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1.  Mice deficient in the St3gal3 gene product α2,3 sialyltransferase (ST3Gal-III) exhibit enhanced allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation 
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology  2013;133(1):10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.018.
Background
Sialic acid–binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec)-F is a proapoptotic receptor on mouse eosinophils, but little is known about its natural tissue ligand.
Objective
We previously reported that the St3gal3 gene product α2,3 sialyltransferase (ST3Gal-III) is required for constitutive Siglec-F lung ligand synthesis. We therefore hypothesized that attenuation of ST3Gal-III will decrease Siglec-F ligand levels and enhance allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation.
Methods
C57BL/6 wild-type mice and St3gal3 heterozygous or homozygous deficient (St3gal3+/− and St3gal3−/−) mice were used. Eosinophilic airway inflammation was induced through sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) and repeated airway OVA challenge. Siglec-F human IgG1 fusion protein (Siglec-F-Fc) was used to detect Siglec-F ligands. Lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were analyzed for inflammation, as well as various cytokines and chemokines. Serum was analyzed for allergen-specific immunoglobulin levels.
Results
Western blotting with Siglec-F-Fc detected approximately 500-kDa and approximately 200-kDa candidate Siglec-F ligands that were less abundant in St3gal3+/− lung extracts and nearly absent in St3gal3−/− lung extracts. After OVA sensitization and challenge, Siglec-F ligands were increased in wild-type mouse lungs but less so in St3gal3 mutants, whereas peribronchial and BALF eosinophil numbers were greater in the mutants, with the following rank order: St3gal3−/− ≥ St3gal3+/− > wild-type mice. Levels of various cytokines and chemokines in BALF were not significantly different among these 3 types of mice, although OVA-specific serum IgG1 levels were increased in St3gal3−/− mice.
Conclusions
After OVA sensitization and challenge, St3gal3+/− and St3gal3−/− mice have more intense allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation and less sialylated Siglec-F ligands in their airways. One possible explanation for these findings is that levels of sialylated airway ligands for Siglec-F might be diminished in mice with attenuated levels of ST3Gal-III, resulting in a reduction in a natural proapoptotic pathway for controlling airway eosinophilia.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.018
PMCID: PMC3874253  PMID: 23830412
Eosinophils; asthma; Siglec-F; 6′-sulfated sialyl Lewis X; 6′-sulfated sialyl N-acetyl-D-lactosamine; apoptosis; glycan ligands; lung; St3gal3
2.  TRPA1-Dependent Pruritus in IL-13-Induced Chronic Atopic Dermatitis 
Chronic debilitating pruritus is a cardinal feature of a topic dermatitis (AD). Little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Antihistamines lack efficacy in treating itch in AD, suggesting the existence of histamine-independent itch pathways in AD. Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) is essential in the signaling pathways that promote histamine-independent itch. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TRPA1-dependent neural pathways play a key role in chronic itch in AD using an IL-13 transgenic mouse model of AD. In these mice, IL-13 causes chronic AD characterized by intensive chronic itch associated with markedly enhanced growth of dermal neuropeptide-secreting afferent nerve fibers and enhanced expression of TRPA1 in dermal sensory nerve fibers, their dorsal root ganglia, and mast cells. Inhibition of TRPA1 with a specific antagonist in these mice selectively attenuated itch-evoked scratching. Genetic deletion of mast cells in these mice led to significantly diminished itch-scratching behaviors and reduced TRPA1 expression in dermal neuropeptide containing afferents in the AD skin. Interestingly, IL-13 strongly stimulates TRPA1 expression, which is functional in calcium mobilization in mast cells. In accordance with these observations in the AD mice, TRPA1 expression was highly enhanced in the dermal afferent nerves, mast cells, and the epidermis in the lesional skin biopsies from patients with AD, but not in the skin from normal subjects. These studies demonstrate a novel neural mechanism underlying chronic itch in AD and highlight the complex interactions among TRPA1+ dermal afferent nerves and TRPA1+ mast cells in a Th2-dominated inflammatory environment.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1300300
PMCID: PMC4175413  PMID: 24140646
3.  The Atopic March: Progression from Atopic Dermatitis to Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma 
The development of atopic dermatitis (AD) in infancy and subsequent allergic rhinitis and asthma in later childhood is known as the atopic march. This progressive atopy is dependent on various underlying factors such as the presence of filaggrin mutations as well as the time of onset and severity of AD. Clinical manifestations vary among individuals. Previously it was thought that atopic disorders may be unrelated with sequential development. Recent studies support the idea of a causal link between AD and later onset atopic disorders. These studies suggest that a dysfunctional skin barrier serves as a site for allergic sensitization to antigens and colonization of bacterial super antigens. This induces systemic Th2 immunity that predisposes patients to allergic nasal responses and promotes airway hyper reactivity. While AD often starts early in life and is a chronic condition, new research signifies that there may be an optimal window of time in which targeting the skin barrier with therapeutic interventions may prevent subsequent atopic disorders. In this review we highlight recent studies describing factors important in the development of atopic disorders and new insights in our understanding of the pathogenesis of the atopic march.
doi:10.4172/2155-9899.1000202
PMCID: PMC4240310  PMID: 25419479
Eczema; Atopic dermatitis; Allergic rhinitis; Asthma; The atopic march
4.  Immune Modulatory Effects of IL-22 on Allergen-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107454.
IL-22 is a Th17/Th22 cytokine that is increased in asthma. However, recent animal studies showed controversial findings in the effects of IL-22 in allergic asthma. To determine the role of IL-22 in ovalbumin-induced allergic inflammation we generated inducible lung-specific IL-22 transgenic mice. Transgenic IL-22 expression and signaling activity in the lung were determined. Ovalbumin (OVA)-induced pulmonary inflammation, immune responses, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) were examined and compared between IL-22 transgenic mice and wild type controls. Following doxycycline (Dox) induction, IL-22 protein was readily detected in the large (CC10 promoter) and small (SPC promoter) airway epithelial cells. IL-22 signaling was evidenced by phosphorylated STAT3. After OVA sensitization and challenge, compared to wild type littermates, IL-22 transgenic mice showed decreased eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and in lung tissue, decreased mucus metaplasia in the airways, and reduced AHR. Among the cytokines and chemokines examined, IL-13 levels were reduced in the BAL fluid as well as in lymphocytes from local draining lymph nodes of IL-22 transgenic mice. No effect was seen on the levels of serum total or OVA-specific IgE or IgG. These findings indicate that IL-22 has immune modulatory effects on pulmonary inflammatory responses in allergen-induced asthma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107454
PMCID: PMC4177833  PMID: 25254361
5.  Deficiency of gp91phox Inhibits Allergic Airway Inflammation 
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, a multienzyme complex, is the major source for production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are increased in allergic diseases, such as asthma, but the role of ROS in disease pathogenesis remains uncertain. We hypothesized that mice unable to generate ROS via the NADPH oxidase pathway would have decreased allergic airway inflammation. To test this hypothesis, we studied gp91phox−/− mice in a model of allergic airway inflammation after sensitization and challenge with ovalbumin. Serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and lungs were then examined for evidence of allergic inflammation. We found that mice lacking a functional NADPH oxidase complex had significantly decreased ROS production and allergic airway inflammation, compared with wild-type (WT) control animals. To determine the mechanism by which allergic inflammation was inhibited by gp91phox deficiency, we cultured bone marrow–derived dendritic cells from WT and gp91phox−/− mice and activated them with LPS. IL-12 expression was significantly increased in the gp91phox−/− bone marrow–derived dendritic cells, suggesting that the cytokine profile produced in the absence of gp91phox enhanced the conditions leading to T helper (Th) type 1 differentiation, while inhibiting Th2 polarization. Splenocytes from sensitized gp91phox−/− animals produced significantly less IL-13 in response to ovalbumin challenge in vitro compared with splenocytes from sensitized WT mice, suggesting that NADPH oxidase promotes allergic sensitization. In contrast, inflammatory cytokines produced by T cells cultured from WT and gp91phox−/− mice under Th0, Th1, Th2, and Th17 conditions were not significantly different. This study demonstrates the importance of NADPH oxidase activity and ROS production in a murine model of asthma.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2012-0442OC
PMCID: PMC3824054  PMID: 23590311
asthma; allergic airway inflammation; gp91phox; reactive oxygen species; NADPH oxidase
6.  Regulation of Nasal Airway Homeostasis and Inflammation in Mice by SHP-1 and Th2/Th1 Signaling Pathways 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e103685.
Allergic rhinitis is a chronic inflammatory disease orchestrated by Th2 lymphocytes. Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP)-1 is known to be a negative regulator in the IL-4α/STAT-6 signaling pathway of the lung. However, the role of SHP-1 enzyme and its functional relationship with Th2 and Th1 cytokines are not known in the nasal airway. In this study, we aimed to study the nasal inflammation as a result of SHP-1 deficiency in viable motheaten (mev) mice and to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved. Cytology, histology, and expression of cytokines and chemokines were analyzed to define the nature of the nasal inflammation. Targeted gene depletion of Th1 (IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-4 and IL-13) cytokines was used to identify the critical pathways involved. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were studied to demonstrate the clearance mechanism of recruited inflammatory cells into the nasal airway. We showed here that mev mice had a spontaneous allergic rhinitis-like inflammation with eosinophilia, mucus metaplasia, up-regulation of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-13), chemokines (eotaxin), and MMPs. All of these inflammatory mediators were clearly counter-regulated by Th2 and Th1 cytokines. Deletion of IFN-γ gene induced a strong Th2-skewed inflammation with transepithelial migration of the inflammatory cells. These findings suggest that SHP-1 enzyme and Th2/Th1 paradigm may play a critical role in the maintenance of nasal immune homeostasis and in the regulation of allergic rhinitis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103685
PMCID: PMC4121172  PMID: 25090641
7.  SHP-1 As a Critical Regulator of Mycoplasma pneumoniae-Induced Inflammation in Human Asthmatic Airway Epithelial Cells 
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)  2012;188(7):10.4049/jimmunol.1100573.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease in which airway epithelial cells are the first line of defense against exposure of the airway to infectious agents. Src homology protein (SHP)-1, a protein tyrosine phosphatase, is a negative regulator of signaling pathways that are critical to the development of asthma and host defense. We hypothesize that SHP-1 function is defective in asthma, contributing to the increased inflammatory response induced by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a pathogen known to exacerbate asthma. M. pneumoniae significantly activated SHP-1 in airway epithelial cells collected from nonasthmatic subjects by bronchoscopy with airway brushing but not in cells from asthmatic subjects. In asthmatic airway epithelial cells, M. pneumoniae induced significant PI3K/Akt phosphorylation, NF-κB activation, and IL-8 production compared with nonasthmatic cells, which were reversed by SHP-1 overexpression. Conversely, SHP-1 knockdown significantly increased IL-8 production and PI3K/Akt and NF-κB activation in the setting of M. pneumoniae infection in nonasthmatic cells, but it did not exacerbate these three parameters already activated in asthmatic cells. Thus, SHP-1 plays a critical role in abrogating M. pneumoniae-induced IL-8 production in non-asthmatic airway epithelial cells through inhibition of PI3K/Akt and NF-κB activity, but it is defective in asthma, resulting in an enhanced inflammatory response to infection.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1100573
PMCID: PMC3880785  PMID: 22371396
8.  Mechanisms of Siglec-F-Induced Eosinophil Apoptosis: A Role for Caspases but Not for SHP-1, Src Kinases, NADPH Oxidase or Reactive Oxygen 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e68143.
Background
Siglec-F and Siglec-8 are functional paralog proapoptotic cell surface receptors expressed on mouse and human eosinophils, respectively. Whereas Siglec-8 mediated death involves caspases and/or reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial injury, very little is known about Siglec-F-mediated signaling and apoptosis. Therefore the objective of the current experiments was to better define apoptosis pathways mediated by Siglec-F and Siglec-8. Given that Siglec-F-induced apoptosis is much less robust than Siglec-8-induced apoptosis, we hypothesized that mechanisms involved in cell death via these receptors would differ.
Methods
Consequences of engagement of Siglec-F on mouse eosinophils were studied by measuring ROS production, and by performing apoptosis assays using eosinophils from normal, hypereosinophilic, NADPH oxidase-deficient, src homology domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP)-1-deficient, and Lyn kinase-deficient mice. Inhibitors of caspase and Src family kinase activity were also used.
Results
Engagement of Siglec-F induced mouse eosinophil apoptosis that was modest in magnitude and dependent on caspase activity. There was no detectable ROS generation, or any role for ROS, NADPH oxidase, SHP-1, or Src family kinases in this apoptotic process.
Conclusions
These data suggest that Siglec-F-mediated apoptosis is different in both magnitude and mechanisms when compared to published data on Siglec-8-mediated human eosinophil apoptosis. One likely implication of this work is that models targeting Siglec-F in vivo in mice may not provide identical mechanistic predictions for consequences of Siglec-8 targeting in vivo in humans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068143
PMCID: PMC3695997  PMID: 23840825
9.  SHP-1 Regulation of Mast Cell Function in Allergic Inflammation and Anaphylaxis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55763.
Allergic inflammation and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) are important in allergen induced diseases. Bacterial products such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are ubiquitous and can facilitate allergen induced Th2 immune responses. Phosphatase SHP-1 is critical in regulating immunological homeostasis and in allergen induced Th2 immune responses in the lung. However, the mechanisms underlying the initiation of allergic inflammation and allergen induced anaphylaxis are still not completely elucidated and it is unclear whether SHP-1 plays any role in LPS-induced airway inflammation and in allergen-induced anaphylaxis. In this study we tested the hypothesis that phosphatase SHP-1 plays an important role in allergic inflammation and anaphylaxis and determined whether its effects are through regulation of mast cell functions. SHP-1 deficient (mev/+ and mev/mev) and mast cell deficient (KitW-sh) mice were examined in their responses to LPS airway stimulation and to ovalbumin (OVA) allergen induced systemic anaphylaxis. Compared to wild type mice, mev/+ mice had significantly enhanced LPS induced airway inflammation and OVA induced anaphylactic responses, including hypothermia and clinical symptoms. These changes were mast cell dependent as KitW-sh mice had reduced responses whereas adoptive transfer of mast cells restored the responses. However, T and B cells were not involved and macrophages did not play a significant role in LPS induced airway inflammation. Interestingly, basophil differentiation from SHP-1 deficient bone marrow cells was significantly reduced. These findings provided evidence that through regulation of mast cell functions SHP-1 plays a critical role as a negative regulator in allergic inflammation and in allergen induced anaphylaxis. In addition, SHP-1 seems to be required for normal basophil development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055763
PMCID: PMC3563592  PMID: 23390550
10.  Dose-dependent effects of small-molecule antagonists on the genomic landscape of androgen receptor binding 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:355.
Background
The androgen receptor plays a critical role throughout the progression of prostate cancer and is an important drug target for this disease. While chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) is becoming an essential tool for studying transcription and chromatin modification factors, it has rarely been employed in the context of drug discovery.
Results
Here we report changes in the genome-wide AR binding landscape due to dose-dependent inhibition by drug-like small molecules using ChIP-Seq. Integration of sequence analysis, transcriptome profiling, cell viability assays and xenograft tumor growth inhibition studies enabled us to establish a direct cistrome-activity relationship for two novel potent AR antagonists. By selectively occupying the strongest binding sites, AR signaling remains active even when androgen levels are low, as is characteristic of first-line androgen ablation therapy. Coupled cistrome and transcriptome profiling upon small molecule antagonism led to the identification of a core set of AR direct effector genes that are most likely to mediate the activities of targeted agents: unbiased pathway mapping revealed that AR is a key modulator of steroid metabolism by forming a tightly controlled feedback loop with other nuclear receptor family members and this oncogenic effect can be relieved by antagonist treatment. Furthermore, we found that AR also has an extensive role in negative gene regulation, with estrogen (related) receptor likely mediating its function as a transcriptional repressor.
Conclusions
Our study provides a global and dynamic view of AR’s regulatory program upon antagonism, which may serve as a molecular basis for deciphering and developing AR therapeutics.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-355
PMCID: PMC3507642  PMID: 22849360
Androgen receptor; ChIP-Seq; Prostate cancer; AR antagonist; Molecular profiling
11.  Epicutaneous Exposure to Staphylococcal Superantigen Enterotoxin B Enhances Allergic Lung Inflammation via an IL-17A Dependent Mechanism 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e39032.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the initial step of the atopic march: the progression from AD to allergic rhinitis and asthma. There is a close association between skin barrier abnormalities and the development of AD and the atopic march. One of cardinal features of AD is that the lesional skin of the majority of AD patients is chronically colonized with Staphylococcus aureus with half isolates producing superantigen enterotoxin B (SEB). Although diverse roles of SEB in the pathogenesis and severity of AD have been recognized, whether SEB contributes to the dermal inflammation that drives lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) has not been examined. Here we show a novel role of S. aureus superantigen SEB in augmenting allergen ovalbumin (Ova) induced atopic march through an IL-17A dependent mechanism. When mice epicutaneously (EC) sensitized with allergen Ova, addition of topical SEB led to not only augmented systemic Th2 responses but also a markedly exaggerated systemic Th17/IL-17 immune environment. The ability of SEB in enhancing Th17/IL-17 was mediated through stimulating lymphocytes in spleen and draining lymph nodes to promote IL-6 production. Epicutaneous sensitization of mice with a combination of Ova and SEB significantly enhanced Ova-induced AHR and granulocytic lung inflammation than Ova allergen alone. When IL-17A was deleted genetically, the effects of SEB on augmenting lung inflammation and AHR were markedly diminished. These findings suggest that chronic heavy colonization of enterotoxin producing S. aureus in the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis may have an important role in the development of atopic march via an IL-17A dependent mechanism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039032
PMCID: PMC3407176  PMID: 22848348
12.  IL-13 Induces Skin Fibrosis in Atopic Dermatitis by Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin 
Skin fibrotic remodeling is a major feature in human atopic dermatitis (AD). Inflammation and tissue fibrosis are common consequences of Th2 responses. Elevated IL-13 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) have been found in the AD skin lesions. Fibrocytes can be recruited to inflamed tissues to promote wound healing and fibrosis. Dermal transgenic expression of IL-13 causes an AD-like phenotype with fibrosis and increased TSLP. However, the role of TSLP in fibrotic remodeling is unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of TSLP and fibrocytes in the generation of IL-13–induced skin fibrosis. In AD lesion, cessation of IL-13 transgene expression resulted in reduced skin inflammation but with no effect on further progression of fibrosis. This was accompanied by markedly increased CD34+/procollagen 1+ fibrocytes. Furthermore, fibrocytes express TSLP receptor (TSLPR), and TSLP directly promotes PBMC-derived fibrocytes to produce collagen. Neutralization of TSLP or genetic deletion of TSLPR in IL-13 transgenic mice resulted in a significant reduction in fibrocytes and in skin fibrosis. Furthermore, reduction of fibrosis by depletion of TSLP was independent of IL-13. Interestingly, the number of fibrocytes was highly increased in the skin samples of AD patients. These data indicate that the progression of skin fibrosis in IL-13–induced AD occurs via TSLP/TSLPR-dependent but IL-13–independent novel mechanisms by promoting fibrocyte functions.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1100504
PMCID: PMC3399513  PMID: 21576506
13.  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
14.  Spontaneous Eosinophilic Nasal Inflammation in a Genetically-Mutant Mouse: Comparative Study with an Allergic Inflammation Model 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35114.
Background
Eosinophilic inflammation is a hallmark of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. To model this disease process experimentally, nasal sensitization of mice with ovalbumin or aspergillus has been described. Here, we describe a genetically mutant mouse that develops robust spontaneous nasal eosinophilic inflammation. These mice lack the enzyme SHP-1 that down-regulates the IL-4Rα/stat6 signaling pathway. We compared nasal inflammation and inflammatory mediators in SHP-1 deficient mice (mev) and an ovalbumin-induced nasal allergy model.
Methods
A novel technique of trans-pharyngeal nasal lavage was developed to obtain samples of inflammatory cells from the nasal passages of allergic and mev mice. Total and differential cell counts were performed on cytospin preparations. Expression of tissue mRNA for IL-4, IL-13, and mouse beta-defensin-1 (MBD-1) was determined by quantitative PCR. Eotaxin in the lavage fluid was assessed by ELISA.
Results
Allergic and mev mice had increased total cells and eosinophils compared with controls. Expression of IL-4 was similarly increased in both allergic and mev mice, but expression of IL-13 and eotaxin was significantly greater in the allergic mice than mev mice. Eotaxin was significantly up-regulated in both allergic rhinitis and mev mice. In both models of eosinophilic inflammation, down-regulation of the innate immune marker MBD-1 was observed.
Conclusions
The mev mice display spontaneous chronic nasal eosinophilic inflammation with potential utility for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps research. The eosinophilic infiltrate is more robust in the mev mice than allergic mice, but Th2 cytokine expression is not as pronounced. Decreased MBD-1 expression in both models supports the concept that Th2-cytokines down-regulate sinonasal innate immunity in humans, and suggests a role for mouse models in investigating the interaction between adaptive and innate immunity in the sinonasal mucosa.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035114
PMCID: PMC3324406  PMID: 22509389
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.  Characterization of Expression of Glycan Ligands for Siglec-F in Normal Mouse Lungs 
Sialic acid–binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec)–F, an inhibitory receptor on mouse eosinophils, preferentially recognizes the glycan ligand 6′-sulfated sialyl Lewis X, but little is known about the requirements for its lung expression. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to detect and localize the sulfotransferase keratin sulfate galactose 6-O sulfotransferase (KSGal6ST, also known as carbohydrate sulfotransferase 1; gene name, Chst1) that is putatively required for 6′-sulfated Sialyl Lewis X synthesis. RT-PCR detected the greatest constitutive expression of Chst1 in lung, liver, and spleen tissue. Immunohistochemistry localized the expression of KSGal6ST in lung tissue primarily to airway epithelium. Siglec-F–Ig fusion protein selectively bound in a similar pattern, and was unaffected in lung tissue treated with methanol or deficient in Type 2 α2,3 sialyltransferase (St3gal2), but was eliminated by proteinase K or sialidase, and was absent in tissue deficient in the Type 3 α2,3 sialyltransferase (St3gal3). Binding of the Siglec-F–Ig fusion protein was similar in pattern to, and completely blocked by, a plant lectin recognizing α2,3-linked sialic acid. Thus, α2,3-linked sialic acid–containing glycoprotein Siglec-F ligands and the enzymes required for their synthesis are constitutively expressed in murine lungs, especially by airway epithelium. St3gal3, but not St3gal2, is required for constitutive Siglec-F ligand synthesis. The survival of eosinophils entering the lung may be shortened by encountering these Siglec-F sialoside ligands.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0007OC
PMCID: PMC3049235  PMID: 20395633
eosinophil; sialyltransferase; lung epithelium; sialic acid; glycan ligand
17.  c-Abl-Mediated Tyrosine Phosphorylation of the T-bet DNA-Binding Domain Regulates CD4+ T-Cell Differentiation and Allergic Lung Inflammation ▿ 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(16):3445-3456.
The tyrosine kinase c-Abl is required for full activation of T cells, while its role in T-cell differentiation has not been characterized. We report that c-Abl deficiency skews CD4+ T cells to type 2 helper T cell (Th2) differentiation, and c-Abl−/− mice are more susceptible to allergic lung inflammation. c-Abl interacts with and phosphorylates T-bet, a Th1 lineage transcription factor. c-Abl-mediated phosphorylation enhances the transcriptional activation of T-bet. Interestingly, three tyrosine residues within the T-bet DNA-binding domain are the predominant sites of phosphorylation by c-Abl. Mutation of these tyrosine residues inhibits the promoter DNA-binding activity of T-bet. c-Abl regulates Th cell differentiation in a T-bet-dependent manner because genetic deletion of T-bet in CD4+ T cells abolishes c-Abl-deficiency-mediated enhancement of Th2 differentiation. Reintroduction of T-bet-null CD4+ T cells with wild-type T-bet, but not its tyrosine mutant, rescues gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production and inhibits Th2 cytokine production. Therefore, c-Abl catalyzes tyrosine phosphorylation of the DNA-binding domain of T-bet to regulate CD4+ T cell differentiation.
doi:10.1128/MCB.05383-11
PMCID: PMC3147793  PMID: 21690296
18.  The Role of TSLP in IL-13-Induced Atopic March 
Scientific Reports  2011;1:23.
Although atopic dermatitis (AD) is the initial step of the “atopic march”, a progression from AD to asthma, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Selective expression of IL-13 in the skin of mice caused an AD phenotype resembling human AD, and the disorder was associated with enhanced production of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in the AD skin with a systemic Th2 immunity. Here we show that IL-13 transgenic mice with AD had significantly enhanced lung inflammation, mucus hypersecretion, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) when sensitized and challenged by allergen. In addition, the level of TSLP was significantly higher in acute AD than in chronic AD. Furthermore, elimination of TSLP signaling significantly diminished the allergic asthma responses, immune cell production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-13), and serum IgE. These studies indicate that IL-13 induces AD and atopic march via a TSLP dependent mechanism.
doi:10.1038/srep00023
PMCID: PMC3251897  PMID: 22355542
19.  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
20.  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
21.  The Atopic March: Progression from Atopic Dermatitis to Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma 
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory disease characterized by pruritic skin lesions. The pathogenesis of AD may include disrupted epidermal barrier function, immunodysregulation, and IgE-mediated sensitization to food and environmental allergens. AD is also part of a process called the atopic march, a progression from AD to allergic rhinitis and asthma. This has been supported by multiple cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and experimental data. Research on the mechanisms of AD has been centered on the adaptive immune system with an emphasis on the T-helper 1 (Th1)-Th2 paradigm. Recently, the conceptual focus has largely shifted to include a primary defect in the epithelial barrier as an initial event in AD providing a significant insight into the disease initiation and pointing to a complex secondary interplay of environmental and immunological sequelae with barrier disruption. Further understanding of AD will help the development of more effective treatment for AD and ultimately, preventative algorithms for the atopic march. In this review we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of AD and the atopic march.
doi:10.4168/aair.2011.3.2.67
PMCID: PMC3062798  PMID: 21461244
Eczema; atopic dermatitis; allergic rhinitis; asthma; atopic march
22.  Synaptic Neurotransmission Depression in Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons and Cannabinoid-Associated Addictive Learning 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15634.
Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses) of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids), the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015634
PMCID: PMC3004941  PMID: 21187978
23.  Role of SHIP-1 in the Adaptive Immune Responses to Aeroallergen in the Airway 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e14174.
Background
Th2-dominated inflammatory response in the airway is an integral component in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is involved in the process. We previously reported that SHIP-1, a negative regulator of the PI3K pathway, is essential in maintaining lung immunohomeostasis, potentially through regulation of innate immune cells. However, the function of SHIP-1 in adaptive immune response in the lung has not been defined. We sought to determine the role of SHIP-1 in adaptive immunity in response to aeroallergen stimulation in the airway.
Methodology/Principal Findings
SHIP-1 knockout (SHIP-1−/−) mice on BALB/c background were immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) plus aluminum hydroxide, a strong Th2-inducing immunization, and challenged with OVA. Airway and lung inflammation, immunoglobulin response, Th2 cytokine production and lymphocyte response were analyzed and compared with wild type mice. Even though there was mild spontaneous inflammation in the lung at baseline, SHIP-1−/− mice showed altered responses, including less cell infiltration around the airways but more in the parenchyma, less mucus production, decreased Th2 cytokine production, and diminished serum OVA-specific IgE, IgG1, but not IgG2a. Naïve and OVA sensitized SHIP-1−/− T cells produced a lower amount of IL-4. In vitro differentiated SHIP-1−/− Th2 cells produced less IL-4 compared to wild type Th2 cells upon T cell receptor stimulation.
Conclusions/Significance
These findings indicate that, in contrast to its role as a negative regulator in the innate immune cells, SHIP-1 acts as a positive regulator in Th2 cells in the adaptive immune response to aeroallergen. Thus any potential manipulation of SHIP-1 activity should be adjusted according to the specific immune response.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014174
PMCID: PMC2994819  PMID: 21151496
24.  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
25.  Genome-Wide Mapping Indicates That p73 and p63 Co-Occupy Target Sites and Have Similar DNA-Binding Profiles In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11572.
Background
The p53 homologs, p63 and p73, share ∼85% amino acid identity in their DNA-binding domains, but they have distinct biological functions.
Principal Findings
Using chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-resolution tiling arrays covering the human genome, we identify p73 DNA binding sites on a genome-wide level in ME180 human cervical carcinoma cells. Strikingly, the p73 binding profile is indistinguishable from the previously described binding profile for p63 in the same cells. Moreover, the p73∶p63 binding ratio is similar at all genomic loci tested, suggesting that there are few, if any, targets that are specific for one of these factors. As assayed by sequential chromatin immunoprecipitation, p63 and p73 co-occupy DNA target sites in vivo, suggesting that p63 and p73 bind primarily as heterotetrameric complexes in ME180 cells.
Conclusions
The observation that p63 and p73 associate with the same genomic targets suggest that their distinct biological functions are due to cell-type specific expression and/or protein domains that involve functions other than DNA binding.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011572
PMCID: PMC2904373  PMID: 20644729

Results 1-25 (46)