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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Mar 15;171(6):579-86. Epub 2004 Dec 23.

Effects of allergen challenge on airway epithelial cell gene expression.

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  • 1Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Thorn 826C, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Allergen exposure induces the airway epithelium to produce chemoattractants, proallergic interleukins, matrix-modifying proteins, and proteins that influence the growth and activation state of airway structural cells. These proteins, in turn, contribute to the influx of inflammatory cells and changes in structure that characterize the asthmatic airway. To use the response of the airway epithelium to allergen to identify genes not previously associated with allergic responses, we compared gene expression in cytokeratin-positive cells before and after segmental allergen challenge. After challenge with concentrations of allergen in the clinically relevant range, 755 (6%) of the detectable sequences had geometric mean fold-changes in expression, with 95% confidence intervals that excluded unity. Using a prospectively defined conservative filtering algorithm, we identified 141 sequences as upregulated and eight as downregulated, with confirmation by conventional polymerase chain reaction in all 10 sequences studied. Using this approach, we identified asthma-associated sequences including interleukin (IL-)-3, IL-4, and IL-5 receptor subunits, the p65 component of nuclear factor-kappaB, and lipocortin. The genomic response of the human airway to concentrations of allergen in the clinically relevant range involves a greater number of genes than previously recognized, including many not previously associated with asthma that are differentially expressed after airway allergen exposure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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