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1.  Effects of intranasal TNFα on granulocyte recruitment and activity in healthy subjects and patients with allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):15.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-9-15
PMCID: PMC2253533  PMID: 18234086
2.  Antagonism of the prostaglandin D2 receptor CRTH2 attenuates asthma pathology in mouse eosinophilic airway inflammation 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):16.
Background
Mast cell-derived prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), may contribute to eosinophilic inflammation and mucus production in allergic asthma. Chemoattractant receptor homologous molecule expressed on TH2 cells (CRTH2), a high affinity receptor for prostaglandin D2, mediates trafficking of TH2-cells, mast cells, and eosinophils to inflammatory sites, and has recently attracted interest as target for treatment of allergic airway diseases. The present study involving mice explores the specificity of CRTH2 antagonism of TM30089, which is structurally closely related to the dual TP/CRTH2 antagonist ramatroban, and compares the ability of ramatroban and TM30089 to inhibit asthma-like pathology.
Methods
Affinity for and antagonistic potency of TM30089 on many mouse receptors including thromboxane A2 receptor mTP, CRTH2 receptor, and selected anaphylatoxin and chemokines receptors were determined in recombinant expression systems in vitro. In vivo effects of TM30089 and ramatroban on tissue eosinophilia and mucus cell histopathology were examined in a mouse asthma model.
Results
TM30089, displayed high selectivity for and antagonistic potency on mouse CRTH2 but lacked affinity to TP and many other receptors including the related anaphylatoxin C3a and C5a receptors, selected chemokine receptors and the cyclooxygenase isoforms 1 and 2 which are all recognized players in allergic diseases. Furthermore, TM30089 and ramatroban, the latter used as a reference herein, similarly inhibited asthma pathology in vivo by reducing peribronchial eosinophilia and mucus cell hyperplasia.
Conclusion
This is the first report to demonstrate anti-allergic efficacy in vivo of a highly selective small molecule CRTH2 antagonist. Our data suggest that CRTH2 antagonism alone is effective in mouse allergic airway inflammation even to the extent that this mechanism can explain the efficacy of ramatroban.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-8-16
PMCID: PMC1810525  PMID: 17328802
3.  Natural Killer Cells Determine Development of Allergen-induced Eosinophilic Airway Inflammation in Mice  
The earliest contact between antigen and the innate immune system is thought to direct the subsequent antigen-specific T cell response. We hypothesized that cells of the innate immune system, such as natural killer (NK) cells, NK1.1+ T cells (NKT cells), and γ/δ T cells, may regulate the development of allergic airway disease. We demonstrate here that depletion of NK1.1+ cells (NK cells and NKT cells) before immunization inhibits pulmonary eosinophil and CD3+ T cell infiltration as well as increased levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-12 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in a murine model of allergic asthma. Moreover, systemic allergen-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E and IgG2a levels and the number of IL-4 and interferon γ–producing splenic cells were diminished in mice depleted of NK1.1+ cells before the priming regime. Depletion of NK1.1+ cells during the challenge period only did not influence pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation. CD1d1 mutant mice, deficient in NKT cells but with normal NK cells, developed lung tissue eosinophilia and allergen-specific IgE levels not different from those observed in wild-type mice. Mice deficient in γ/δ T cells showed a mild attenuation of lung tissue eosinophilia in this model. Taken together, these findings suggest a critical role of NK cells, but not of NKT cells, for the development of allergen-induced airway inflammation, and that this effect of NK cells is exerted during the immunization. If translatable to humans, these data suggest that NK cells may be critically important for deciding whether allergic eosinophilic airway disease will develop. These observations are also compatible with a pathogenic role for the increased NK cell activity observed in human asthma.
PMCID: PMC2192913  PMID: 9927517
natural killer cells; NK1.1+ T cells; γ/δ T cells; eosinophils; allergic asthma
4.  Allergic Eosinophil-rich Inflammation Develops in Lungs and Airways of B Cell–deficient Mice 
Immunoglobulins (Ig), particularly IgE, are believed to be crucially involved in the pathogenesis of asthma and, equally, in allergic models of the disease. To validate this paradigm we examined homozygous mutant C57BL/6 mice, which are B cell deficient, lacking all Ig. Mice were immunized intraperitoneally with 10 μg ovalbumin (OVA) plus alum, followed by daily (day 14–20) 30 min exposures to OVA aerosol (OVA/OVA group). Three control groups were run: OVA intraperitoneally plus saline (SAL) aerosol (OVA/SAL group); saline intraperitoneally plus saline aerosol; saline intraperitoneally plus OVA aerosol (n = 6–7). Lung and large airway tissues obtained 24 h after the last OVA or SAL exposure were examined by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The Ig-deficient mice receiving OVA/ OVA treatment had swollen and discolored lungs and exhibited marked eosinophilia both in large airway subepithelial tissue (49.2 ± 12.0 cells/mm basement membrane [BM] versus OVA/ SAL control 1.2 ± 0.3 cells/mm BM; P <0.001), and perivascularly and peribronchially in the lung (49.3 ± 9.0 cells/unit area versus OVA/SAL control 2.6 ± 0.6 cells/unit area; P <0.001). The eosinophilia extended to the regional lymph nodes. TEM confirmed the subepithelial and perivascular localization of eosinophils. Mucus cells in large airway epithelium increased from 1.5 ± 0.8 (OVA/SAL mice) to 39.5 ± 5.7 cells/mm BM in OVA/OVA treated mice (P <0.001). OVA/SAL mice never differed from the other control groups. Corresponding experiments in wild-type mice (n = 6–7 in each group) showed qualitatively similar but less pronounced eosinophil and mucus cell changes. Macrophages and CD4+ T cells increased in lungs of all OVA/OVA-treated mice. Mast cell number did not differ but degranulation was detected only in OVA/OVA-treated wild-type mice. Immunization to OVA followed by OVA challenges thus cause eosinophil-rich inflammation in airways and lungs of mice without involvement of B cells and Ig.
PMCID: PMC2196175  PMID: 9120394

Results 1-4 (4)