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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1999 Oct;21(4):480-9.

Development of eosinophilic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness requires interleukin-5 but not immunoglobulin E or B lymphocytes.

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Division of Basic Sciences and Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 80260, USA.


We previously defined a role for B cells and allergen-specific immunoglobulins in the development of allergic sensitization, airway inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), using a 10-d protocol in which allergen exposure occurred exclusively via the airways, without adjuvant. In the present protocol, normal and B-cell-deficient (microMt(-/-)) mice were sensitized intraperitoneally to ovalbumin (OVA) and challenged with OVA via the airways in order to examine the requirements for AHR with this protocol. T-cell activation (antigen-specific proliferative responses and Th2-type cytokine production) and eosinophil infiltration in the peribronchial regions of the airways, with signs of eosinophil activation and degranulation, occurred in both experimental groups. In contrast to the 10-d protocol, increased in vivo airway responsiveness to methacholine and in vitro tracheal smooth-muscle responses to electrical field stimulation were observed in both normal and B-cell-deficient mice, and these responses were inhibited by anti-interleukin (IL)-5 administration before airway challenge. These data show that IL-5, but not B cells or allergen-specific IgE, are required for eosinophil airway infiltration and the development of AHR following allergen/alum sensitization and repeated airway challenge with allergen. These results emphasize that the use of different sensitization and challenge protocols can influence the requirements for development of AHR.

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