Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (27)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
1.  Cigarette Smoke Modulates Repair and Innate Immunity following Injury to Airway Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(11):e0166255.
Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and contributes to COPD development and progression by causing epithelial injury and inflammation. Whereas it is known that cigarette smoke (CS) may affect the innate immune function of airway epithelial cells and epithelial repair, this has so far not been explored in an integrated design using mucociliary differentiated airway epithelial cells. In this study, we examined the effect of whole CS exposure on wound repair and the innate immune activity of mucociliary differentiated primary bronchial epithelial cells, upon injury induced by disruption of epithelial barrier integrity or by mechanical wounding. Upon mechanical injury CS caused a delayed recovery in the epithelial barrier integrity and wound closure. Furthermore CS enhanced innate immune responses, as demonstrated by increased expression of the antimicrobial protein RNase 7. These differential effects on epithelial repair and innate immunity were both mediated by CS-induced oxidative stress. Overall, our findings demonstrate modulation of wound repair and innate immune responses of injured airway epithelial cells that may contribute to COPD development and progression.
PMCID: PMC5102360  PMID: 27829065
2.  Tick salivary Sialostatin L represses the initiation of immune responses by targeting IRF4-dependent transcription in murine mast cells 
Co-evolution of ticks and the vertebrate immune system has led to the development of immunosuppressive molecules that prevent immediate response of skin-resident immune cells to quickly fend off the parasite. Herein, we demonstrate that the tick-derived immunosuppressor sialostatin L restrains IL-9 production by mast cells while degranulation and IL-6 expression are both unaffected. In addition, the expression of IL-1β and IRF4 is strongly reduced in the presence of sialostatin L. Correspondingly, IRF4- or IL-1 receptor-deficient mast cells exhibit strong impairment in IL-9 production demonstrating the importance of IRF4 and IL-1 in the regulation of the Il9 locus in mast cells. Furthermore, IRF4 binds to the promoters of Il1b and Il9 suggesting that sialostatin L suppresses mast cell-derived IL-9 preferentially by inhibiting IRF4. In an experimental asthma model, mast cell-specific deficiency in IRF4 or administration of sialostatin L results in a strong reduction of asthma symptoms demonstrating the immunosuppressive potency of tick-derived molecules.
PMCID: PMC4841271  PMID: 26078269
3.  Immunomodulatory Effects of Ambroxol on Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Inflammation 
Immune Network  2016;16(3):165-175.
Ambroxol is used in COPD and asthma to increase mucociliary clearance and regulate surfactant levels, perhaps through anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. To determine the role and effect of ambroxol in an experimental model of asthma, BALB/c mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) followed by 3 days of challenge. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), lung cell composition and histology, and cytokine and protein carbonyl levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were determined. Ambroxol was administered either before the first OVA challenge or was begun after the last allergen challenge. Cytokine production levels from lung mononuclear cells (Lung MNCs) or alveolar macrophages (AM) were also determined. Administration of ambroxol prior to challenge suppressed AHR, airway eosinophilia, goblet cell metaplasia, and reduced inflammation in subepithelial regions. When given after challenge, AHR was suppressed but without effects on eosinophil numbers. Levels of IL-5 and IL-13 in BAL fluid were decreased when the drug was given prior to challenge; when given after challenge, increased levels of IL-10 and IL-12 were detected. Decreased levels of protein carbonyls were detected in BAL fluid following ambroxol treatment after challenge. In vitro, ambroxol increased levels of IL-10, IFN-γ, and IL-12 from Lung MNCs and AM, whereas IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 production was not altered. Taken together, ambroxol was effective in preventing AHR and airway inflammation through upregulation of Th1 cytokines and protection from oxidative stress in the airways.
PMCID: PMC4917400  PMID: 27340385
Ambroxol; Airway hyperresponsiveness; Neutrophils; Eosinophils
4.  The positive prognostic effect of stromal CD8+ tumor-infiltrating T cells is restrained by the expression of HLA-E in non-small cell lung carcinoma 
Oncotarget  2015;7(3):3477-3488.
Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells are associated with improved clinical outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here we studied their prognostic effect in the context of the expression of HLA molecules that are key in tumor recognition (HLA-A, B and C) or suppression of immunity (HLA-E) as this is still unknown.
Tumor tissue of 197 patients with resected pulmonary adenocarcinoma was analyzed for the presence of CD8+ T cells and the expression of β2-microglobulin, HLA-A, HLA-B/C and HLA-E. The relation of these parameters with overall survival (OS) was assessed.
Loss and low expression of HLA-A or HLA-B/C was found in 44% and 75% of cases respectively. A high CD8+ tumor infiltration was strongly associated with clinical benefit only when the tumors retained good expression of HLA-A and HLA-B/C (p=0.004). In addition, more than 70% of the tumors were found to display a high expression of HLA-E. The expression of HLA-E by tumor cells was an independent negative prognostic factor for OS (p=0.031). Importantly, a dense stromal CD8+ T cell infiltration was strongly associated with improved OS only in HLA-E negative tumors (p=0.005) and its prognostic effect was completely abolished when tumors highly expressed HLA-E (p=0.989).
CD8+ T cell infiltration strongly contributes to a better prognosis in NSCLC when the tumor cells retain the expression of classical HLA class I and do not express HLA-E. Therefore, analysis of HLA-A, -B/C and HLA-E expression should be included as biomarkers to predict the response to immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4823121  PMID: 26658106
CD8+ T cells; HLA class I; HLA-E; non-small cell lung cancer; survival
5.  TNF-α and IL-1β-activated human mesenchymal stromal cells increase airway epithelial wound healing in vitro via activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor 
Respiratory Research  2016;17:3.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are investigated for their potential to reduce inflammation and to repair damaged tissue. Inflammation and tissue damage are hallmarks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and MSC infusion is a promising new treatment for COPD. Inflammatory mediators attract MSCs to sites of inflammation and affect their immune-modulatory properties, but little is known about their effect on regenerative properties of MSCs. This study investigates the effect of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β on the regenerative potential of MSCs, using an in vitro wound healing model of airway epithelial cells.
Standardized circular wounds were created by scraping cultures of the airway epithelial cell line NCI-H292 and primary bronchial epithelial cells cultured at the air-liquid interface (ALI-PBEC), and subsequently incubated with MSC conditioned medium (MSC-CM) that was generated in presence or absence of TNF-α/IL-1β. Remaining wound size was measured up to 72 h. Phosphorylation of ERK1/2 by MSC-CM was assessed using Western blot. Inhibitors for EGFR and c-Met signaling were used to investigate the contribution of these receptors to wound closure and to ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Transactivation of EGFR by MSC-CM was investigated using a TACE inhibitor, and RT-PCR was used to quantify mRNA expression of several growth factors in MSCs and NCI-H292.
Stimulation of MSCs with the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β increased the mRNA expression of various growth factors by MCSs and enhanced the regenerative potential of MSCs in an in vitro model of airway epithelial injury using NCI-H292 airway epithelial cells. Conditioned medium from cytokine stimulated MSCs induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in NCI-H292, predominantly via EGFR; it induced ADAM-mediated transactivation of EGFR, and it induced airway epithelial expression of several EGFR ligands. The contribution of activation of c-Met via HGF to increased repair could not be confirmed by inhibitor experiments.
Our data imply that at sites of tissue damage, when inflammatory mediators are present, for example in lungs of COPD patients, MSCs become more potent inducers of repair, in addition to their well-known immune-modulatory properties.
PMCID: PMC4710048  PMID: 26753875
Lung; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Inflammation; Airway epithelial cells; NCI-H292; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Wound healing; Regeneration; Repair; TNF-α/IL-1β
6.  Helicobacter urease–induced activation of the TLR2/NLRP3/IL-18 axis protects against asthma 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2015;125(8):3297-3302.
Inflammasome activation and caspase-1–dependent (CASP1-dependent) processing and secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 are critical events at the interface of the bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori with its host. Whereas IL-1β promotes Th1 and Th17 responses and gastric immunopathology, IL-18 is required for Treg differentiation, H. pylori persistence, and protection against allergic asthma, which is a hallmark of H. pylori–infected mice and humans. Here, we show that inflammasome activation in DCs requires the cytoplasmic sensor NLRP3 as well as induction of TLR2 signaling by H. pylori. Screening of an H. pylori transposon mutant library revealed that pro–IL-1β expression is induced by LPS from H. pylori, while the urease B subunit (UreB) is required for NLRP3 inflammasome licensing. UreB activates the TLR2-dependent expression of NLRP3, which represents a rate-limiting step in NLRP3 inflammasome assembly. ureB-deficient H. pylori mutants were defective for CASP1 activation in murine bone marrow–derived DCs, splenic DCs, and human blood-derived DCs. Despite colonizing the murine stomach, ureB mutants failed to induce IL-1β and IL-18 secretion and to promote Treg responses. Unlike WT H. pylori, ureB mutants were incapable of conferring protection against allergen-induced asthma in murine models. Together, these results indicate that the TLR2/NLRP3/CASP1/IL-18 axis is critical to H. pylori–specific immune regulation.
PMCID: PMC4563744  PMID: 26214524
7.  Prevention of exacerbations in patients with COPD and vitamin D deficiency through vitamin D supplementation (PRECOVID): a study protocol 
BMC Pulmonary Medicine  2015;15:106.
Vitamin D is well known for its function in calcium homeostasis and bone mineralisation, but is increasingly studied for its potential immunomodulatory properties. Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in patients with COPD. Previous studies have not demonstrated a beneficial effect of vitamin D on exacerbation rate in COPD patients. However, subgroup analyses suggested protective effects in vitamin D deficient patients. Our objective is to assess the effect of vitamin D supplementation on exacerbation rate specifically in vitamin D deficient COPD patients.
We will perform a randomised, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study. The study population consists of 240 COPD patients aged 40 years and older with vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration < 50 nmol/L). Participants will be recruited after an exacerbation and will be randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to receive vitamin D3 16800 IU or placebo orally once a week during 1 year. Participants will receive a diary card to register the incidence of exacerbations and changes in medication during the study period. Visits will be performed at baseline, at 6 months and at 12 months after randomisation. Participants will undergo spirometry, measurement of total lung capacity and assessment of maximal respiratory mouth pressure. Several physical performance and hand grip strength tests will be performed, questionnaires on quality of life and physical activity will be filled in, a nasal secretion sample and swab will be obtained and blood samples will be taken. The primary outcome will be exacerbation rate.
This study will be the first RCT aimed at the effects of vitamin D supplementation on exacerbation rate in vitamin D deficient COPD patients. Also, in contrast to earlier studies that used infrequent dosing regimens, our trial will study effects of a weekly dose of vitamin D supplementation. Secondly, the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D on host immune response of COPD patients and underlying mechanisms will be studied. Finally, the effects on physical functioning will be examined.
Trial registration
This trial is registered in, ID number NCT02122627. Date of Registration April 2014.
PMCID: PMC4580355  PMID: 26399451
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Exacerbation; Vitamin D; Immunomodulation; Physical function; Randomised controlled trial
9.  Bronchial asthma: is personalized therapy on the horizon? 
Allergo Journal International  2014;23(7):246-251.
In the last years there is an increasing trend towards personalized medicine for patients with asthma. This is due to the availability of novel specific therapies. These new compounds are supposed to be used in well-defined patient groups, which are likely to respond to these interventions. In addition to already used anti-IgE, novel monoclonal antibodies such as anti-IL-5 and anti-IL-13 are becoming available. Currently clinical trials are ongoing to identify which patient population will respond to these novel therapies.
PMCID: PMC4479476  PMID: 26120534
Asthma; Inflammation; Phenotypes; Monoclonal antibodies
10.  Local and systemic XAGE-1b-specific immunity in patients with lung adenocarcinoma 
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy  2015;64(9):1109-1121.
XAGE-1b is a cancer/testis antigen aberrantly expressed in pulmonary adenocarcinoma. Systemic antibody and T cell responses have been demonstrated in adenocarcinoma patients, but so far, local antigen-specific immunity has not been reported. In this study, XAGE-1b expression by tumor cells as well as the presence of systemic and/or local XAGE-1b-specific immunity was assessed in peripheral blood, tumor tissue and tumor-draining lymph nodes of Caucasian patients with pulmonary adenocarcinoma. XAGE-1b protein expression was detected in 43.6 % (17 of 39) of patients when at least two different parts of a resected tumor were assessed. In 20 patients, analysis of T cells isolated and expanded from the primary tumor and its draining lymph node demonstrated XAGE-1b-specific responses in two patients. XAGE-1b-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies were found in 3 of 40 patients. These three antibody-positive patients had also mounted a systemic T cell response to XAGE-1b, measured by proliferation, cytokine production and expression of T cell activation markers on peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The population of XAGE-1b-specific T cells comprised both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells secreting both type I and II cytokines. Epitope mapping showed that T cells predominantly targeted the N-terminal part of the XAGE-1b protein, while the B cell response was directed against the C-terminal domain. Our study for the first time provides evidence for the presence of XAGE-1b-specific T cells within adenocarcinoma tissue, which supports the concept that XAGE-1b acts as a genuine tumor antigen and, therefore, might form an attractive target for a vaccine-based approach of immunotherapy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00262-015-1716-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4540777  PMID: 26025564
XAGE-1b; CT antigen; Adenocarcinoma; Lung cancer
11.  Mast Cells Expedite Control of Pulmonary Murine Cytomegalovirus Infection by Enhancing the Recruitment of Protective CD8 T Cells to the Lungs 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(4):e1004100.
The lungs are a noted predilection site of acute, latent, and reactivated cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. Interstitial pneumonia is the most dreaded manifestation of CMV disease in the immunocompromised host, whereas in the immunocompetent host lung-infiltrating CD8 T cells confine the infection in nodular inflammatory foci and prevent viral pathology. By using murine CMV infection as a model, we provide evidence for a critical role of mast cells (MC) in the recruitment of protective CD8 T cells to the lungs. Systemic infection triggered degranulation selectively in infected MC. The viral activation of MC was associated with a wave of CC chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5) in the serum of C57BL/6 mice that was MC-derived as verified by infection of MC-deficient KitW-sh/W-sh “sash” mutants. In these mutants, CD8 T cells were recruited less efficiently to the lungs, correlating with enhanced viral replication and delayed virus clearance. A causative role for MC was verified by MC reconstitution of “sash” mice restoring both, efficient CD8 T-cell recruitment and infection control. These results reveal a novel crosstalk axis between innate and adaptive immune defense against CMV, and identify MC as a hitherto unconsidered player in the immune surveillance at a relevant site of CMV disease.
Author Summary
Being strategically located beneath endothelial and epithelial surfaces, mast cells (MC) serve as sentinels for invading pathogens at host-environment boundaries as part of the innate defense against infection. Host genetic resistance against cytomegaloviruses (CMV) is largely determined by the innate immune response, but an implication of MC in the adaptive immune defense against CMV has not been considered so far and is almost impossible to address in human infection. Using murine CMV as a model that in the past has already pioneered the discovery of fundamental principles in CMV-host interactions, our data reveal MC as central part of a novel crosstalk-axis between the innate and adaptive immune response to CMV. We found that upon host infection MC become rapidly activated and promote the recruitment of protective CD8 T cells to the lungs, a noted critical site of CMV pathogenesis in humans as well as in the mouse model. Enhanced tissue infiltration of CD8 T cells results in a reduced peak viral load and a faster clearance of productive infection. Realizing the importance of MC in the control of pulmonary CMV infection may help to develop new strategies for preventing CMV pneumonia by MC supplementation in recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3999167  PMID: 24763809
12.  The tick salivary protein sialostatin L inhibits the Th9-derived production of the asthma-promoting cytokine interleukin-9 and is effective in the prevention of experimental asthma1 
Ticks developed a multitude of different immune evasion strategies in order to obtain a blood meal. Sialostatin L is an immunosuppressive cysteine protease inhibitor present in the saliva of the hard tick Ixodes scapularis. Herein we demonstrate that sialostatin L strongly inhibits the production of IL-9 by Th9 cells. Since we could show recently that Th9-derived IL-9 is essentially involved in the induction of asthma symptoms, sialostatin L was used for the treatment of experimental asthma. Application of sialostatin L in a model of experimental asthma almost completely abrogated airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia. Our data suggest that sialostatin L can prevent experimental asthma, most likely by inhibiting the IL-9 production of Th9 cells. Thus, alternative to IL-9 neutralization sialostatin L provides the basis for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies to treat asthma.
PMCID: PMC3523721  PMID: 22327077
Th9 cells; Lung; Allergy; Parasites; Rodents
13.  Implementation strategies of internet-based asthma self-management support in usual care. Study protocol for the IMPASSE cluster randomized trial 
Internet-based self-management (IBSM) support cost-effectively improves asthma control, asthma related quality of life, number of symptom-free days, and lung function in patients with mild to moderate persistent asthma. The current challenge is to implement IBSM in clinical practice.
This study is a three-arm cluster randomized trial with a cluster pre-randomisation design and 12 months follow-up per practice comparing the following three IBSM implementation strategies: minimum strategy (MS): dissemination of the IBSM program; intermediate strategy (IS): MS + start-up support for professionals (i.e., support in selection of the appropriate population and training of professionals); and extended strategy (ES): IS + additional training and ongoing support for professionals. Because the implementation strategies (interventions) are primarily targeted at general practices, randomisation will occur at practice level.
In this study, we aim to evaluate 14 primary care practices per strategy in the Leiden-The Hague region, involving 140 patients per arm. Patients aged 18 to 50 years, with a physician diagnosis of asthma, prescription of inhaled corticosteroids, and/or montelukast for ≥3 months in the previous year are eligible to participate. Primary outcome measures are the proportion of referred patients that participate in IBSM, and the proportion of patients that have clinically relevant improvement in the asthma-related quality of life. The secondary effect measures are clinical outcomes (asthma control, lung function, usage of airway treatment, and presence of exacerbations); self-management related outcomes (health education impact, medication adherence, and illness perceptions); and patient utilities. Process measures are the proportion of practices that participate in IBSM and adherence of professionals to implementation strategies. Cost-effective measurements are medical costs and healthcare consumption. Follow-up is six months per patient.
This study provides insight in the amount of support that is required by general practices for cost-effective implementation of IBSM. Additionally, design and results can be beneficial for implementation of other self-management initiatives in clinical practice.
Trial registration
the Netherlands National Trial Register NTR2970
PMCID: PMC3514342  PMID: 23171672
Asthma; Self-management; Telemanagement; E-health; Self-management; Implementation; Chronic care
14.  Regulatory T cells and regulation of allergic airway disease 
Diseases like asthma have dramatically increased in the last decades. The reasons for the rising prevalence are still controversially discussed. Besides the genetic predisposition a number of different causes are thought to affect the increase of allergies. These include the hygiene hypothesis as well as changes in intestinal microbiota. Allergic airway inflammation is driven by T cells but it has become clear that tolerance and also suppression of allergic inflammation are mediated by so called regulatory T cells (Tregs). Indeed, naturally occurring Treg as well as induced Tregs have been shown to suppress allergic airway disease. In addition, the effectiveness of different therapeutic strategies (e.g. allergen immunotherapy) are mediated via Tregs. In addition, several Treg based approaches have been shown to effectively suppress allergic airway disease in different models. However, more research is needed to explore these potentially interesting approaches for the treatment of human disease.
PMCID: PMC3714190  PMID: 23885322
Allergy; asthma; inflammation; regulatory T cell; suppression
15.  Th17 cells mediate pulmonary collateral priming 
Our laboratory has shown earlier that inhalational sensitization to new antigens is facilitated through an ongoing Th2-polarized inflammation of the lung, a phenomenon we call “collateral priming”.
We were interested to analyze whether a Th1-polarized pulmonary inflammation also facilitates priming towards new antigens and which cytokine(s) would be involved.
Th1-polarized T cells were generated in vitro and transferred into congenic mice. Mice were challenged initially with cognate antigen and an unrelated antigen; consecutively they received cognate antigen or the secondary antigen. Airway inflammation, antigen-specific IgG2a and airway hyperresponsiveness were assessed to determine the inflammatory phenotype with antibody blocking studies used to determine cytokine requirements for Th1 collateral priming.
Our experiments revealed that an ongoing inflammation of the lung induced by the transfer of Th1-polarized cells also facilitates priming towards new antigens which results in a lymphocytic inflammation of the lung. Interestingely, blocking studies identified IL-17A as a major contributor to this pathology. Accordingly, we could demonstrate for the first time that Th17-polarized cells alone can facilitate priming towards new antigens, inducing lymphocytic airway inflammation and strong airway hyperresponsiveness. Flow cytometric analysis revealed priming of endogenous T cells for IL-17A secretion with a distinct memory/effector phenotype compared to Th1 cells, thus presenting an exciting model to further elucidate differentiation of Th17 cells.
We show that airway inflammation mediated by Th17 cells facilitates sensitization to new antigens and confers increased airway responsiveness in a mouse model of polysensitization suggesting a mechanism involving IL-17A behind the increased risk for allergic sensitization in polysensitized individuals.
PMCID: PMC3129446  PMID: 21459426
Asthma; IL-17A; T helper cell; polysensitization
16.  DC-derived IL-18 drives Treg differentiation, murine Helicobacter pylori–specific immune tolerance, and asthma protection  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(3):1082-1096.
Persistent colonization with the gastric bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and predisposes infected individuals to gastric cancer. Conversely, it is also linked to protection from allergic, chronic inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. We demonstrate here that H. pylori inhibits LPS-induced maturation of DCs and reprograms DCs toward a tolerance-promoting phenotype. Our results showed that DCs exposed to H. pylori in vitro or in vivo failed to induce T cell effector functions. Instead, they efficiently induced expression of the forkhead transcription factor FoxP3, the master regulator of Tregs, in naive T cells. Depletion of DCs in mice infected with H. pylori during the neonatal period was sufficient to break H. pylori–specific tolerance. DC depletion resulted in improved control of the infection but also aggravated T cell–driven immunopathology. Consistent with the mouse data, DCs infiltrating the gastric mucosa of human H. pylori carriers exhibited a semimature DC-SIGN+HLA–DRhiCD80loCD86lo phenotype. Mechanistically, the tolerogenic activity of H. pylori–experienced DCs was shown to require IL-18 in vitro and in vivo; DC-derived IL-18 acted directly on T cells to drive their conversion to Tregs. CD4+CD25+ Tregs from infected wild-type mice but not Il18–/– or Il18r1–/– mice prevented airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in an experimental model of asthma. Taken together, our results indicate that tolerogenic reprogramming of DCs ensures the persistence of H. pylori and protects against allergic asthma in a process that requires IL-18.
PMCID: PMC3287234  PMID: 22307326
17.  IL-22 Is Produced by Innate Lymphoid Cells and Limits Inflammation in Allergic Airway Disease 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21799.
Interleukin (IL)-22 is an effector cytokine, which acts primarily on epithelial cells in the skin, gut, liver and lung. Both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties have been reported for IL-22 depending on the tissue and disease model. In a murine model of allergic airway inflammation, we found that IL-22 is predominantly produced by innate lymphoid cells in the inflamed lungs, rather than TH cells. To determine the impact of IL-22 on airway inflammation, we used allergen-sensitized IL-22-deficient mice and found that they suffer from significantly higher airway hyperreactivity upon airway challenge. IL-22-deficiency led to increased eosinophil infiltration lymphocyte invasion and production of CCL17 (TARC), IL-5 and IL-13 in the lung. Mice treated with IL-22 before antigen challenge displayed reduced expression of CCL17 and IL-13 and significant amelioration of airway constriction and inflammation. We conclude that innate IL-22 limits airway inflammation, tissue damage and clinical decline in allergic lung disease.
PMCID: PMC3138740  PMID: 21789181
18.  Helicobacter pylori infection prevents allergic asthma in mouse models through the induction of regulatory T cells  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2011;121(8):3088-3093.
Atopic asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that has taken on epidemic proportions in the industrialized world. The increase in asthma rates has been linked epidemiologically to the rapid disappearance of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen that persistently colonizes the human stomach, from Western societies. In this study, we have utilized mouse models of allergic airway disease induced by ovalbumin or house dust mite allergen to experimentally examine a possible inverse correlation between H. pylori and asthma. H. pylori infection efficiently protected mice from airway hyperresponsiveness, tissue inflammation, and goblet cell metaplasia, which are hallmarks of asthma, and prevented allergen-induced pulmonary and bronchoalveolar infiltration with eosinophils, Th2 cells, and Th17 cells. Protection against asthma was most robust in mice infected neonatally and was abrogated by antibiotic eradication of H. pylori. Asthma protection was further associated with impaired maturation of lung-infiltrating dendritic cells and the accumulation of highly suppressive Tregs in the lungs. Systemic Treg depletion abolished asthma protection; conversely, the adoptive transfer of purified Treg populations was sufficient to transfer protection from infected donor mice to uninfected recipients. Our results thus provide experimental evidence for a beneficial effect of H. pylori colonization on the development of allergen-induced asthma.
PMCID: PMC3148731  PMID: 21737881
19.  Mast Cells in Allergic Asthma and Beyond 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2010;51(6):797-807.
Mast cells have been regarded for a long time as effector cells in IgE mediated type I reactions and in host defence against parasites. However, they are resident in all environmental exposed tissues and express a wide variety of receptors, suggesting that these cells can also function as sentinels in innate immune responses. Indeed, studies have demonstrated an important role of mast cells during the induction of life-saving antibacterial responses. Furthermore, recent findings have shown that mast cells promote and modulate the development of adaptive immune responses, making them an important hinge of innate and acquired immunity. In addition, mast cells and several mast cell-produced mediators have been shown to be important during the development of allergic airway diseases. In the present review, we will summarize findings on the role of mast cells during the development of adaptive immune responses and highlight their function, especially during the development of allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC2995967  PMID: 20879044
Asthma; mast cells; mediators; allergy
20.  AHR-Enhancing γδ T Cells Develop in Normal Untreated Mice and Fail to Produce IL-4/13, Unlike TH2 Cells and NKT Cells1 
Allergic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in OVA-sensitized and challenged mice, mediated by allergen-specific Th2 cells and Th2-like iNKT cells, develops under the influence of enhancing and inhibitory γδ T cells. The AHR-enhancing cells belong to the Vγ1+ γδ T cell subset, cells that are capable of increasing IL-5 and IL-13 levels in the airways in a manner like Th2 cells. They also synergize with iNKT cells in mediating AHR. However, unlike Th2 cells, the AHR-enhancers arise in untreated mice, and we show here that they exhibit their functional bias already as thymocytes, at an HSAhi maturational stage. In further contrast to Th2 cells and also unlike iNKT cells, they could not be stimulated to produce IL-4 and IL-13, consistent with their synergistic dependence on iNKT cells in mediating AHR. Mice deficient in IFN-γ, TNFRp75 or IL-4 did not produce these AHR-enhancing γδ T cells, but in the absence of IFN-γ, their spontaneous development was restored by adoptive transfer of IFN-γ competent dendritic cells from untreated donors. Intra-peritoneal injection of OVA/alum restored development of the AHR-enhancers in all of the mutant strains, indicating that the enhancers still can be induced when they fail to develop spontaneously, and that they themselves need not express TNFRp75, IFN-γ or IL-4 in order to exert their function. We conclude that both the development and the cytokine potential of the AHR-enhancing γδ T cells differs critically from that of Th2 cells and NKT cells, despite similar influences of these cell populations on AHR.
PMCID: PMC2688721  PMID: 19201853
T cells; Allergy; Lung; Spleen and Lymph Nodes; Transgenic/Knockout Mice
21.  Evidence that CD8+ Dendritic Cells Enable the Development of γδ T Cells that Modulate Airway Hyperresponsiveness2 
Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), a hallmark of asthma and several other diseases, can be modulated by γδ T cells. In mice sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin, AHR depends on allergen-specific αβ T cells, but Vγδ1+ γδ T cells spontaneously enhance AHR, whereas Vγ4+ γδ T cells after being induced by airway challenge suppress AHR. The activity of these γδ T cell modulators is allergen-nonspecific, and how they develop is unclear. We now show that CD8 is essential for the development of both the AHR-suppressor and enhancer γδ T cells although neither type needs to express CD8 itself. Both cell types encounter CD8-expressing non-T cells in the spleen, and their functional development in an otherwise CD8-negative environment can be restored with transferred spleen cell preparations containing CD8+ DC, but not CD8+ T cells or CD8− DC. Our findings suggest that CD8+ DC in the lymphoid tissues enable an early step in the development of γδ T cells, through direct cell-contact. DC-expressed CD8 might take part in this interaction.
PMCID: PMC2493442  PMID: 18566396
Rodent; dendritic cells; T cells; cell differentiation; spleen and lymph nodes
22.  Arhgef1 Is Required by T Cells for the Development of Airway Hyperreactivity and Inflammation 
Rationale: Arhgef1 is an intracellular protein, expressed by hematopoietic cells, that regulates signaling by both G protein–coupled receptors and RhoA, and, consequently, is required for appropriate migration and adhesion of diverse leukocyte populations.
Objectives: To evaluate a possible contribution for Arhgef1 in the development of airway inflammation and airway hyperreactivity.
Methods: Arhgef1-deficient (Arhgef1−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice were sensitized and airway challenged, followed by measurement of airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine. Inflammation was assessed by several parameters that included flow cytometric analysis and histology. Arhgef1-deficient recipients were reconstituted with WT T lymphocytes before sensitization and challenge, and again measured for airway responsiveness and inflammation. Cytokine production in response to specific antigen was measured in cultures of isolated leukocytes from lung and spleen and compared with the levels generated in lung and spleen explant cultures.
Measurements and Main Results: Arhgef1−/− mice display significantly reduced airway hyperreactivity, Th2 cytokine production, and lung inflammation, despite intact systemic immunity. After airway challenge of Arhgef1−/− mice, antigen-specific T cells were present in mutant lungs, but were found to interact with CD11c+ cells at a significantly reduced frequency. Adoptive transfer of WT T cells into Arhgef1−/− mice restored airway hyperreactivity and inflammation.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that T cells depend on Arhgef1 to promote lung inflammation. Moreover, a deficiency in Arhgef1 results in reduced T cell–CD11c+ antigen-presenting cell interaction, and likely underscores the inability of Arhgef1−/− mice to mount an adaptive immune response to airway challenge.
PMCID: PMC2049063  PMID: 17463415
airway hyperreactivity; cytokines; lung inflammation; T cells
23.  Mast cells and the development of allergic airway disease 
Murine models have highlighted the importance of T-cells and TH2 cytokines in development of allergen-induced airway disease. In contrast, the role of mast cells for the development of allergic airway disease has been controversial. Recent studies in murine models demonstrate a significant contribution of mast cells during the development of airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation. Furthermore these models have allowed identifying certain mast cell-produced mediators (e.g. histamine and leukotriene B4) to be involved in the recruitment of effector T-cells into the lung. Additionally, mast cell-produced TNF can directly activate TH2 cells and contribute to the development of allergic airway disease. These new findings demonstrate a complex role of mast cells and their mediators, not only as effector cells, but also during sensitization and development of allergic airway disease. Therefore mast cells and certain mast cell-produced mediators might be an interesting target for the prevention and treatment of allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC2259396  PMID: 18315833
24.  Invasive and noninvasive methods for studying pulmonary function in mice 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):63.
The widespread use of genetically altered mouse models of experimental asthma has stimulated the development of lung function techniques in vivo to characterize the functional results of genetic manipulations. Here, we describe various classical and recent methods of measuring airway responsiveness in vivo including both invasive methodologies in anesthetized, intubated mice (repetitive/non-repetitive assessment of pulmonary resistance (RL) and dynamic compliance (Cdyn); measurement of low-frequency forced oscillations (LFOT)) and noninvasive technologies in conscious animals (head-out body plethysmography; barometric whole-body plethysmography). Outlined are the technical principles, validation and applications as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology. Reviewed is the current set of invasive and noninvasive methods of measuring murine pulmonary function, with particular emphasis on practical considerations that should be considered when applying them for phenotyping in the laboratory mouse.
PMCID: PMC2039738  PMID: 17868442
25.  Soluble Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells 1 Is Released in Patients with Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasingly recognized as a systemic disease that is associated with increased serum levels of markers of systemic inflammation. The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1) is a recently identified activating receptor on neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophage subsets. TREM-1 expression is upregulated by microbial products such as the toll-like receptor ligand lipoteichoic acid of Gram-positive or lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacteria. In the present study, sera from 12 COPD patients (GOLD stages I–IV, FEV1 51 ± 6%) and 10 healthy individuals were retrospectively analyzed for soluble TREM-1 (sTREM-1) using a newly developed ELISA. In healthy subjects, sTREM-1 levels were low (median 0.25 ng/mL, range 0–5.9 ng/mL). In contrast, levels of sTREM-1 in sera of COPD patients were significantly increased (median 11.68 ng/mL, range 6.2–41.9 ng/mL, P<.05). Furthermore, serum levels of sTREM-1 showed a significant negative correlation with lung function impairment. In summary, serum concentrations of sTREM-1 are increased in patients with COPD. Prospective studies are warranted to evaluate the relevance of sTREM-1 as a potential marker of the disease in patients with COPD.
PMCID: PMC2246041  PMID: 18317529

Results 1-25 (27)