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2.  Persistence of pulmonary tertiary lymphoid tissues and anti-nuclear antibodies following cessation of cigarette smoke exposure 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):49.
Formation of pulmonary tertiary immune structures is a characteristic feature of advanced COPD. In the current study, we investigated the mechanisms of tertiary lymphoid tissue (TLT) formation in the lungs of cigarette smoke-exposed mice. We found that cigarette smoke exposure led to TLT formation that persisted following smoking cessation. TLTs consisted predominantly of IgM positive B cells, while plasma cells in close proximity to TLTs expressed IgM, IgG, and IgA. The presence of TLT formation was associated with anti-nuclear autoantibody (ANA) production that also persisted following smoking cessation. ANAs were observed in the lungs, but not the circulation of cigarette smoke-exposed mice. Similarly, we observed ANA in the sputum of COPD patients where levels correlated with disease severity and were refractory to steroid treatment. Both ANA production and TLT formation were dependent on interleukin-1 receptor 1 (IL-1R1) expression. Contrary to TLT and ANA, lung neutrophilia resolved following smoking cessation. These data suggest a differential regulation of innate and B cell-related immune inflammatory processes associated with cigarette smoke exposure. Moreover, our study further emphasizes the importance of interleukin-1 (IL-1) signaling pathways in cigarette smoke-related pulmonary pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-49
PMCID: PMC4021094  PMID: 24754996
Tertiary lymphoid tissue; Autoantibodies; Autoimmunity; COPD; Experimental model; Inflammation
3.  RAGE is a nucleic acid receptor that promotes inflammatory responses to DNA 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2013;210(11):2447-2463.
Receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) detects nucleic acids and promotes DNA uptake into endosomes, which in turn lowers the immune recognition threshold for TLR9 activation.
Recognition of DNA and RNA molecules derived from pathogens or self-antigen is one way the mammalian immune system senses infection and tissue damage. Activation of immune signaling receptors by nucleic acids is controlled by limiting the access of DNA and RNA to intracellular receptors, but the mechanisms by which endosome-resident receptors encounter nucleic acids from the extracellular space are largely undefined. In this study, we show that the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) promoted DNA uptake into endosomes and lowered the immune recognition threshold for the activation of Toll-like receptor 9, the principal DNA-recognizing transmembrane signaling receptor. Structural analysis of RAGE–DNA complexes indicated that DNA interacted with dimers of the outermost RAGE extracellular domains, and could induce formation of higher-order receptor complexes. Furthermore, mice deficient in RAGE were unable to mount a typical inflammatory response to DNA in the lung, indicating that RAGE is important for the detection of nucleic acids in vivo.
doi:10.1084/jem.20120201
PMCID: PMC3804942  PMID: 24081950
4.  A GM-CSF/IL-33 Pathway Facilitates Allergic Airway Responses to Sub-Threshold House Dust Mite Exposure 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88714.
Allergic asthma is a chronic immune-inflammatory disease of the airways. Despite aeroallergen exposure being universal, allergic asthma affects only a fraction of individuals. This is likely related, at least in part, to the extent of allergen exposure. Regarding house dust mite (HDM), we previously identified the threshold required to elicit allergic responses in BALB/c mice. Here, we investigated the impact of an initial immune perturbation on the response to sub-threshold HDM exposure. We show that transient GM-CSF expression in the lung facilitated robust eosinophilic inflammation, long-lasting antigen-specific Th2 responses, mucus production and airway hyperresponsiveness. This was associated with increased IL-33 levels and activated CD11b+ DCs expressing OX40L. GM-CSF-driven allergic responses were significantly blunted in IL-33-deficient mice. IL-33 was localized on alveolar type II cells and in vitro stimulation of human epithelial cells with GM-CSF enhanced intracellular IL-33 independently of IL-1α. Likewise, GM-CSF administration in vivo resulted in increased levels of IL-33 but not IL-1α. These findings suggest that exposures to environmental agents associated with GM-CSF production, including airway infections and pollutants, may decrease the threshold of allergen responsiveness and, hence, increase the susceptibility to develop allergic asthma through a GM-CSF/IL-33/OX40L pathway.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088714
PMCID: PMC3925157  PMID: 24551140
5.  An Anti-Human ICAM-1 Antibody Inhibits Rhinovirus-Induced Exacerbations of Lung Inflammation 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(8):e1003520.
Human rhinoviruses (HRV) cause the majority of common colds and acute exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Effective therapies are urgently needed, but no licensed treatments or vaccines currently exist. Of the 100 identified serotypes, ∼90% bind domain 1 of human intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) as their cellular receptor, making this an attractive target for development of therapies; however, ICAM-1 domain 1 is also required for host defence and regulation of cell trafficking, principally via its major ligand LFA-1. Using a mouse anti-human ICAM-1 antibody (14C11) that specifically binds domain 1 of human ICAM-1, we show that 14C11 administered topically or systemically prevented entry of two major groups of rhinoviruses, HRV16 and HRV14, and reduced cellular inflammation, pro-inflammatory cytokine induction and virus load in vivo. 14C11 also reduced cellular inflammation and Th2 cytokine/chemokine production in a model of major group HRV-induced asthma exacerbation. Interestingly, 14C11 did not prevent cell adhesion via human ICAM-1/LFA-1 interactions in vitro, suggesting the epitope targeted by 14C11 was specific for viral entry. Thus a human ICAM-1 domain-1-specific antibody can prevent major group HRV entry and induction of airway inflammation in vivo.
Author Summary
Viruses exploit receptors on the host cell to cause infection. Therapies aimed at blocking virus-receptor interactions have the potential to prevent viral disease. Cellular receptors are also important for normal host cell function. Therefore, new therapies targeting these receptors to block viral infection may also inadvertently alter the physiology of the host cell. Viral pathogens, such as the cold virus (rhinovirus), are believed to be the major cause of asthma attacks and exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this study, we show that it is possible to identify novel therapeutic antibodies that block infection with rhinovirus without impairing the receptors' main function of cell adhesion. We then use animal models that show that an antibody can inhibit virus-induced lung inflammation and disease. Moreover, we show that this antibody can also inhibit a virally induced asthma exacerbation. This work is relevant in that it shows that antibodies can be tailored to distinct regions of viral receptors to block infection without inhibiting the receptors' normal cellular function. This is important for the development of new treatments that will prevent diseases caused by infection with rhinovirus, such as exacerbations of asthma and COPD.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003520
PMCID: PMC3731244  PMID: 23935498
6.  Cigarette smoke-induced accumulation of lung dendritic cells is interleukin-1α-dependent in mice 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):81.
Background
Evidence suggests that dendritic cells accumulate in the lungs of COPD patients and correlate with disease severity. We investigated the importance of IL-1R1 and its ligands IL-1α and β to dendritic cell accumulation and maturation in response to cigarette smoke exposure.
Methods
Mice were exposed to cigarette smoke using a whole body smoke exposure system. IL-1R1-, TLR4-, and IL-1α-deficient mice, as well as anti-IL-1α and anti-IL-1β blocking antibodies were used to study the importance of IL-1R1 and TLR4 to dendritic cell accumulation and activation.
Results
Acute and chronic cigarette smoke exposure led to increased frequency of lung dendritic cells. Accumulation and activation of dendritic cells was IL-1R1/IL-1α dependent, but TLR4- and IL-1β-independent. Corroborating the cellular data, expression of CCL20, a potent dendritic cells chemoattractant, was IL-1R1/IL-1α-dependent. Studies using IL-1R1 bone marrow-chimeric mice revealed the importance of IL-1R1 signaling on lung structural cells for CCL20 expression. Consistent with the importance of dendritic cells in T cell activation, we observed decreased CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation in cigarette smoke-exposed IL-1R1-deficient mice.
Conclusion
Our findings convey the importance of IL-1R1/IL-1α to the recruitment and activation of dendritic cells in response to cigarette smoke exposure.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-13-81
PMCID: PMC3519608  PMID: 22992200
Cigarette smoke; Dendritic cells; T cells; CCL20;  Mice
7.  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
8.  Opposing Roles of Membrane and Soluble Forms of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products in Primary Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(8):1311-1320.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory pathogen in infants and the older population, causes pulmonary inflammation and airway occlusion that leads to impairment of lung function. Here, we have established a role for receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) in RSV infection. RAGE-deficient (ager−/−) mice were protected from RSV-induced weight loss and inflammation. This protection correlated with an early increase in type I interferons, later decreases in proinflammatory cytokines, and a reduction in viral load. To assess the contribution of soluble RAGE (sRAGE) to RSV-induced disease, wild-type and ager−/− mice were given doses of sRAGE following RSV infection. Of interest, sRAGE treatment prevented RSV-induced weight loss and neutrophilic inflammation to a degree similar to that observed in ager−/− mice. Our work further elucidates the roles of RAGE in the pathogenesis of respiratory infections and highlights the opposing roles of membrane and sRAGE in modulating the host response to RSV infection.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir826
PMCID: PMC3308901  PMID: 22262795
9.  IL-1α/IL-1R1 Expression in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Mechanistic Relevance to Smoke-Induced Neutrophilia in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28457.
Background
Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite this, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to COPD pathogenesis are still poorly understood.
Methodology and Principal Findings
The objective of this study was to assess IL-1 α and β expression in COPD patients and to investigate their respective roles in perpetuating cigarette smoke-induced inflammation. Functional studies were pursued in smoke-exposed mice using gene-deficient animals, as well as blocking antibodies for IL-1α and β. Here, we demonstrate an underappreciated role for IL-1α expression in COPD. While a strong correlation existed between IL-1α and β levels in patients during stable disease and periods of exacerbation, neutrophilic inflammation was shown to be IL-1α-dependent, and IL-1β- and caspase-1-independent in a murine model of cigarette smoke exposure. As IL-1α was predominantly expressed by hematopoietic cells in COPD patients and in mice exposed to cigarette smoke, studies pursued in bone marrow chimeric mice demonstrated that the crosstalk between IL-1α+ hematopoietic cells and the IL-1R1+ epithelial cells regulates smoke-induced inflammation. IL-1α/IL-1R1-dependent activation of the airway epithelium also led to exacerbated inflammatory responses in H1N1 influenza virus infected smoke-exposed mice, a previously reported model of COPD exacerbation.
Conclusions and Significance
This study provides compelling evidence that IL-1α is central to the initiation of smoke-induced neutrophilic inflammation and suggests that IL-1α/IL-1R1 targeted therapies may be relevant for limiting inflammation and exacerbations in COPD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028457
PMCID: PMC3232226  PMID: 22163019
10.  Differential expression and function of breast regression protein 39 (BRP-39) in murine models of subacute cigarette smoke exposure and allergic airway inflammation 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):39.
Background
While the presence of the chitinase-like molecule YKL40 has been reported in COPD and asthma, its relevance to inflammatory processes elicited by cigarette smoke and common environmental allergens, such as house dust mite (HDM), is not well understood. The objective of the current study was to assess expression and function of BRP-39, the murine equivalent of YKL40 in a murine model of cigarette smoke-induced inflammation and contrast expression and function to a model of HDM-induced allergic airway inflammation.
Methods
CD1, C57BL/6, and BALB/c mice were room air- or cigarette smoke-exposed for 4 days in a whole-body exposure system. In separate experiments, BALB/c mice were challenged with HDM extract once a day for 10 days. BRP-39 was assessed by ELISA and immunohistochemistry. IL-13, IL-1R1, IL-18, and BRP-39 knock out (KO) mice were utilized to assess the mechanism and relevance of BRP-39 in cigarette smoke- and HDM-induced airway inflammation.
Results
Cigarette smoke exposure elicited a robust induction of BRP-39 but not the catalytically active chitinase, AMCase, in lung epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages of all mouse strains tested. Both BRP-39 and AMCase were increased in lung tissue after HDM exposure. Examining smoke-exposed IL-1R1, IL-18, and IL-13 deficient mice, BRP-39 induction was found to be IL-1 and not IL-18 or IL-13 dependent, while induction of BRP-39 by HDM was independent of IL-1 and IL-13. Despite the importance of BRP-39 in cellular inflammation in HDM-induced airway inflammation, BRP-39 was found to be redundant for cigarette smoke-induced airway inflammation and the adjuvant properties of cigarette smoke.
Conclusions
These data highlight the contrast between the importance of BRP-39 in HDM- and cigarette smoke-induced inflammation. While functionally important in HDM-induced inflammation, BRP-39 is a biomarker of cigarette smoke induced inflammation which is the byproduct of an IL-1 inflammatory pathway.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-12-39
PMCID: PMC3079621  PMID: 21473774
11.  Mast Cell Protease 5 Mediates Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury of Mouse Skeletal Muscle1 
Ischemia with subsequent reperfusion (IR) injury is a significant clinical problem that occurs after physical and surgical trauma, myocardial infarction, and organ transplantation. IR injury of mouse skeletal muscle depends on the presence of both natural IgM and an intact C pathway. Disruption of the skeletal muscle architecture and permeability also requires mast cell (MC) participation, as revealed by the fact that IR injury is markedly reduced in c-kit defective, MC-deficient mouse strains. In this study, we sought to identify the pathobiologic MC products expressed in IR injury using transgenic mouse strains with normal MC development, except for the lack of a particular MC-derived mediator. Histologic analysis of skeletal muscle from BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice revealed a strong positive correlation (R2 = 0.85) between the extent of IR injury and the level of MC degranulation. Linkage between C activation and MC degranulation was demonstrated in mice lacking C4, in which only limited MC degranulation and muscle injury were apparent. No reduction in injury was observed in transgenic mice lacking leukotriene C4 synthase, hemopoietic PGD2 synthase, N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase-2 (enzyme involved in heparin biosynthesis), or mouse MC protease (mMCP) 1. In contrast, muscle injury was significantly attenuated in mMCP-5-null mice. The MCs that reside in skeletal muscle contain abundant amounts of mMCP-5 which is the serine protease that is most similar in sequence to human MC chymase. We now report a cytotoxic activity associated with a MC-specific protease and demonstrate that mMCP-5 is critical for irreversible IR injury of skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC2951006  PMID: 15905575
12.  CCR3 is a therapeutic and diagnostic target for neovascular age-related macular degeneration 
Nature  2009;460(7252):225-230.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness worldwide, is as prevalent as cancer in industrialized nations. Most blindness in AMD results from invasion of the retina by choroidal neovascularization (CNV). We report that the eosinophil/mast cell chemokine receptor CCR3 is specifically expressed in CNV endothelial cells in humans with AMD, and that, despite the expression of its ligands eotaxin-1, -2, and -3, neither eosinophils nor mast cells are present in human CNV. Genetic or pharmacological targeting of CCR3 or eotaxins inhibited injury-induced CNV in mice. CNV suppression by CCR3 blockade was due to direct inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation, and was uncoupled from inflammation as it occurred in mice lacking eosinophils or mast cells and was independent of macrophage and neutrophil recruitment. CCR3 blockade was more effective at reducing CNV than vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) neutralization, which is currently in clinical use, and, unlike VEGF-A blockade, not toxic to the mouse retina. In vivo imaging with CCR3-targeting quantum dots located spontaneous CNV invisible to standard fluorescein angiography in mice before retinal invasion. CCR3 targeting might reduce vision loss due to AMD through early detection and therapeutic angioinhibition.
doi:10.1038/nature08151
PMCID: PMC2712122  PMID: 19525930
13.  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
14.  Role of breast regression protein 39 (BRP-39)/chitinase 3-like-1 in Th2 and IL-13–induced tissue responses and apoptosis 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2009;206(5):1149-1166.
Mouse breast regression protein 39 (BRP-39; Chi3l1) and its human homologue YKL-40 are chitinase-like proteins that lack chitinase activity. Although YKL-40 is expressed in exaggerated quantities and correlates with disease activity in asthma and many other disorders, the biological properties of BRP-39/YKL-40 have only been rudimentarily defined. We describe the generation and characterization of BRP-39−/− mice, YKL-40 transgenic mice, and mice that lack BRP-39 and produce YKL-40 only in their pulmonary epithelium. Studies of these mice demonstrated that BRP-39−/− animals have markedly diminished antigen-induced Th2 responses and that epithelial YKL-40 rescues the Th2 responses in these animals. The ability of interleukin13 to induce tissue inflammation and fibrosis was also markedly diminished in the absence of BRP-39. Mechanistic investigations demonstrated that BRP-39 and YKL-40 play an essential role in antigen sensitization and immunoglobulin E induction, stimulate dendritic cell accumulation and activation, and induce alternative macrophage activation. These proteins also inhibit inflammatory cell apoptosis/cell death while inhibiting Fas expression, activating protein kinase B/AKT, and inducing Faim 3. These studies establish novel regulatory roles for BRP-39/YKL-40 in the initiation and effector phases of Th2 inflammation and remodeling and suggest that these proteins are therapeutic targets in Th2- and macrophage-mediated disorders.
doi:10.1084/jem.20081271
PMCID: PMC2715037  PMID: 19414556
15.  Strain-specific requirement for eosinophils in the recruitment of T cells to the lung during the development of allergic asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(6):1285-1292.
Eosinophils have been implicated as playing a major role in allergic airway responses. However, the importance of these cells to the development of this disease has remained ambiguous despite many studies, partly because of lack of appropriate model systems. In this study, using transgenic murine models, we more clearly delineate a role for eosinophils in asthma. We report that, in contrast to results obtained on a BALB/c background, eosinophil-deficient C57BL/6 ΔdblGATA mice (eosinophil-null mice via the ΔDblGATA1 mutation) have reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, and cytokine production of interleukin (IL)-4, -5, and -13 in ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation. This was caused by reduced T cell recruitment into the lung, as these mouse lungs had reduced expression of CCL7/MCP-3, CC11/eotaxin-1, and CCL24/eotaxin-2. Transferring eosinophils into these eosinophil-deficient mice and, more importantly, delivery of CCL11/eotaxin-1 into the lung during the development of this disease rescued lung T cell infiltration and airway inflammation when delivered together with allergen. These studies indicate that on the C57BL/6 background, eosinophils are integral to the development of airway allergic responses by modulating chemokine and/or cytokine production in the lung, leading to T cell recruitment.
doi:10.1084/jem.20071836
PMCID: PMC2413027  PMID: 18490489
16.  C5 Modulates Airway Hyperreactivity and Pulmonary Eosinophilia during Enhanced Respiratory Syncytial Virus Disease by Decreasing C3a Receptor Expression▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;81(2):991-999.
Enhanced respiratory syncytial virus disease, a serious pulmonary disorder that affected recipients of an inactivated vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus in the 1960s, has delayed the development of vaccines against the virus. The enhanced disease was characterized by immune complex-mediated airway hyperreactivity and a severe pneumonia associated with pulmonary eosinophilia. In this paper, we show that complement factors contribute to enhanced-disease phenotypes. Mice with a targeted disruption of complement component C5 affected by the enhanced disease displayed enhanced airway reactivity, lung eosinophilia, and mucus production compared to wild-type mice and C5-deficient mice reconstituted with C5. C3aR expression in bronchial epithelial and smooth muscle cells in the lungs of C5-deficient mice was enhanced compared to that in wild-type and reconstituted rodents. Treatment of C5-deficient mice with a C3aR antagonist significantly attenuated airway reactivity, eosinophilia, and mucus production. These results indicate that C5 plays a crucial role in modulating the enhanced-disease phenotype, by affecting expression of C3aR in the lungs. These findings reveal a novel autoregulatory mechanism for the complement cascade that affects the innate and adaptive immune responses.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01783-06
PMCID: PMC1797434  PMID: 17079327
17.  The anaphylatoxin C3a downregulates the Th2 response to epicutaneously introduced antigen 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(3):399-407.
Mechanical injury to the skin results in activation of the complement component C3 and release of the anaphylatoxin C3a. C3a binds to a seven-transmembrane G protein–coupled receptor, C3aR. We used C3aR–/– mice to examine the role of C3a in a mouse model of allergic inflammation induced by epicutaneous sensitization with OVA. C3aR–/– mice exhibited an exaggerated Th2 response to epicutaneous but not to intraperitoneal sensitization with OVA, as evidenced by significantly elevated levels of serum OVA-specific IgG1 and significantly increased secretion of the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 by antigen-stimulated splenocytes. Presentation of OVA peptide by C3aR–/– APCs caused significantly more IL-4 and IL-5 secretion by T cells from OVA–T cell receptor (OVA-TCR) transgenic mice compared with presentation by WT APCs. C3a inhibited the ability of splenocytes, but not of highly purified T cells, to secrete Th2 cytokines in response to TCR ligation. This inhibition was mediated by IL-12 secreted by APCs in response to C3a. These results suggest that C3a-C3aR interactions inhibit the ability of APCs to drive Th2 cell differentiation in response to epicutaneously introduced antigen and may have important implications for allergic skin diseases.
doi:10.1172/JCI200419082
PMCID: PMC484971  PMID: 15286806
18.  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
19.  CCR3 is essential for skin eosinophilia and airway hyperresponsiveness in a murine model of allergic skin inflammation 
The CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3) is expressed by eosinophils, mast cells, and Th2 cells. We used CCR3–/– mice to assess the role of CCR3 in a murine model of allergic skin inflammation induced by repeated epicutaneous sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA), and characterized by eosinophil skin infiltration, local expression of Th2 cytokines, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to inhaled antigen. Eosinophils and the eosinophil product major basic protein were absent from the skin of sham and OVA-sensitized CCR3–/– mice. Mast cell numbers and expression of IL-4 mRNA were normal in skin of CCR3–/– mice, suggesting that CCR3 is not important for infiltration of the skin by mast cells and Th2 cells. CCR3–/– mice produced normal levels of OVA-specific IgE, and their splenocytes secreted normal amounts of IL-4 and IL-5 following in vitro stimulation with OVA, indicating effective generation of systemic Th2 helper responses. Recruitment of eosinophils to lung parenchyma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was severely impaired in CCR3–/– mice, which failed to develop AHR to methacholine following antigen inhalation. These results suggest that CCR3 plays an essential role in eosinophil recruitment to the skin and the lung and in the development of AHR.
doi:10.1172/JCI14097
PMCID: PMC150891  PMID: 11877470
20.  Lymph node trafficking and antigen presentation by endobronchial eosinophils 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2000;105(7):945-953.
Because eosinophils recruited into the airways in allergic diseases are exposed to inhaled allergens, we evaluated whether eosinophils within the endobronchial lumen can function in vivo as antigen-presenting cells for inhaled antigens. We recovered eosinophils from the airways after aerosol antigen challenge in sensitized mice or from the peritoneal cavities of IL-5 transgenic mice and fluorescently labeled these cells ex vivo. These labeled cells, instilled intratracheally into normal mice, migrated into draining paratracheal lymph nodes and localized to T cell–rich paracortical areas. The homing of airway eosinophils to lymph nodes was not governed by eotaxin, because CCR3–/– and CCR3+/+ eosinophils migrated identically. Airway eosinophils, recovered after inhalational antigen challenge in sensitized mice, expressed MHC class II and costimulatory CD80 and CD86 proteins and functioned in vitro as CD80- and CD86-dependent, antigen-specific, antigen-presenting cells. Moreover, when instilled into the airways of antigen-sensitized recipient mice, airway eosinophils recovered after inhalational antigen challenge stimulated antigen-specific CD4+ T cell proliferation within paratracheal lymph nodes. Thus, eosinophils within the lumina of airways can process inhaled antigens, traffic to regional lymph nodes, and function in vivo as antigen-presenting cells to stimulate responses of CD4+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC377484  PMID: 10749574
21.  Targeted Disruption of Migration Inhibitory Factor Gene Reveals Its Critical Role in Sepsis  
To study the biologic role of migration inhibitory factor (MIF), a pleiotropic cytokine, we generated a mouse strain lacking MIF by gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. Analysis of the role of MIF during sepsis showed that MIF−/− mice were resistant to the lethal effects of high dose bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B (SEB) with d-galactosamine and had lower plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) than did wild-type mice, but normal levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10. When stimulated with LPS and interferon γ, macrophages from MIF−/− mice showed diminished production of TNF-α, normal IL-6 and IL-12, and increased production of nitric oxide. MIF−/− animals cleared gram-negative bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa instilled into the trachea better than did wild-type mice and had diminished neutrophil accumulation in their bronchoalveolar fluid compared to the wild-type mice. Thioglycollate elicited peritoneal exudates in uninfected MIF−/− mice, but showed normal neutrophil accumulation. Finally, the findings of enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa and resistance to endotoxin-induced lethal shock suggest that the counteraction or neutralization of MIF may serve as an adjunct therapy in sepsis.
PMCID: PMC2192995  PMID: 9892616
migration inhibitory factor; gene-deficient mice; sepsis; lipopolysaccharide; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
22.  Kinetics of Eotaxin Generation and Its Relationship to Eosinophil Accumulation in Allergic Airways Disease: Analysis in a Guinea Pig Model In Vivo  
Challenge of the airways of sensitized guinea pigs with aerosolized ovalbumin resulted in an early phase of microvascular protein leakage and a delayed phase of eosinophil accumulation in the airway lumen, as measured using bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Immunoreactive eotaxin levels rose in airway tissue and BAL fluid to a peak at 6 h falling to low levels by 12 h. Eosinophil numbers in the tissue correlated with eotaxin levels until 6 h but eosinophils persisted until the last measurement time point at 24 h. In contrast, few eosinophils appeared in BAL over the first 12 h, major trafficking through the airway epithelium occurring at 12–24 h when eotaxin levels were low. Constitutive eotaxin was present in BAL fluid. Both constitutive and allergen-induced eosinophil chemoattractant activity in BAL fluid was neutralized by an antibody to eotaxin. Allergen-induced eotaxin appeared to be mainly in airway epithelium and macrophages, as detected by immunostaining. Allergen challenge of the lung resulted in a rapid release of bone marrow eosinophils into the blood. An antibody to IL-5 suppressed bone marrow eosinophil release and lung eosinophilia, without affecting lung eotaxin levels. Thus, IL-5 and eotaxin appear to cooperate in mediating a rapid transfer of eosinophils from the bone marrow to the lung in response to allergen challenge.
PMCID: PMC2199038  PMID: 9254658

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