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1.  Immunopathogenesis of Allergic Asthma: More Than the Th2 Hypothesis 
Asthma is a chronic obstructive airway disease that involves inflammation of the respiratory tract. Biological contaminants in indoor air can induce innate and adaptive immune responses and inflammation, resulting in asthma pathology. Epidemiologic surveys indicate that the prevalence of asthma is higher in developed countries than in developing countries. The prevalence of asthma in Korea has increased during the last several decades. This increase may be related to changes in housing styles, which result in increased levels of indoor biological contaminants, such as house dust mite-derived allergens and bacterial products such as endotoxin. Different types of inflammation are observed in those suffering from mild-to-moderate asthma compared to those experiencing severe asthma, involving markedly different patterns of inflammatory cells and mediators. As described in this review, these inflammatory profiles are largely determined by the involvement of different T helper cell subsets, which orchestrate the recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells. It is becoming clear that T helper cells other than Th2 cells are involved in the pathogenesis of asthma; specifically, both Th1 and Th17 cells are crucial for the development of neutrophilic inflammation in the airways, which is related to corticosteroid resistance. Development of therapeutics that suppress these immune and inflammatory cells may provide useful asthma treatments in the future.
doi:10.4168/aair.2013.5.4.189
PMCID: PMC3695232  PMID: 23814671
Allergic asthma; endotoxin; immunopathogenesis; T helper cell
2.  Multilocus analysis of atopy in Korean children using multifactor‐dimensionality reduction 
Thorax  2007;62(3):265-269.
Background
Atopy is considered to be a complex genetic trait and does not follow a simple mendelian pattern of inheritance. It is now well recognised that gene–gene interactions are important in complex genetic disease.
Aim
To analyse the influence of gene–gene interactions in the development of atopy.
Methods
A total of 2055 ethnically identical participants aged 10–18 years living in rural areas on Jeju Island, Korea, were randomly recruited. Atopy was defined as a positive skin prick test response to one or more common inhalant allergens. Gene–gene interactions among 12 polymorphic loci were analysed in the seven candidate genes of atopy using the multidimensionality‐reduction method.
Results
A significant interaction was found between V297I in the gene coding vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (KDR) and −308G→A in the gene coding tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α on the risk of atopy, with a cross‐validation consistency of 10 out of 10 and a prediction error of 35.9% (p = 0.001). Conventional logistic regression also revealed significant interactions between KDR and TNF for atopy. Individuals with the variant allele of −308G→A in TNF (GA or AA) and V297I in KDR (VI or II) had a significantly higher risk of atopy (OR 2.23; 95% CI 1.48 to 3.57).
Conclusion
KDR and TNF may synergistically influence the development of atopy through gene–gene interaction in Korean children and adolescents.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.065482
PMCID: PMC2117169  PMID: 17121871
3.  Staphylococcus aureus Extracellular Vesicles Carry Biologically Active β-Lactamase 
Gram-positive bacteria naturally produce extracellular vesicles. However, little is known regarding the functions of Gram-positive bacterial extracellular vesicles, especially in the bacterial community. Here, we investigated the role of Staphylococcus aureus extracellular vesicles in interbacterial communication to cope with antibiotic stress. We found that S. aureus liberated BlaZ, a β-lactamase protein, via extracellular vesicles. These extracellular vesicles enabled other ampicillin-susceptible Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria to survive in the presence of ampicillin. However, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of tetracycline-, chloramphenicol-, or kanamycin-susceptible bacteria. Moreover, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not contain the blaZ gene. In addition, the heat-treated S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of ampicillin-susceptible bacteria. The β-lactamase activities of S. aureus soluble and extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ were similar, but only the extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ was resistant to protease digestion, which suggests that the enzymatic activity of BlaZ in extracellular vesicles is largely protected by the vesicle structure. Our observations provide evidence of the important role of S. aureus extracellular vesicles in antibiotic resistance, which allows the polymicrobial community to continue to evolve and prosper against antibiotics.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00522-12
PMCID: PMC3716153  PMID: 23529736
4.  Influence of the Adjuvants and Genetic Background on the Asthma Model Using Recombinant Der f 2 in Mice 
Immune Network  2013;13(6):295-300.
Der f 2 is the group 2 major allergen of a house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae) and its function has been recently suggested. To determine the optimal condition of sensitization to recombinant Der f 2 (rDer f 2) in murine model of asthma, we compared the effectiveness with different adjuvants in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Mice from both strains sensitized with rDer f 2 by intraperitoneal injection or subcutaneous injection on days 1 and 14. The dosage was 20 µg. Freund's adjuvants with pertussis toxin (FP) or alum alone were used as adjuvants. On days 28, 29, and 30, mice were challenged intranasally with 0.1% rDer f 2. We evaluated airway hyperresponsivenss, eosinophil proportion in lung lavage, airway inflammation, and serum allergen specific antibody responses. Naive mice were used as controls. Airway hyperresponsiveness was increased in C57BL/6 with FP, and BALB/c with alum (PC200: 13.5±6.3, 13.2±6.7 vs. >50 mg/ml, p<0.05). The eosinophil proportion was increased in all groups; C57BL/6 with FP, BALB/c with FP, C57BL/6 with alum, BALB/c with alum (24.8±3.6, 20.3±10.3, 11.0±6.9, 5.7±2.8, vs. 0.0±0.0%, p<0.05). The serum allergen specific IgE levels were increased in C57BL/6 with FP or alum (OD: 0.8±1.4, 1.1±0.8, vs. 0.0±0.0). C57BL/6 mice were better responders to rDer f 2 and as for adjuvants, Freund's adjuvant with pertussis toxin was better.
doi:10.4110/in.2013.13.6.295
PMCID: PMC3875789  PMID: 24385949
Allergy; Asthma; Rodent; House dust mite; Der f 2
5.  Three-Dimensional Imaging of Hepatic Sinusoids in Mice Using Synchrotron Radiation Micro-Computed Tomography 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68600.
Hepatic sinusoid, the smallest vessel in the liver, plays important roles in hepatic microcirculation. Although the structure of the hepatic sinusoids affects diverse functions of the liver, little is known about morphological alterations in the sinusoids under pathological conditions. In this study, we show that the structure of hepatic sinusoids can be identified three-dimensionally in normal and carbon tetrachloride-injured mouse liver, using the absorption mode of synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography. We observed that the hepatic sinusoidal structure on tomographic slice images was similar to that on histological images of normal and acutely injured mice. Moreover, centrilobular necrosis and structural alterations of the sinusoids in the necrotic region were detectable on tomographic slice and volume-rendered images of the acutely injured mice. Furthermore, quantitative analyses on 3D volume-rendered images of the injured sinusoid revealed decrease in the volume of the sinusoid and connectivity of the sinusoidal network. Our results suggest that the use of synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography may improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of hepatic diseases by detecting the hepatic sinusoids and their alterations in three-dimensional structures of the damaged liver.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068600
PMCID: PMC3702620  PMID: 23861925
6.  Activation of Rice nicotianamine synthase 2 (OsNAS2) Enhances Iron Availability for Biofortification 
Molecules and Cells  2012;33(3):269-275.
Because micronutrients in human diets ultimately come from plant sources, malnutrition of essential minerals is a significant public health concern. By increasing the expression of nicotianamine synthase (NAS), we fortified the level of bioavailable iron in rice seeds. Activation of iron deficiency-inducible OsNAS2 resulted in a rise in Fe content (3.0-fold) in mature seeds. Its ectopic expression also increased that content. Enhanced expression led to higher tolerance of Fe deficiency and better growth under elevated pH. Mice fed with OsNAS2-D1 seeds recovered more rapidly from anemia, indicating that bioavailable Fe contents were improved by this increase in OsNAS2 expression.
doi:10.1007/s10059-012-2231-3
PMCID: PMC3887711  PMID: 22228185
anemia; bioavailability; mouse; rice
7.  EVpedia: an integrated database of high-throughput data for systemic analyses of extracellular vesicles 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2013;2:10.3402/jev.v2i0.20384.
Secretion of extracellular vesicles is a general cellular activity that spans the range from simple unicellular organisms (e.g. archaea; Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria) to complex multicellular ones, suggesting that this extracellular vesicle-mediated communication is evolutionarily conserved. Extracellular vesicles are spherical bilayered proteolipids with a mean diameter of 20–1,000 nm, which are known to contain various bioactive molecules including proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Here, we present EVpedia, which is an integrated database of high-throughput datasets from prokaryotic and eukaryotic extracellular vesicles. EVpedia provides high-throughput datasets of vesicular components (proteins, mRNAs, miRNAs, and lipids) present on prokaryotic, non-mammalian eukaryotic, and mammalian extracellular vesicles. In addition, EVpedia also provides an array of tools, such as the search and browse of vesicular components, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis, network analysis of vesicular proteins and mRNAs, and a comparison of vesicular datasets by ortholog identification. Moreover, publications on extracellular vesicle studies are listed in the database. This free web-based database of EVpedia (http://evpedia.info) might serve as a fundamental repository to stimulate the advancement of extracellular vesicle studies and to elucidate the novel functions of these complex extracellular organelles.
doi:10.3402/jev.v2i0.20384
PMCID: PMC3760654  PMID: 24009897
nanocosmos; communicasomes; exosomes; microvesicles; outer membrane vesicles; membrane vesicles; web portals; phylogenetic analyses
8.  Murine subcutaneous immunotherapy models with beneficial immunological and physiological effects 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2013;3(1):50-58.
Background
Immunotherapy was introduced 100 years ago and has a unique role in the treatment of allergic diseases in that only immunotherapy can induce long-term immunological tolerance. However, only a few mouse models of immunotherapy have been developed so far.
Objective
We tried to establish murine immunotherapy models that have similar findings in human using subcutaneous rush immunotherapy-like schedule.
Methods
To determine the maximal safe or maximal tolerable dose, injection dose was doubled twice a day from the dose of sensitization. Mice with established asthma using ovalbumin (OVA) were repeatedly injected with OVA from the dose of sensitization subcutaneously twice a day: after reaching to the maximal safe or maximal tolerable dose, mice were injected with each dose either 10 times or 24 times.
Results
Short term immunotherapy (10 times) with the maximal safe and tolerable dose of OVA showed decreased IL-5 production, decreased IL-5/INF-γ ratio, and increased IgG2a/IgG1 but there was no significant difference in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) or airway inflammation. Prolonged immunotherapy (24 times) with the maximal tolerable dose not only decreased cytokine productions of IL-5 and even INF-γ, but also decreased IgE, IgG1 and even IgG2a production. Remarkably, the prolonged immunotherapy provided a protective effect on AHR.
Conclusion
This study suggested immunotherapy models with some beneficial immunological and physiological effects in murine asthma.
doi:10.5415/apallergy.2013.3.1.50
PMCID: PMC3563022  PMID: 23403956
Asthma; Animal models; Allergy; Immunotherapy
9.  Acetyl salicylic acid inhibits Th17 airway inflammation via blockade of IL-6 and IL-17 positive feedback 
T-helper (Th)17 cell responses are important for the development of neutrophilic inflammatory disease. Recently, we found that acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) inhibited Th17 airway inflammation in an asthma mouse model induced by sensitization with lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-containing allergens. To investigate the mechanism(s) of the inhibitory effect of ASA on the development of Th17 airway inflammation, a neutrophilic asthma mouse model was generated by intranasal sensitization with LPS plus ovalbumin (OVA) and then challenged with OVA alone. Immunologic parameters and airway inflammation were evaluated 6 and 48 h after the last OVA challenge. ASA inhibited the production of interleukin (IL)-17 from lung T cells as well as in vitro Th17 polarization induced by IL-6. Additionally, ASA, but not salicylic acid, suppressed Th17 airway inflammation, which was associated with decreased expression of acetyl-STAT3 (downstream signaling of IL-6) in the lung. Moreover, the production of IL-6 from inflammatory cells, induced by IL-17, was abolished by treatment with ASA, whereas that induced by LPS was not. Altogether, ASA, likely via its acetyl moiety, inhibits Th17 airway inflammation by blockade of IL-6 and IL-17 positive feedback.
doi:10.1038/emm.2013.10
PMCID: PMC3584657  PMID: 23306703
Acetyl salicylic acid; IL-6; IL-17A; STAT3; Th17
10.  Quantitative proteomics of extracellular vesicles derived from human primary and metastatic colorectal cancer cells 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2012;1:10.3402/jev.v1i0.18704.
Cancer cells actively release extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, into surrounding tissues. These EVs play pleiotropic roles in cancer progression and metastasis, including invasion, angiogenesis, and immune modulation. However, the proteomic differences between primary and metastatic cancer cell-derived EVs remain unclear. Here, we conducted comparative proteomic analysis between EVs derived from human primary colorectal cancer cells (SW480) and their metastatic derivatives (SW620). Using label-free quantitation, we identified 803 and 787 proteins in SW480 EVs and SW620 EVs, respectively. Based on comparison between the estimated abundance of EV proteins, we identified 368 SW480 EV-enriched and 359 SW620 EV-enriched proteins. SW480 EV-enriched proteins played a role in cell adhesion, but SW620 EV-enriched proteins were associated with cancer progression and functioned as diagnostic indicators of metastatic cancer; they were overexpressed in metastatic colorectal cancer and played roles in multidrug resistance. As the first proteomic analysis comparing primary and metastatic cancer-derived EVs, this study increases our understanding of the pathological function of EVs in the metastatic process and provides useful biomarkers for cancer metastasis.
doi:10.3402/jev.v1i0.18704
PMCID: PMC3760640  PMID: 24009881
colorectal cancer; microvesicles; exosomes; ectosomes; metastasis; biomarker; secretome; APEX; label-free quantitative proteomics; nanoparticle tracking analysis
11.  Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induces remodeling and enhances TH2-mediated sensitization and inflammation in the lung 
Nature medicine  2004;10(10):1095-1103.
Exaggerated levels of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) are present in persons with asthma, but the role(s) of VEGF in normal and asthmatic lungs has not been defined. We generated lung-targeted VEGF165 transgenic mice and evaluated the role of VEGF in T-helper type 2 cell (TH2)-mediated inflammation. In these mice, VEGF induced, through IL-13–dependent and –independent pathways, an asthma-like phenotype with inflammation, parenchymal and vascular remodeling, edema, mucus metaplasia, myocyte hyperplasia and airway hyper-responsiveness. VEGF also enhanced respiratory antigen sensitization and TH2 inflammation and increased the number of activated DC2 dendritic cells. In antigen-induced inflammation, VEGF was produced by epithelial cells and preferentially by TH2 versus TH1 cells. In this setting, it had a critical role in TH2 inflammation, cytokine production and physiologic dysregulation. Thus, VEGF is a mediator of vascular and extravascular remodeling and inflammation that enhances antigen sensitization and is crucial in adaptive TH2 inflammation. VEGF regulation may be therapeutic in asthma and other TH2 disorders.
doi:10.1038/nm1105
PMCID: PMC3434232  PMID: 15378055
12.  Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Is a Key Mediator in the Development of T Cell Priming and Its Polarization to Type 1 and Type 17 T Helper Cells in the Airways 
Chronic inflammatory airway diseases including asthma are characterized by immune dysfunction to inhaled allergens. Our previous studies demonstrated that T cell priming to inhaled allergens requires LPS, which is ubiquitously present in household dust allergens. In this study, we evaluated the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of T cell priming and its polarization to Th1 or Th17 cells when exposed to LPS-contaminated allergens. An asthma mouse model was induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens and then challenged with allergens alone. Therapeutic intervention was performed during allergen sensitization. The present study showed that lung inflammation induced by sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens was decreased in mice with homozygous disruption of the IL-17 gene; in addition, allergen-specific Th17 immune response was abolished in IL-6 knockout mice. Meanwhile, in vivo production of VEGF was up-regulated by airway exposure of LPS. In addition, airway sensitization of allergen plus recombinant VEGF induced both type 1 and type 17 Th cell (Th1 and Th17) responses. Th1 and Th17 responses induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens were blocked by treatment with a pan-VEGF receptor (VEGFR; VEGFR-1 plus VEGFR-2) inhibitor during sensitization. These effects were accompanied by inhibition of the production of Th1 and Th17 polarizing cytokines, IL-12p70 and IL-6, respectively. These findings indicate that VEGF produced by LPS plays a key role in activation of naive T cells and subsequent polarization to Th1 and Th17 cells.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0901566
PMCID: PMC3385973  PMID: 19786548
13.  Genetic Variations in TXNRD1 as Potential Predictors of Drug-Induced Liver Injury 
Purpose
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the most common adverse drug reaction; however, it is not easily predicted. We hypothesize that DILI has a common genetic basis. Based on the findings of previous animal studies on toxic hepatitis, we selected the thioredoxin reductase 1 gene (TXNRD1) as a candidate marker of DILI for this genetic association study.
Methods
Records from 118 patients with DILI were extracted from the database of the Adverse Drug Reaction Research Group in South Korea. Causative drugs included antituberculosis drugs (n=68, 57.6%), antibiotics (n=22, 18.6%), antiepileptic drugs (n=7, 5.9%), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n=5, 4.2%), and others (n=16, 13.7%). Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TXNRD1 (rs10735393, rs4964287, rs4595619, rs10861201, rs11111997, rs4246270, and rs4246271) were scored in 118 DILI patients and in 120 drug-matched controls without liver injury.
Results
No differences were found between the frequencies of any of the 7 SNPs in the cases and controls; however, a significant association was found between a TTA haplotype composed of rs10735393, rs4964287, and rs4595619 and DILI using an allele model (odds ratio, 1.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-2.73; P=0.008; Bonferroni corrected P=0.024).
Conclusions
These results suggest that genetic variations in TXNRD1 favor the development of DILI, although a larger confirmative study is needed.
doi:10.4168/aair.2012.4.3.132
PMCID: PMC3328729  PMID: 22548205
Drug-induced liver injury; genetic association study; genetic polymorphism; single nucleotide polymorphisms; thioredoxin reductase 1
14.  Therapeutic Effects of Autologous Tumor-Derived Nanovesicles on Melanoma Growth and Metastasis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33330.
Cancer vaccines with optimal tumor-associated antigens show promise for anti-tumor immunotherapy. Recently, nano-sized vesicles, such as exosomes derived from tumors, were suggested as potential antigen candidates, although the total yield of exosomes is not sufficient for clinical applications. In the present study, we developed a new vaccine strategy based on nano-sized vesicles derived from primary autologous tumors. Through homogenization and sonication of tumor tissues, we achieved high yields of vesicle-bound antigens. These nanovesicles were enriched with antigenic membrane targets but lacked nuclear autoantigens. Furthermore, these nanovesicles together with adjuvant activated dendritic cells in vitro, and induced effective anti-tumor immune responses in both primary and metastatic melanoma mouse models. Therefore, autologous tumor-derived nanovesicles may represent a novel source of antigens with high-level immunogenicity for use in acellular vaccines without compromising safety. Our strategy is cost-effective and can be applied to patient-specific cancer therapeutic vaccination.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033330
PMCID: PMC3305328  PMID: 22438914
15.  Cbl-b Regulates Airway Mucosal Tolerance to Aeroallergen 
Background
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.
Objective
To determine the contribution of Cbl-b in tolerance to aeroallergens, we examined ovalbumin (OVA)-induced lung inflammation in Cbl-b deficient mice.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03593.x
PMCID: PMC2994994  PMID: 20738317
Cbl-b; Ubiquitin E3 Ligase; Aeroallergen; Allergic inflammation; Asthma
16.  Tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 in allergic and anaphylactic inflammation 
Immunologic research  2010;47(1-3):3-13.
Protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 is an essential regulatory molecule in many different signaling pathways. The biological importance of SHP-1 is underscored by the motheaten mutant mouse strains with immunological disorders involving multiple organs and by the close association of aberrant SHP-1 expression with several human diseases. Recent studies provided some compelling evidence that supports a role of SHP-1 in regulating mast cell development and function and also in regulating type 2 allergic inflammatory responses in both innate and adaptive immune responses. In this article, we summarize the recent advancement of our understanding of this interesting phosphatase in the important area of allergic inflammation.
doi:10.1007/s12026-009-8134-5
PMCID: PMC2954886  PMID: 20077161
Phosphatase; Mast cells; Th2 cytokines; Allergic inflammatory response; Allergy; Asthma
17.  Protective effects of basic fibroblast growth factor in the development of emphysema induced by interferon-γ 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(4):169-178.
Recent clinical evidence indicates that the non-eosinophilic subtype of severe asthma is characterized by fixed airway obstruction, which may be related to emphysema. Transgenic studies have demonstrated that high levels of IFN-γ in the airways induce emphysema. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), which is the downstream mediator of TGF-β, is important in wound healing. We investigated the role of FGF2 in IFN-γ-induced emphysema and the therapeutic effects of recombinant FGF2 in the prevention of emphysema in a severe non-eosinophilic asthma model. To evaluate the role of FGF2 in IFN-γ-induced emphysema, lung targeted IFN-γ transgenic mice were cross-bred with FGF2-deficient mice. A severe non-eosinophilic asthma model was generated by airway application of LPS-containing allergens twice a week for 4 weeks. To evaluate protective effects of FGF2, recombinant FGF2 (10 µg) was injected subcutaneously during allergen challenge in the severe asthma model. We found that non-eosinophilic inflammation and emphysema induced by transgenic overexpression of IFN-γ in the airways were aggravated by the absence of FGF2. Airway challenge with LPS-containing allergens induced more inflammation in mice sensitized with LPS-containing allergens compared to challenge with allergens alone. In addition, LPS-induced lung inflammation and emphysema depended on IFN-γ but not on IL-13. Interestingly, emphysema in the severe asthma model was significantly inhibited by treatment with recombinant FGF2 during allergen challenge, whereas lung inflammation was unaffected. Therefore, our present data suggest that FGF2 may help protect against IFN-γ-induced emphysema, and that recombinant FGF2 may help lessen the severity of emphysema.
doi:10.3858/emm.2011.43.4.018
PMCID: PMC3085735  PMID: 21297377
asthma; emphysema; fibroblast growth factor 2; interferon-γ; pulmonary eosinophilia
18.  Role of inducible nitric oxide synthase on the development of virus-associated asthma exacerbation which is dependent on Th1 and Th17 cell responses 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2010;42(10):721-730.
Asthma is characterized by airway inflammation induced by immune dysfunction to inhaled antigens. Although respiratory viral infections are the most common cause of asthma exacerbation, immunologic mechanisms underlying virus-associated asthma exacerbation are controversial. Clinical evidence indicates that nitric oxide (NO) levels in exhaled air are increased in exacerbated asthma patients compared to stable patients. Here, we evaluated the immunologic mechanisms and the role of NO synthases (NOSs) in the development of virus-associated asthma exacerbation. A murine model of virus-associated asthma exacerbation was established using intranasal challenge with ovalbumin (OVA) plus dsRNA for 4 weeks in mice sensitized with OVA plus dsRNA. Lung infiltration of inflammatory cells, especially neutrophils, was increased by repeated challenge with OVA plus dsRNA, as compared to OVA alone. The neutrophilic inflammation enhanced by dsRNA was partly abolished in the absence of IFN-gamma or IL-17 gene expression, whereas unaffected in the absence of IL-13. In terms of the roles of NOSs, dsRNA-enhanced neutrophilic inflammation was significantly decreased in inducible NOS (iNOS)-deficient mice compared to wild type controls; in addition, this phenotype was inhibited by treatment with a non-specific NOS inhibitor (L-NAME) or an specific inhibitor (1400 W), but not with a specific endothelial NOS inhibitor (AP-CAV peptide). Taken together, these findings suggest that iNOS pathway is important in the development of virus-associated exacerbation of neutrophilic inflammation, which is dependent on both Th1 and Th17 cell responses.
doi:10.3858/emm.2010.42.10.072
PMCID: PMC2966746  PMID: 20841959
asthma; interferon-γ; interleukin-17; neutrophils; nitric oxide synthase type II; RNA viruses; Th1 cells
19.  IL-12-STAT4-IFN-γ axis is a key downstream pathway in the development of IL-13-mediated asthma phenotypes in a Th2 type asthma model 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2010;42(8):533-546.
IL-4 and IL-13 are closely related cytokines that are produced by Th2 cells. However, IL-4 and IL-13 have different effects on the development of asthma phenotypes. Here, we evaluated downstream molecular mechanisms involved in the development of Th2 type asthma phenotypes. A murine model of Th2 asthma was used that involved intraperitoneal sensitization with an allergen (ovalbumin) plus alum and then challenge with ovalbumin alone. Asthma phenotypes, including airway-hyperresponsiveness (AHR), lung inflammation, and immunologic parameters were evaluated after allergen challenge in mice deficient in candidate genes. The present study showed that methacholine AHR and lung inflammation developed in allergen-challenged IL-4-deficient mice but not in allergen-challenged IL-13-deficient mice. In addition, the production of OVA-specific IgG2a and IFN-γ-inducible protein (IP)-10 was also impaired in the absence of IL-13, but not of IL-4. Lung-targeted IFN-γ over-expression in the airways enhanced methacholine AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation; in addition, these asthma phenotypes were impaired in allergen-challenged IFN-γ-deficient mice. Moreover, AHR, non-eosinophilic inflammation, and IFN-γ expression were impaired in allergen-challenged IL-12Rβ2- and STAT4-deficient mice; however, AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation were not impaired in allergen-challenged IL-4Rα-deficient mice, and these phenomena were accompanied by the enhanced expression of IL-12 and IFN-γ. The present data suggest that IL-13-mediated asthma phenotypes, such as AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation, in the Th2 type asthma are dependent on the IL-12-STAT4-IFN-γ axis, and that these asthma phenotypes are independent of IL-4Ralpha-mediated signaling.
doi:10.3858/emm.2010.42.8.054
PMCID: PMC2928926  PMID: 20592486
asthma; interferon-γ; interleukin-12; interleukin-13; respiratory hypersensitivity; Th2 cells
20.  Outer Membrane Vesicles Derived from Escherichia coli Induce Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11334.
Sepsis, characterized by a systemic inflammatory state that is usually related to Gram-negative bacterial infection, is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although the annual incidence of sepsis is still rising, the exact cause of Gram-negative bacteria-associated sepsis is not clear. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), constitutively secreted from Gram-negative bacteria, are nano-sized spherical bilayered proteolipids. Using a mouse model, we showed that intraperitoneal injection of OMVs derived from intestinal Escherichia coli induced lethality. Furthermore, OMVs induced host responses which resemble a clinically relevant condition like sepsis that was characterized by piloerection, eye exudates, hypothermia, tachypnea, leukopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, dysfunction of the lungs, hypotension, and systemic induction of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6. Our study revealed a previously unidentified causative microbial signal in the pathogenesis of sepsis, suggesting OMVs as a new therapeutic target to prevent and/or treat severe sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacterial infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011334
PMCID: PMC2893157  PMID: 20596524
21.  A Critical Role of SHP-1 in Regulation of Type 2 Inflammation in the Lung 
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. Type 2 T helper (Th) cell–dominated inflammation in the lung is a hallmark of asthma. Src homology 2 domain–containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP)-1 is a negative regulator in the signaling pathways of many growth factor and cytokine receptors. However, a direct role of SHP-1 in the IL-4/IL-13 signaling pathway has not been established. In this study, we sought to define the function of SHP-1 in the lung by characterizing the pulmonary inflammation of viable motheaten (mev) mice, and to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved. Pulmonary histology, physiology, and cytokine expression of mev mice were analyzed to define the nature of the inflammation, and the gene-deletion approach was used to identify critical molecules involved. In mev mice, we observed spontaneous Th2-like inflammatory responses in the lung, including eosinophilia, mucus metaplasia, airway epithelial hypertrophy, pulmonary fibrosis, and increased airway resistance and airway hyperresponsiveness. The pulmonary phenotype was accompanied by up-regulation of Th2 cytokines and chemokines. Selective deletion of IL-13 or signal transducer and activator of transcription 6, key genes in the Th2 signaling pathway, significantly reduced, but did not completely eliminate, the inflammation in the lung. These findings suggest that SHP-1 plays a critical role in regulating the IL-4/IL-13 signaling pathway and in maintaining lung homeostasis.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2008-0225OC
PMCID: PMC2677436  PMID: 18952567
Src homology 2 domain–containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-1; protein tyrosine phosphatase; motheaten mouse; type 2 T helper cell inflammation; lung
22.  Aspirin attenuates the anti-inflammatory effects of theophylline via inhibition of cAMP production in mice with non-eosinophilic asthma 
Theophylline is commonly used to treat severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characterized by non-eosinophilic inflammation. Acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) is one of the most widely used medications worldwide, but up to 20% of patients with asthma experience aggravated respiratory symptoms after taking ASA. Here we evaluated the adverse effect of ASA on the therapeutic effect of theophylline in mice with non-eosinophilic asthma. A non-eosinophilic asthma mouse model was induced by airway sensitization with lipopolysaccharide-containing allergen and then challenged with allergen alone. Therapeutic intervention was performed during allergen challenge. Theophylline inhibited lung inflammation partly induced by Th1 immune response. ASA attenuated the beneficial effects of theophylline. However, co-administration of the ASA metabolite salicylic acid (SA) showed no attenuating effect on theophylline treatment. The therapeutic effect of theophylline was associated with increase in cAMP levels, which was blocked by co-treatment of theophylline and ASA. ASA co-treatment also attenuated the anti-inflammatory effects of a specific phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor. These results demonstrate that ASA reverses anti-inflammatory effects of theophylline, and that ASA exerts its adverse effects through the inhibition of cAMP production. Our data suggest that ASA reverses lung inflammation in patients taking theophylline, although clinical evidence will be needed.
doi:10.3858/emm.2010.42.1.005
PMCID: PMC2811820  PMID: 19887894
adverse effect; aspirin; asthma, aspirin-induced; cyclic AMP; cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, type 4; drug toxicity; pneumonia; theophylline
23.  The Effect of CpG-Oligodeoxynucleotides with Different Backbone Structures and 3' Hexameric Deoxyriboguanosine Run Conjugation on the Treatment of Asthma in Mice 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(5):860-866.
CpG-Oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) has two backbones. Phosphorothioate backbone (PS) shows a strong immunostimulating effect while phosphodiester (PE) shows little in vivo. 3' hexameric deoxyriboguanosine-run (3' dG6-run) conjugation to PE CpG-ODN has been reported to enhance immunostimulation and to protect against asthma when injected at the time of sensitization in mice. We evaluated the treatment effects of PE and PS CpG-ODN with or without 3' dG6-run on asthma in presensitized mice. BALB/c mice sensitized with ovalbumin and alum were challenged with 1% ovalbumin on three days. CpG-ODNs (100 µg) or PBS were injected 4 times; 27 hr before challenge and 3 hr before each challenge (CpG-dG6: CpG-ODN with 3' dG6-run, PE*-CpG-dG6: PE-CpG-dG6 with two PS backbones at the 5' terminus). PE-CpG showed no treatment effect. PE-CpG-dG6 only increased ovalbumin-specific IgG2a. PE*-CpG-dG6 increased ovalbumin-specific IgG2a but also reduced BAL fluid eosinophils and airway hyperresponsiveness. PS-CpG increased ovalbumin-specific IgG2a, reduced airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. PS-CpG-dG6 was less effective than PS-CpG on airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. In pre-sensitized mice, PE-CpG required not only 3' dG6-run but also the modification of two PS linkages at 5' terminus to inhibit features of asthma. PS-CpG was strong enough to inhibit asthma but PS-CpG-dG6 was less effective.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2009.24.5.860
PMCID: PMC2752769  PMID: 19794984
Asthma; Models, Animal; Allergy; Immunotherapy; CpG-ODN; Poly G
24.  Atopy May Be an Important Determinant of Subepithelial Fibrosis in Subjects with Asymptomatic Airway Hyperresponsiveness 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(3):390-396.
The bronchial pathology of asymptomatic airway hyperreponsiveness (AHR) subjects is not well understood, and the role of atopy in the development of airway remodeling is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether atopy is associated with airway remodeling in asymptomatic AHR subjects. Five groups, i.e., atopic or non-atopic subjects with asymptomatic AHR, atopic or non-atopic healthy controls, and subjects with mild atopic asthma, were evaluated by bronchoscopic biopsy. By electron microscopy, mean reticular basement membrane (RBM) thicknesses were 4.3±1.7 µm, 3.4±1.8 µm, 2.5±1.5 µm, 2.6±1.1 µm, and 2.3±1.2 µm in the mild atopic asthma, atopic and non-atopic asymptomatic AHR, atopic and non-atopic control groups, respectively (p=0.002). RBM thicknesses were significantly higher in the mild atopic asthma group and in the atopic asymptomatic AHR group than in the other three groups (p=0.048). No significant difference in RBM thickness was observed between the atopic asymptomatic AHR group and the mild atopic asthma group (p>0.05), nor between non-atopic asymptomatic AHR group and the two control groups (p>0.05). By light microscopy, subepithelial layer thicknesses between the groups showed the same results. These findings suggest that RBM thickening occurs in subjects with atopic asymptomatic AHR, and that atopy plays an important role in airway remodeling.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2008.23.3.390
PMCID: PMC2526529  PMID: 18583872
Asymptomatic Airway Hyperresponsiveness; Atopy; Airway Remodeling; Reticular Basement Membrane; Subepithelial Layer Thickness
25.  Korean Ginseng-Induced Occupational Asthma and Determination of IgE Binding Components 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(2):232-235.
A number of case reports on occupational asthma caused by herbal medicines have been issued, for example, on Sanyak, Chunkung, Banha, and Brazilian ginseng. Recently, cases of occupational asthma induced by Sanyak and Korean ginseng have been reported, but the pathogenic mechanisms involved are unknown. This study was carried out to evaluate the immunologic mechanism underlying Korean ginseng-induced occupational asthma. A patient engaged in Korean ginseng wholesale was referred for recurrent dyspnea, wheezing, and nasal symptoms, which were aggravated at work. Allergen bronchial provocation testing to Korean ginseng extract showed a typical immediate response, and skin prick testing to Korean ginseng extract also showed a strong positive response. Moreover, serum-specific IgE levels to Korean ginseng extract were significantly higher than in controls. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) inhibition tests showed a dose-dependent inhibition by Korean ginseng, but not by Dermatophagoides farinae, wheat flour, or Chinese balloon flower. Sodium dodecylsulfate-poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblotting revealed four specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE) binding components at 26, 30, 47, and 60 kDa, which were not bound by control sera. These results strongly suggest that occupation asthma induced by Korean ginseng is induced via an IgE-mediated mechanism.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2008.23.2.232
PMCID: PMC2526437  PMID: 18437005
Asthma; Hypersensitivity, Immediate; Panax; Immunoglobulin E; Occupational Diseases

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