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J Immunol. 2001 Feb 1;166(3):1832-42.

Antifungal and airway remodeling roles for murine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/CCL2 during pulmonary exposure to Asperigillus fumigatus conidia.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Asperigillus fumigatus spores or conidia are quickly eliminated from the airways of nonsensitized individuals but persist in individuals with allergic pulmonary responsiveness to fungus. A. fumigatus-induced allergic airway disease is characterized by persistent airway hyperreactivity, inflammation, and fibrosis. The present study explored the role of CCR2 ligands in the murine airway response to A. fumigatus conidia. Nonsensitized and A. fumigatus-sensitized CBA/J mice received an intratracheal challenge of A. fumigatus conidia, and pulmonary changes were analyzed at various times after conidia. Whole lung levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2), but neither MCP-3/CCL7 nor MCP-5/CCL12, were significantly elevated at days 3 and 7 after conidia in nonsensitized mice. MCP-1/CCL2 was significantly increased in lung samples from A. fumigatus-sensitized mice at days 14 and 30 after a conidia challenge. Administration of anti-MCP-1/CCL2 antiserum to nonsensitized mice for14 days after the conidia challenge attenuated the clearance of conidia and significantly increased airway hyperreactivity, eosinophilia, and peribronchial fibrosis compared with nonsensitized mice that received conidia and normal serum. Adenovirus-directed overexpression of MCP-1/CCL2 in A. fumigatus-sensitized mice markedly reduced the number of conidia, airway inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness at day 7 after the conidia challenge in these mice. Immunoneutralization of MCP-1/CCL2 levels in A. fumigatus-sensitized mice during days14-30 after the conidia challenge did not affect the conidia burden but significantly reduced airway hyperreactivity, lung IL-4 levels, and lymphocyte recruitment into the airways compared with the control group. These data suggest that MCP-1/CCL2 participates in the pulmonary antifungal and allergic responses to A. fumigatus conidia.

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