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J Immunol. 2003 Mar 15;170(6):3296-305.

A causative relationship exists between eosinophils and the development of allergic pulmonary pathologies in the mouse.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, S. C. Johnson Medical Research Center, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA.


Asthma and mouse models of allergic respiratory inflammation are invariably associated with a pulmonary eosinophilia; however, this association has remained correlative. In this report, a causative relationship between eosinophils and allergen-provoked pathologies was established using eosinophil adoptive transfer. Eosinophils were transferred directly into the lungs of either naive or OVA-treated IL-5(-/-) mice. This strategy resulted in a pulmonary eosinophilia equivalent to that observed in OVA-treated wild-type animals. A concomitant consequence of this eosinophil transfer was an increase in Th2 bronchoalveolar lavage cytokine levels and the restoration of intracellular epithelial mucus in OVA-treated IL-5(-/-) mice equivalent to OVA-treated wild-type levels. Moreover, the transfer also resulted in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness. These pulmonary changes did not occur when eosinophils were transferred into naive IL-5(-/-) mice, eliminating nonspecific consequences of the eosinophil transfer as a possible explanation. Significantly, administration of OVA-treated IL-5(-/-) mice with GK1.5 (anti-CD4) Abs abolished the increases in mucus accumulation and airway hyperresponsiveness following adoptive transfer of eosinophils. Thus, CD4(+) T cell-mediated inflammatory signals as well as signals derived from eosinophils are each necessary, yet alone insufficient, for the development of allergic pulmonary pathology. These data support an expanded view of T cell and eosinophil activities and suggest that eosinophil effector functions impinge directly on lung function.

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