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1.  Adoptive transfer of IL-4Rα+ macrophages is sufficient to enhance eosinophilic inflammation in a mouse model of allergic lung inflammation 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:6.
The IL-4 receptor α (IL-4Rα) chain has a broad expression pattern and participates in IL-4 and IL-13 signaling, allowing it to influence several pathological components of allergic lung inflammation. We previously reported that IL-4Rα expression on both bone marrow-derived and non-bone marrow-derived cells contributed to the severity of allergic lung inflammation. There was a correlation between the number of macrophages expressing the IL-4Rα, CD11b, and IAd, and the degree of eosinophilia in ovalbumin challenged mice. The engagement of the IL-4Rα by IL-4 or IL-13 is able to stimulate the alternative activation of macrophages (AAM). The presence of AAM has been correlated with inflammatory responses to parasites and allergens. Therefore, we hypothesized that IL-4Rα+ AAM play an active role in allergic lung inflammation. To directly determine the role of AAM in allergic lung inflammation, M-CSF-dependent macrophages (BMM) were prepared from the bone-marrow of IL-4Rα positive and negative mice and transferred to IL-4RαxRAG2-/- mice. Wild type TH2 cells were provided exogenously.
Mice receiving IL-4Rα+/+ BMM showed a marked increase in the recruitment of eosinophils to the lung after challenge with ovalbumin as compared to mice receiving IL-4Rα-/- BMM. As expected, the eosinophilic inflammation was dependent on the presence of TH2 cells. Furthermore, we observed an increase in cells expressing F4/80 and Mac3, and the AAM marker YM1/2 in the lungs of mice receiving IL-4Rα+/+ BMM. The BAL fluid from these mice contained elevated levels of eotaxin-1, RANTES, and CCL2.
These results demonstrate that transfer of IL-4Rα + macrophages is sufficient to enhance TH2-driven, allergic inflammation. They further show that stimulation of macrophages through IL-4Rα leads to their alternative activation and positive contribution to the TH2-driven allergic inflammatory response in the lung. Since an increase in AAM and their products has been observed in patients with asthma exacerbations, these results suggest that AAM may be targeted to alleviate exacerbations.
PMCID: PMC3283450  PMID: 22292924
2.  Transfer of in vivo primed transgenic T cells supports allergic lung inflammation and FIZZ1 and Ym1 production in an IL-4Rα and STAT6 dependent manner 
BMC Immunology  2011;12:60.
CD4+ T helper type 2 (TH2) cells, their cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 and the transcription factor STAT6 are known to regulate various features of asthma including lung inflammation, mucus production and airway hyperreactivity and also drive alternative activation of macrophages (AAM). However, the precise roles played by the IL-4/IL-13 receptors and STAT6 in inducing AAM protein expression and modulating specific features of airway inflammation are still unclear. Since TH2 differentiation and activation plays a pivotal role in this disease, we explored the possibility of developing an asthma model in mice using T cells that were differentiated in vivo.
In this study, we monitored the activation and proliferation status of adoptively transferred allergen-specific naïve or in vivo primed CD4+ T cells. We found that both the naïve and in vivo primed T cells expressed similar levels of CD44 and IL-4. However, in vivo primed T cells underwent reduced proliferation in a lymphopenic environment when compared to naïve T cells. We then used these in vivo generated effector T cells in an asthma model. Although there was reduced inflammation in mice lacking IL-4Rα or STAT6, significant amounts of eosinophils were still present in the BAL and lung tissue. Moreover, specific AAM proteins YM1 and FIZZ1 were expressed by epithelial cells, while macrophages expressed only YM1 in RAG2-/- mice. We further show that FIZZ1 and YM1 protein expression in the lung was completely dependent on signaling through the IL-4Rα and STAT6. Consistent with the enhanced inflammation and AAM protein expression, there was a significant increase in collagen deposition and smooth muscle thickening in RAG2-/- mice compared to mice deficient in IL-4Rα or STAT6.
These results establish that transfer of in vivo primed CD4+ T cells can induce allergic lung inflammation. Furthermore, while IL-4/IL-13 signaling through IL-4Rα and STAT6 is essential for AAM protein expression, lung inflammation and eosinophilia are only partially dependent on this pathway. Further studies are required to identify other proteins and signaling pathways involved in airway inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3212823  PMID: 22014099

Results 1-2 (2)