance to aeroallergens, we examined ovalbumin (OVA)-induced lung inflammation in Cbl-b deficient mice.
Cbl-b-/- mice and wildtype (WT) C57BL/6 mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA intranasally, a procedure normally tolerated by WT mice. We analyzed lung histology, BAL total cell counts and differential, cytokines and chemokines in the airway, and cytokine response by lymphocytes after re-stimulation by OVA antigen.
Compared with WT mice, OVA challenged Cbl-b-/- mice showed significantly increased neutrophilic and eosinophilic infiltration in the lung and mucus hyperplasia. The serum levels of IgG2a and IgG1, but not IgE, were increased. The levels of inflammatory mediators IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1α, Eotaxin, and RANTES, but not IL-17A or IL-6, were elevated in the airway of Cbl-b-/- mice. Lymphocytes from Cbl-b-/-mice released increased amount of IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-13, and IP-10 in response to OVA re-stimulation. However, no significant changes were noted in the CD4+CD25+ Treg cell populations in the lung tissues after OVA stimulation and there was no difference between WT and Cbl-b-/- mice.
These results demonstrate that Cbl-b deficiency leads to a breakdown of tolerance to OVA allergen in the murine airways, probably through increased activation of T effector cells, indicating that Cbl-b is a critical factor in maintaining lung homeostasis upon environmental exposure to aeroallergens.
PMCID: PMC2994994  PMID: 20738317
Cbl-b; Ubiquitin E3 Ligase; Aeroallergen; Allergic inflammation; Asthma
22.  Macrophage activation state determines the response to rhinovirus infection in a mouse model of allergic asthma 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):63.
The mechanisms by which viruses cause asthma exacerbations are not precisely known. Previously, we showed that, in ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and -challenged mice with allergic airway inflammation, rhinovirus (RV) infection increases type 2 cytokine production from alternatively-activated (M2) airway macrophages, enhancing eosinophilic inflammation and airways hyperresponsiveness. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that IL-4 signaling determines the state of macrophage activation and pattern of RV-induced exacerbation in mice with allergic airways disease.
Eight week-old wild type or IL-4 receptor knockout (IL-4R KO) mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA and inoculated with RV1B or sham HeLa cell lysate.
In contrast to OVA-treated wild-type mice with both neutrophilic and eosinophilic airway inflammation, OVA-treated IL-4R KO mice showed increased neutrophilic inflammation with few eosinophils in the airways. Like wild-type mice, IL-4R KO mice showed OVA-induced airway hyperreactivity which was further exacerbated by RV. There was a shift in lung cytokines from a type 2-predominant response to a type 1 response, including production of IL-12p40 and TNF-α. IL-17A was also increased. RV infection of OVA-treated IL-4R KO mice further increased neutrophilic inflammation. Bronchoalveolar macrophages showed an M1 polarization pattern and ex vivo RV infection increased macrophage production of TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-12p40. Finally, lung cells from OVA-treated IL-4R KO mice showed reduced CD206+ CD301+ M2 macrophages, decreased IL-13 and increased TNF-α and IL-17A production by F4/80+, CD11b+ macrophages.
OVA-treated IL-4R KO mice show neutrophilic airway inflammation constituting a model of allergic, type 1 cytokine-driven neutrophilic asthma. In the absence of IL-4/IL-13 signaling, RV infection of OVA-treated mice increased type 1 cytokine and IL-17A production from conventionally-activated macrophages, augmenting neutrophilic rather than eosinophilic inflammation. In mice with allergic airways inflammation, IL-4R signaling determines macrophage activation state and the response to subsequent RV infection.
PMCID: PMC4066837  PMID: 24907978
Asthma; Exacerbation; IL-13; IL-17A; M2 polarization
23.  Oral Administration of Heat-Inactivated Lactobacillus plantarum K37 Modulated Airway Hyperresponsiveness in Ovalbumin-Sensitized BALB/c Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100105.
This study aimed to investigate the anti-allergic effects of Lactobacillus plantarum K37 (K37) on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and systemic allergic responses in ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and -challenged BALB/c mice. Heat-inactivated K37 (105, 107, and 109 CFU/mouse, day) were orally administered to OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice to investigate their effects on AHR, immunoglobulin (Ig) and cytokine production. The results showed that K37 dose-dependently lowered the serum levels of IgE, OVA-specific IgE and OVA-specific IgG1, ameliorated AHR induced by methacholine and suppressed eosinophil infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The cytokine production in spleen cells culture and BALF showed that K37 drove the immune responses toward T-helper cell type 1 (Th1) responses, elevated levels of IL-2 and IFN-γ, and reduced of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13. K37 also improved cell infiltration in lung sections. Our results demonstrated that oral administration of K37 alleviated effectively the allergic responses in vivo. Thus, K37 can be a good source material and a promising candidate for prophylactic and therapeutic treatments of allergic diseases, like asthma.
PMCID: PMC4061068  PMID: 24936861
24.  Low-Dose Lipopolysaccharide Affects Lung Allergic Responses by Regulating Jagged1 Expression on Antigen-Pulsed Dendritic Cells 
Notch signaling pathways govern immune function and the regulation of Th1 and Th2 differentiation. We previously demonstrated essential interactions between Notch on CD4+ T cells and Jagged1 on antigen-presenting cells in Th2 differentiation for the full development of allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic airway inflammation.
Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were differentiated and incubated with different preparations of ovalbumin (OVA), including lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-depleted and LPS-spiked preparations. In some experiments recipient mice also received soluble Jagged1-Fc in addition to allergen-pulsed BMDCs. Ten days following transfer of BMDCs, mice were exposed to three airway challenges with OVA, and airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, airway inflammation and cytokine production were monitored 48 h later. Notch ligand expression was assessed by real-time PCR.
Induction of Jagged1 expression on antigen-pulsed BMDCs was dependent on low-dose endotoxin. In vivo, transfer of endotoxin-free, antigen-pulsed BMDCs failed to induce AHR or airway eosinophilia on allergen challenge. However, administration of exogenous Jagged1-Fc together with endotoxin-free, allergen-pulsed BMDCs fully restored the responses to allergen challenge.
These data demonstrate that LPS regulates the expression of Jagged1 on BMDCs, which is essential for the full development of lung allergic responses.
PMCID: PMC3180653  PMID: 21912175
Asthma; Dendritic cells; Endotoxin; Notch ligands
25.  Transfer of allergic airway responses with antigen-primed CD4+ but not CD8+ T cells in brown Norway rats. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;96(3):1303-1310.
Activated CD4+ helper T cells have been demonstrated in asthmatic airways and postulated to play a central role in eliciting allergic inflammation; direct evidence of their involvement seems to be lacking. We hypothesized that CD4+ T cells have the potential to induce allergic responses to antigen challenge, and tested this hypothesis in a model of allergic bronchoconstriction, the Brown Norway rat, using the approach of adoptive transfer. Animals were actively sensitized to either ovalbumin (OVA) or BSA and were used as donors of T cells. W3/25(CD4)+ or OX8(CD8)+ T cells were isolated from the cervical lymph nodes of sensitized donors and transferred to naive BN rats. 2 d after adoptive transfer recipient rats were challenged by OVA inhalation, and changes in lung resistance (RL), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells, and serum levels of antigen-specific IgE were studied. After OVA challenge recipients of OVA-primed W3/25+ T cells exhibited sustained increases in RL throughout the entire 8-h observation period and had significant bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia, which was detected by immunocytochemistry using an antimajor basic protein mAb. Recipients of BSA-primed W3/25+ T cells or OVA-primed OX8+ T cells failed to respond to inhaled OVA. OVA-specific immunoglobulin E was undetectable by ELISA or skin testing in any of the recipient rats after adoptive transfer. In conclusion, antigen-induced airway bronchoconstriction and eosinophilia were successfully transferred by antigen-specific W3/25+ T cells in Brown Norway rats. These responses were dependent on antigen-primed W3/25+ T cells and appeared to be independent of IgE-mediated mast cell activation. This study provides clear evidence for T cell mediated immune mechanisms in allergic airway responses in this experimental model.
PMCID: PMC185752  PMID: 7657805

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