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1.  IL-9 Governs Allergen-induced Mast Cell Numbers in the Lung and Chronic Remodeling of the Airways 
Rationale
IL-9 is a pleiotropic cytokine that has multiple effects on structural as well as numerous hematopoietic cells, which are central to the pathogenesis of asthma.
Objectives
The contribution of IL-9 to asthma pathogenesis has thus far been unclear, due to conflicting reports in the literature. These earlier studies focused on the role of IL-9 in acute inflammatory models; here we have investigated the effects of IL-9 blockade during chronic allergic inflammation.
Methods
Mice were exposed to either prolonged ovalbumin or house dust mite allergen challenge to induce chronic inflammation and airway remodeling.
Measurements and Main Results
We found that IL-9 governs allergen-induced mast cell (MC) numbers in the lung and has pronounced effects on chronic allergic inflammation. Anti–IL-9 antibody–treated mice were protected from airway remodeling with a concomitant reduction in mature MC numbers and activation, in addition to decreased expression of the profibrotic mediators transforming growth factor-β1, vascular endothelial growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor-2 in the lung. Airway remodeling was associated with impaired lung function in the peripheral airways and this was reversed by IL-9 neutralization. In human asthmatic lung tissue, we identified MCs as the main IL-9 receptor expressing population and found them to be sources of vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor-2.
Conclusions
Our data suggest an important role for an IL-9-MC axis in the pathology associated with chronic asthma and demonstrate that an impact on this axis could lead to a reduction in chronic inflammation and improved lung function in patients with asthma.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200909-1462OC
PMCID: PMC3385369  PMID: 20971830
IL-9; mast cells; asthma; airway remodeling; AHR
2.  Antigen-Induced Increases in Pulmonary Mast Cell Progenitor Numbers Depend on IL-9 and CD1d-Restricted NKT Cells1 
Pulmonary mast cell progenitor (MCp) numbers increase dramatically in sensitized and aerosolized Ag-challenged mice. This increase depends on CD4+ T cells, as no MCp increase occurs in the lungs of sensitized wild-type (WT) mice after mAb depletion of CD4+ but not CD8+ cells before aerosol Ag challenge. Neither the genetic absence of IL-4, IL-4Rα chain, STAT-6, IFN-γ, or IL-12p40 nor mAb blockade of IFN-γ, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-12p40, or IL-12p40Rβ1 before Ag challenge in WT mice reduces the pulmonary MCp increase. However, sensitized and Ag-challenged IL-9-deficient mice and sensitized WT mice given mAb to IL-9 just before Ag challenge show significant reductions in elicited lung MCp/106 mononuclear cells of 47 and 66%, respectively. CD1d-deficient mice and WT mice receiving anti-CD1d before Ag challenge also show significant reductions of 65 and 59%, respectively, in elicited lung MCp/106 mononuclear cells, revealing an additional requirement for MCp recruitment. However, in Jα18-deficient mice, which lack only type 1 or invariant NKT cells, the increase in the numbers of lung MCp with Ag challenge was intact, indicating that their recruitment must be mediated by type 2 NKT cells. Furthermore, anti-CD1d treatment of IL-9-deficient mice or anti-IL-9 treatment of CD1d-deficient mice does not further reduce the significant partial impairment of MCp recruitment occurring with a single deficiency. These findings implicate type 2 NKT cells and IL-9 as central regulators that function in the same pathway mediating the Ag-induced increase in numbers of pulmonary MCp.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0901471
PMCID: PMC2782612  PMID: 19783672
3.  Persistent expression of chemokine and chemokine receptor RNAs at primary and latent sites of herpes simplex virus 1 infection 
Virology Journal  2004;1:5.
Inflammatory cytokines and infiltrating T cells are readily detected in herpes simplex virus (HSV) infected mouse cornea and trigeminal ganglia (TG) during the acute phase of infection, and certain cytokines continue to be expressed at lower levels in infected TG during the subsequent latent phase. Recent results have shown that HSV infection activates Toll-like receptor signaling. Thus, we hypothesized that chemokines may be broadly expressed at both primary sites and latent sites of HSV infection for prolonged periods of time. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymrease chain reaction (RT-PCR) to quantify expression levels of transcripts encoding chemokines and their receptors in cornea and TG following corneal infection. RNAs encoding the inflammatory-type chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2, CCR5, and CXCR3, which are highly expressed on activated T cells, macrophages and most immature dendritic cells (DC), and the more broadly expressed CCR7, were highly expressed and strongly induced in infected cornea and TG at 3 and 10 days postinfection (dpi). Elevated levels of these RNAs persisted in both cornea and TG during the latent phase at 30 dpi. RNAs for the broadly expressed CXCR4 receptor was induced at 30 dpi but less so at 3 and 10 dpi in both cornea and TG. Transcripts for CCR3 and CCR6, receptors that are not highly expressed on activated T cells or macrophages, also appeared to be induced during acute and latent phases; however, their very low expression levels were near the limit of our detection. RNAs encoding the CCR1 and CCR5 chemokine ligands MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES, and the CCR2 ligand MCP-1 were also strongly induced and persisted in cornea and TG during the latent phase. These and other recent results argue that HSV antigens or DNA can stimulate expression of chemokines, perhaps through activation of Toll-like receptors, for long periods of time at both primary and latent sites of HSV infection. These chemokines recruit activated T cells and other immune cells, including DC, that express chemokine receptors to primary and secondary sites of infection. Prolonged activation of chemokine expression could provide mechanistic explanations for certain aspects of HSV biology and pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-1-5
PMCID: PMC524517  PMID: 15507126
4.  Essential Role for the C5a Receptor in Regulating the Effector Phase of Synovial Infiltration and Joint Destruction in Experimental Arthritis 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2002;196(11):1461-1471.
A characteristic feature of rheumatoid arthritis is the abundance of inflammatory cells in the diseased joint. Two major components of this infiltrate are neutrophils in the synovial fluid and macrophages in the synovial tissue. These cells produce cytokines including tumor necrosis factor α and other proinflammatory mediators that likely drive the disease through its effector phases. To investigate what mechanisms underlie the recruitment of these cells into the synovial fluid and tissue, we performed expression analyses of chemoattractant receptors in a related family that includes the anaphylatoxin receptors and the formyl-MetLeuPhe receptor. We then examined the effect of targeted disruption of two abundantly expressed chemoattractant receptors, the receptors for C3a and C5a, on arthritogenesis in a mouse model of disease. We report that genetic ablation of C5a receptor expression completely protects mice from arthritis.
doi:10.1084/jem.20020205
PMCID: PMC2194257  PMID: 12461081
arthritis; C5a receptors; granulocytes; chemoattractants; monocytes

Results 1-4 (4)