The functional plasticity of CD8+ T cells in an atopic environment, encompassing a spectrum from IFN-γ- to IL-13-producing cells, is pivotal in the development of allergic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and inflammation and yet remains mechanistically undefined. We demonstrate that CD8+ T cell IL-13 induction proceeded through a series of distinct IL-4/GATA3-regulated stages characterized by gene expression and epigenetic changes. In vivo, CD8+ T cells exposed to an environment rich in IL-4 displayed epigenetic changes at the GATA3 and IL-13 promoter indicative of transcriptional activation and IL-13 production. In vitro, IL-4 triggered the step-wise molecular conversion of CD8+ T cells from IFN-γ to IL-13 production. During the initial stage, IL-4 suppressed T-bet and induced GATA3 expression, characterized by enhanced activating histone modifications and RNA Pol II recruitment to the GATA3 locus. Notably, recruitment of GATA3 and RNA Pol II to the IL-13 promoter was also detected at this initial stage. However, enhanced IL-13 transcription only occurred at a later stage following TCR stimulation, indicating that IL-4 induced GATA3 recruitment poises the IL-13 locus for TCR-mediated transcription. Thus, both in vivo and in vitro an atopic (IL-4) environment poises CD8+ T cells via step-wise epigenetic and phenotypic mechanisms for pathogenic conversion to IL-13 production, which is ultimately triggered via an allergen-mediated TCR stimulus.
CD8 T cells; IL-4; plasticity; IL-13; asthma
Histamine H4 receptor (H4R)-deficient mice (H4R−/−), H4R antagonist-treated WT mice, and WT mice depleted of basophils failed to develop early (EPR) or late phase (LPR) nasal responses following allergen sensitization and challenge. Basophil transfer from WT but not H4R−/− mice restored the EPR and LPR in H4R−/− mice. Following passive sensitization with OVA-specific IgE, FcεRI−/− recipients of WT basophils plus OVA and histamine developed an EPR and LPR. OVA-IgE passively sensitized FcεRI−/− recipients of H4R−/− basophils and OVA and histamine challenge failed to develop an EPR or LPR, and basophils were not detected in nasal tissue. In contrast, recipients of basophils from IL-13−/− and IL-4−/−/IL-13−/− mice developed an EPR but not LPR. These results demonstrate the development of allergic rhinitis proceeded in two distinct stages: histamine release from FcεRI-activated mast cells, followed by histamine-mediated recruitment of H4R-expressing basophils to the nasal cavity and activation through FcεRI.
Basophils; mast cells; histamine H4 receptor; FcεRI; rhinitis
Notch signaling pathways govern immune function and the regulation of Th1 and Th2 differentiation. We previously demonstrated essential interactions between Notch on CD4+ T cells and Jagged1 on antigen-presenting cells in Th2 differentiation for the full development of allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic airway inflammation.
Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were differentiated and incubated with different preparations of ovalbumin (OVA), including lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-depleted and LPS-spiked preparations. In some experiments recipient mice also received soluble Jagged1-Fc in addition to allergen-pulsed BMDCs. Ten days following transfer of BMDCs, mice were exposed to three airway challenges with OVA, and airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, airway inflammation and cytokine production were monitored 48 h later. Notch ligand expression was assessed by real-time PCR.
Induction of Jagged1 expression on antigen-pulsed BMDCs was dependent on low-dose endotoxin. In vivo, transfer of endotoxin-free, antigen-pulsed BMDCs failed to induce AHR or airway eosinophilia on allergen challenge. However, administration of exogenous Jagged1-Fc together with endotoxin-free, allergen-pulsed BMDCs fully restored the responses to allergen challenge.
These data demonstrate that LPS regulates the expression of Jagged1 on BMDCs, which is essential for the full development of lung allergic responses.
Asthma; Dendritic cells; Endotoxin; Notch ligands
Although implicated in the disease, the specific contributions of FcεRI and IL-13 to the pathogenesis of peanut-induced intestinal allergy are not well defined.
To determine the contributions of FcεRI, IL-13, and mast cells to the development of intestinal mucosal responses in a mouse model of peanut-induced intestinal allergy.
Sensitized wild-type (WT), FcεRI-deficient (FcεRI−/−), and mast cell-deficient (KitW-sh/W-sh) mice received peanut orally every day for 1 week. Bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC) from WT, FcεRI−/−, IL- 4−/−, IL-13−/−, and IL- 4/IL-13−/− mice were differentiated and transferred into WT, FcεRI−/−, and KitW-sh/W-sh recipients. BMMC from WT and UBI-GFP/BL6 mice were differentiated and transferred into WT and KitW-sh/W-sh mice. Blockade of IL-13 was achieved using IL- 13Ra2-IgG fusion protein.
FcεRI−/− mice showed decreased intestinal inflammation (mast cell and eosinophil numbers) and goblet cell metaplasia, and reduced levels of IL-4, IL-6, IL-13, and IL-17A mRNA expression in the jejunum. Transfer of WT BMMC to FcεRI−/− recipients restored their ability to develop intestinal allergic responses compared to transfer of FcεRI−/−, IL-13−/−, or IL-4/IL-13−/−BMMC. FcεRI−/− mice exhibited lower IL-13 levels and treatment of WT mice with IL-13Rα2 prevented peanut-induced intestinal allergy and inflammation.
These data indicate that the development of peanut-induced intestinal allergy is mediated through a mast cell-dependent, IgE-FcεRI-IL-13 pathway. Targeting IL-13 may be a potential treatment for IgE-mediated peanut allergic responses in the intestine.
Peanut; intestinal allergy; mast cell; IgE; FcεRI; IL-13
To test if manipulating TCR complex-mediated signaling (TCR signaling) could treat autoimmune disease, we generated the double SKG Src-like adapter protein (SLAP) knockout (DSSKO) mouse model. The SKG mutation in ZAP70 and SLAP have opposing functions on the regulation of TCR signaling. The combination of these two mutations alters TCR signaling in the context of a defined genetic background, uniform environmental conditions, and a well-characterized signaling disruption. In contrast to SKG mice, DSSKO mice do not develop zymosan-induced chronic autoimmune arthritis. This arthritis prevention is not due to significant alterations in thymocyte development or repertoire selection but instead enhanced numbers of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and decreased numbers of Th17 cells skewing the ratio of Tregs to autoreactive effector T cells. Treg depletion and/or functional blockade led to the development of arthritis in DSSKO mice. In vitro suppression of effector T cell proliferation was also enhanced, demonstrating that DSSKO mice have increased numbers of Tregs with increased function. Understanding how TCR signals influence development, expansion, and function of Tregs in DSSKO mice could advance our ability to manipulate Treg biology to treat ultimately autoimmune disease.
Naturally occurring CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T regulatory cells (nTregs) regulate lung allergic responses through production of IL-10 and TGF-β. nTregs from CD8−/− mice failed to suppress lung allergic responses and were characterized by reduced levels of Foxp3, IL-10, and TGF-β, and high levels of IL-6. Administration of anti–IL-6 or anti–IL-6R to wild-type recipients prior to transfer of CD8−/− nTregs restored suppression. nTregs from IL-6−/− mice were suppressive, but lost this capability if incubated with IL-6 prior to transfer. The importance of CD8 in regulating the production of IL-6 in nTregs was demonstrated by the loss of suppression and increases in IL-6 following transfer of nTregs from wild-type donors depleted of CD8+ cells. Transfer of nTregs from CD8−/− donors reconstituted with CD8+ T cells was suppressive, and accordingly, IL-6 levels were reduced. These data identify the critical role of CD8–T regulatory cell interactions in regulating the suppressive phenotype of nTregs through control of IL-6 production.
Previous studies have shown that leukotriene B4 (LTB4), a proinflammatory lipid mediator, is linked to the development of airway hyperresponsiveness through the accumulation of IL-13–producing CD8+ T cells, which express a high affinity receptor for LTB4, BLT1 (Miyahara et al., Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005;172:161–167; J Immunol 2005;174:4979–4984). By using leukotriene A4 hydrolase–deficient (LTA4H−/−) mice, which fail to synthesize LTB4, we determined the role of this lipid mediator in allergen-induced airway responses. Two approaches were used. In the first, LTA4H−/− mice and wild-type (LTA4H+/+) mice were systemically sensitized and challenged via the airways to ovalbumin. In the second, mice were passively sensitized with anti-ovalbumin IgE and exposed to ovalbumin via the airways. Mast cells were generated from bone marrow of LTA4H+/+ mice or LTA4H−/− mice. After active sensitization and challenge, LTA4H−/− mice showed significantly lower airway hyperresponsiveness compared with LTA4H+/+ mice, and eosinophil numbers and IL-13 levels in the bronchoalveoloar lavage of LTA4H−/− mice were also significantly lower. LTA4H−/− mice also showed decreased airway reactivity after passive sensitization and challenge. After LTA4H+/+ mast cell transfer, LTA4H−/− mice showed increased airway reactivity after passive sensitization and challenge, but not after systemic sensitization and challenge. These data confirm the important role for LTB4 in the development of altered airway responses and suggest that LTB4 secretion from mast cells is critical to eliciting increased airway reactivity after passive sensitization with allergen-specific IgE.
rodent; T cells; cytokines; lipid mediators; lung
γδ T cells regulate airway reactivity, but their role in ozone (O3)-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is not known. Our objective was to determine the role of γδ T cells in O3-induced AHR. Different strains of mice, including those that were genetically manipulated or antibody-depleted to render them deficient in total γδ T cells or specific subsets of γδ T cells, were exposed to 2.0 ppm of O3 for 3 hours. Airway reactivity to inhaled methacholine, airway inflammation, and epithelial cell damage were monitored. Exposure of C57BL/6 mice to O3 resulted in a transient increase in airway reactivity, neutrophilia, and increased numbers of epithelial cells in the lavage fluid. TCR-δ−/− mice did not develop AHR, although they exhibited an increase in neutrophils and epithelial cells in the lavage fluid. Similarly, depletion of γδ T cells in wild-type mice suppressed O3-induced AHR without influencing airway inflammation or epithelial damage. Depletion of Vγ1+, but not of Vγ4+ T cells, reduced O3-induced AHR, and transfer of total γδ T cells or Vγ1+ T cells to TCR-δ−/− mice restored AHR. After transfer of Vγ1+ cells to TCR-δ−/− mice, restoration of AHR after O3 exposure was blocked by anti–TNF-α. However, AHR could be restored in TCR-δ−/−mice by transfer of γδ T cells from TNF-α–deficient mice, indicating that another cell type was the source of TNF-α. These results demonstrate that TNF-α and activation of Vγ1+ γδ T cells are required for the development of AHR after O3 exposure.
ozone; airway responsiveness; γδ T cells; TNF-α
The female hormone estrogen is an important factor in the regulation of airway function and inflammation, and sex differences in the prevalence of asthma are well described. Using an animal model, we determined how sex differences may underlie the development of altered airway function in response to allergen exposure. We compared sex differences in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) after allergen exposure exclusively via the airways. Ovalbumin (OVA) was administered by nebulization on 10 consecutive days in BALB/c mice. After methacholine challenge, significant AHR developed in male mice but not in female mice. Ovariectomized female mice showed significant AHR after 10-day OVA inhalation. ICI182,780, an estrogen antagonist, similarly enhanced airway responsiveness even when administered 1 hour before assay. In contrast, 17β-estradiol dose-dependently suppressed AHR in male mice. In all cases, airway responsiveness was inhibited by the administration of a neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. These results demonstrate that sex differences in 10-day OVA-induced AHR are due to endogenous estrogen, which negatively regulates airway responsiveness in female mice. Cumulatively, the results suggest that endogenous estrogen may regulate the neurokinin 1–dependent prejunctional activation of airway smooth muscle in allergen-exposed mice.
estrogen; sex; airway hyperresponsiveness; EFS; neuronal activation
Rationale: Severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis has been associated with deficient IFN-γ production in humans, but the role of this cytokine in determining the outcome of reinfection is unknown.
Objectives: To define the role of IFN-γ in the development of RSV-mediated airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and lung histopathology in mice.
Methods: Wild-type (WT) and IFN-γ knockout mice were infected with RSV in the newborn or weaning stages and reinfected 5 weeks later. Airway responses were assessed on Day 6 after the primary or secondary infection.
Measurements and Main Results: Both WT and IFN-γ knockout mice developed similar levels of AHR and airway inflammation after primary infection. After reinfection, IFN-γ knockout mice, but not WT mice, developed AHR, airway eosinophilia, and mucus hyperproduction. Intranasal administration of IFN-γ during primary infection but not during reinfection prevented the development of these altered airway responses on reinfection in IFN-γ knockout mice. Adoptive transfer of WT T cells into IFN-γ knockout mice before primary infection restored IFN-γ production in the lungs and prevented the development of altered airway responses on reinfection. Treatment of mice with IFN-γ during primary neonatal infection prevented the enhancement of AHR and the development of airway eosinophilia and mucus hyperproduction on reinfection.
Conclusions: IFN-γ production during primary RSV infection is critical to the development of protection against AHR and lung histopathology on reinfection. Provision of IFN-γ during primary infection in infancy may be a potential therapeutic approach to alter the course of RSV-mediated long-term sequelae.
respiratory syncytial virus; interferon-γ; asthma; airway hyperresponsiveness; mice
Adoptive transfer of in vivo–primed CD8+ T cells or in vitro–generated effector memory CD8+ T (TEFF) cells restores airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation in CD8-deficient (CD8−/−) mice. Examining transcription levels, there was a strong induction of Notch1 in TEFF cells compared with central memory CD8+ T cells. Treatment of TEFF cells with a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) strongly inhibited Notch signaling in these cells, and after adoptive transfer, GSI-treated TEFF cells failed to restore AHR and airway inflammation in sensitized and challenged recipient CD8−/− mice, or to enhance these responses in recipient wild-type (WT) mice. These effects of GSI were also associated with increased expression of the Notch ligand Delta1 in TEFF cells. Treatment of sensitized and challenged WT mice with Delta1-Fc resulted in decreased AHR and airway inflammation accompanied by higher levels of interferon γ in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. These results demonstrate a role for Notch in skewing the T cell response from a T helper (Th)2 to a Th1 phenotype as a consequence of the inhibition of Notch receptor activation and the up-regulation of the Notch ligand Delta1. These data are the first to show a functional role for Notch in the challenge phase of CD8+ T cell–mediated development of AHR and airway inflammation, and identify Delta1 as an important regulator of allergic airway inflammation.
IL-18 is known to induce IFN-γ production, which is enhanced when combined with IL-2. In the present study, we investigated whether the combination of exogenous IL-2 and IL-18 alters airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation. Sensitized mice exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) challenge developed AHR, inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and increases in levels of Th2 cytokines and goblet cell numbers. The combination of IL-2 and IL-18, but neither alone, prevented these changes while increasing levels of IL-12 and IFN-γ. The combination of IL-2 and IL-18 was ineffective in IFN-γ–deficient and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)4-deficient mice. Flow cytometry analysis showed significant increases in numbers of IFN-γ–positive natural killer (NK) cells in the lung after treatment with the combination therapy, and transfer of lung NK cells isolated from sensitized and challenged mice treated with the combination significantly suppressed AHR and BAL eosinophilia. These data demonstrate that the combination of IL-2 and IL-18 prevents AHR and airway inflammation, likely through IL-12–mediated induction of IFN-γ production in NK cells.
IL-2; IL-18; STAT4; IFN-γ; airway hyperresponsiveness
RANTES (CC chemokine ligand 5) contributes to airway inflammation through accumulation of eosinophils, but the exact role of RANTES (CCL5) is not defined. C57BL/6 mice, sensitized by injection of ovalbumin (OVA) on Days 1 and 14, were challenged with OVA on Days 28, 29, and 30 (3 challenges, short-term–challenge model) or on Days 28, 29, 30, 36, 40, 44, and 48 (7 challenges, repeated–challenge model) and evaluated 48 h later. Anti-mouse RANTES was given intravenously, and recombinant mouse RANTES or PBS was given intratracheally. These reagents were given on Days 28, 29, and 30 in the short-term–challenge study and on Days 44 and 48 in the repeated-challenge study. After short-term challenge, there were no effects after administration of anti-RANTES or RANTES. In the repeated-challenge study, although control mice showed a decrease in airway hyperresponsiveness, administration of anti-RANTES sustained and enhanced airway hyperresponsiveness and increased goblet cell numbers. In contrast, administration of RANTES normalized airway function but reduced goblet cell numbers. IL-12 and IFN-γ levels in BAL decreased in the anti-RANTES group and increased in the RANTES group. IFN-γ–producing CD4 T cells in lung, and IFN-γ production from lung T cells in response to OVA in the anti-RANTES group, were significantly decreased but were increased in the RANTES group. Anti–IFN-γ, administered with RANTES, decreased the effects of RANTES on AHR after repeated challenge. These data indicate that RANTES plays a role in the regulation of airway function after repeated allergen challenge, in part through modulation of levels of IFN-γ and IL-12.
airway hyperresponsiveness; IFN-γ; IL-12; RANTES (CCL5)
We evaluated the role of Syk, using an inhibitor, on allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation in a system shown to be B cell– and mast cell–independent. Sensitization of BALB/c mice with ovalbumin (OVA) and alum after three consecutive OVA challenges resulted in AHR to inhaled methacholine and airway inflammation. The Syk inhibitor R406 (30 mg/kg, administered orally, twice daily) prevented the development of AHR, increases in eosinophils and lymphocytes and IL-13 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and goblet cell metaplasia when administered after sensitization and before challenge with OVA. Levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IFN-γ in BAL fluid and allergen-specific antibody levels in serum were not affected by treatment. Because many of these responses may be influenced by dendritic cell function, we investigated the effect of R406 on bone marrow–derived dendritic cell (BMDC) function. Co-culture of BMDC with immune complexes of OVA and IgG anti-OVA together with OVA-sensitized spleen mononuclear cells resulted in increases in IL-13 production. IL-13 production was inhibited if the BMDCs were pretreated with the Syk inhibitor. Intratracheal transfer of immune complex-pulsed BMDCs (but not nonpulsed BMDCs) to naive mice before airway allergen challenge induced the development of AHR and increases in BAL eosinophils and lymphocytes. All of these responses were inhibited if the transferred BMDCs were pretreated with R406. These results demonstrate that Syk inhibition prevents allergen-induced AHR and airway inflammation after systemic sensitization and challenge, at least in part through alteration of DC function.
AHR; dendritic cells; eosinophils; mice; Syk
Rationale: There is conflicting information about the development and resolution of airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) after repeated airway exposure to allergen in sensitized mice.
Methods: Sensitized BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were exposed to repeated allergen challenge on 3, 7, or 11 occasions. Airway function in response to inhaled methacholine was monitored; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid inflammatory cells were counted; and goblet cell metaplasia, peribronchial fibrosis, and smooth muscle hypertrophy were quantitated on tissue sections. Bone marrow–derived dendritic cells were generated after differentiation of bone marrow cells in the presence of growth factors.
Results: Sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) in alum, followed by three airway exposures to OVA, induced lung eosinophilia, goblet cell metaplasia, mild peribronchial fibrosis, and peribronchial smooth muscle hypertrophy; increased levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-13, granulocyte-macrophage colony–stimulating factor, transforming growth factor-β1, eotaxin-1, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted), and OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE; and resulted in AHR. After seven airway challenges, development of AHR was markedly decreased as was the production of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Levels of IL-10 in both strains and the level of IL-12 in BALB/c mice increased. After 11 challenges, airway eosinophilia and peribronchial fibrosis further declined and the cytokine and chemokine profiles continued to change. At this time point, the number of myeloid dendritic cells and expression of CD80 and CD86 in lungs were decreased compared with three challenges. After 11 challenges, intratracheal instillation of bone marrow–derived dendritic cells restored AHR and airway eosinophilia.
Conclusions: These data suggest that repeated allergen exposure leads to progressive decreases in AHR and allergic inflammation, through decreases in myeloid dendritic cell numbers.
airway hyperresponsiveness; chronic asthma; cytokine; dendritic cells; eosinophil
Rationale: Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is a rapidly synthesized, early leukocyte chemoattractant that signals via its cell surface receptor, leukotriene B4 receptor 1 (BLT1), to attract and activate leukocytes during inflammation. A role for the LTB4–BLT1 pathway in allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation is not well defined. Objectives: To define the role of the LTB4 receptor (BLT1) in the development of airway inflammation and altered airway function. Methods: BLT1-deficient (BLT1−/−) mice and wild-type mice were sensitized to ovalbumin by intraperitoneal injection and then challenged with ovalbumin via the airways. Airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell composition and cytokine levels, and lung inflammation and goblet cell hyperplasia were assessed. Results: Compared with wild-type mice, BLT1−/− mice developed significantly lower airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, lower goblet cell hyperplasia in the airways, and decreased interleukin (IL)-13 production both in vivo, in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and in vitro, after antigen stimulation of lung cells in culture. Intracellular cytokine staining of lung cells revealed that bronchoalveolar lavage IL-13 levels and numbers of IL-13+/CD4+ and IL-13+/CD8+ T cells were also reduced in BLT1−/− mice. Reconstitution of sensitized and challenged BLT1−/− mice with allergen-sensitized BLT1+/+ T cells fully restored the development of airway hyperresponsiveness. In contrast, transfer of naive T cells failed to do so. Conclusion: These data suggest that BLT1 expression on primed T cells is required for the full development of airway hyperresponsiveness, which appears to be associated with IL-13 production in these cells.
airway responsiveness; cytokines; lipid mediators; lung inflammation; T cells
CD4+ T cells have been shown to play a role in the development of airway hyperresponsivness (AHR) and airway eosinophilia in mice using ablation as well as adoptive transfer experiments. However, as other T cell subsets (CD8, NKT) may play a role in these models, we examined the responses of sensitized CD4-deficient mice after either primary or secondary airway allergen challenge. After sensitization, CD4-deficiency in mice was not associated with airway eosinophilia, allergen-specific IgE, or elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-4 or IL-13. Increases in lung CD8 T cells and IL-5 were observed and shown to be essential for AHR as demonstrated after CD8 T cell depletion or anti–IL-5 treatment. In contrast to the response of sensitized CD4-deficient mice to primary allergen challenge, they failed to develop AHR after secondary allergen challenge. Although the importance of this CD4+ T cell–independent pathway in normal mice is unclear at this time, these studies identify the diversity of the cellular pathway, which may contribute to the development of AHR after primary allergen exposure of sensitized mice.
airway hyperresponsiveness; CD4 T cells; inflammation; secondary challenge