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J Immunol. 2002 Dec 1;169(11):6482-9.

The role of IL-13 in established allergic airway disease.

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  • 1Division of Cell Biology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


The effectiveness of targeting IL-13 in models where airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation have already been established is not well-described. We investigated the effects of blocking IL-13 on the early and late phase airway responses and the development of AHR in previously sensitized and challenged mice. BALB/cByJ mice were sensitized (days 1 and 14) and challenged (days 28-30) with OVA. Six weeks later (day 72), previously sensitized/challenged mice were challenged with a single OVA aerosol and the early and late phase response and development of AHR were determined. Specific in vivo blockade of IL-13 was attained after i.p. injection of a soluble IL-13Ralpha2-IgG fusion protein (sIL-13Ralpha2Fc) on days 71-72 for the early and late responses and on days 71-73 for the development of AHR. sIL-13Ralpha2Fc administration inhibited the late, but not early, phase response and the OVA challenge-induced changes in lung resistance and dynamic compliance; as well, sIL-13Ralpha2Fc administration decreased bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia and mucus hypersecretion following the secondary challenge protocols. These results demonstrate that targeting IL-13 alone regulates airway responses when administrated to mice with established allergic airway disease. These data identify the importance of IL-13 in the development of allergen-induced altered airway responsiveness following airway challenge, even when administered before rechallenge of mice in which allergic disease had been previously established.

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