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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002 Jul;283(1):L170-9.

Treatment of established asthma in a murine model using CpG oligodeoxynucleotides.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Allergen immunotherapy is an effective but underutilized treatment for atopic asthma. We have previously demonstrated that CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODN) can prevent the development of a murine model of asthma. In the current study, we evaluated the role of CpG ODN in the treatment of established eosinophilic airway inflammation and bronchial hyperreactivity in a murine model of asthma. In this model, mice with established ovalbumin (OVA)-induced airway disease were given a course of immunotherapy (using low doses of OVA) in the presence or absence of CpG ODN. All mice then were rechallenged with experimental allergen. Untreated mice developed marked airway eosinophilia and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, which were significantly reduced by treatment with OVA and CpG. CpG ODN leads to induction of antigen-induced Th1 cytokine responses; successful therapy was associated with induction of the chemokines interferon-gamma-inducible protein-10 and RANTES and suppression of eotaxin. Unlike previous studies, these data demonstrate that the combination of CpG ODN and allergen can effectively reverse established atopic eosinophilic airway disease, at least partially through redirecting a Th2 to a Th1 response.

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