Airway eosinophils: Allergic inflammation recruited professional antigen-presenting cells

Hai Bin Wang, Ionita Ghiran, Klaus Matthaei, Peter F. Weller

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    158 Citations (Scopus)


    The capacity of airway eosinophils, potentially pertinent to allergic diseases of the upper and lower airways, to function as professional APCs, those specifically able to elicit responses from unprimed, Ag-naive CD4+ T cells has been uncertain. We investigated whether airway eosinophils are capable of initiating naive T cell responses in vivo. Eosinophils, isolated free of other APCs from the spleens of IL-5 transgenic mice, following culture with GM-CSF expressed MHC class II and the costimulatory proteins, CD40, CD80, and CD86. Eosinophils, incubated with OVA Ag in vitro, were instilled intratracheally into wild-type recipient mice that adoptively received i.v. infusions of OVA Ag-specific CD4+ T cells from OVA TCR transgenic mice. OVA-exposed eosinophils elicited activation (CD69 expression), proliferation (BrdU incorporation), and IL-4, but not IFN-γ, cytokine production by OVA-specific CD4+ T cells in paratracheal lymph nodes (LN). Exposure of eosinophils to lysosomotropic NH4Cl, which inhibits Ag processing, blocked each of these eosinophil-mediated activation responses of CD4+ T cells. By three-color fluorescence microscopy, OVA Ag-loaded eosinophil APCs were physically interacting with naive OVA-specific CD4 + T cells in paratracheal LN after eosinophil airway instillation. Thus, recruited luminal airway eosinophils are distinct allergic "inflammatory" professional APCs able to activate primary CD4 + T cell responses in regional LNs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7585-7592
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007


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