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Clin Exp Allergy. 2000 Jan;30(1):86-93.

In vivo expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 6 (STAT6) in nasal mucosa from atopic allergic rhinitis: effect of topical corticosteroids.

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  • 1Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The allergen-induced late nasal response is associated with a high local expression of interleukin (IL) -4, a TH2-type cytokine implicated in immunoglobulin (Ig) E production, tissue eosinophilia and other events considered to be relevant to allergic inflammation. Interaction of IL-4 with its receptor activates at least two distinct signalling pathways that culminate in the transcription of specific target genes. One pathway involves the activation of a transcription factor termed signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 6 (STAT6).

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the expression of STAT6 in the allergen-induced late nasal response and to examine the effect of local steroid treatment on STAT6 expression.

METHODS:

Inferior turbinate biopsies were obtained from subjects with allergic rhinitis out of the allergen season. Subjects were then randomized into topical steroid- (n = 6) and placebo-treated (n = 6) groups in a double-blind fashion. After a 6-week treatment period, a second nasal biopsy was performed 24 h after local challenge with allergen. STAT6 immunoreactivity was examined in biopsy specimens by immunocytochemistry using a specific monoclonal antibody. Numbers of inflammatory cells (CD3+ T cells and MBP+ eosinophils) and IL-4 mRNA+ cells were investigated by immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization, respectively.

RESULTS:

STAT6 immunoreactivity was detected in all biopsies studied and localized predominantly to inflammatory tissue of the nasal mucosa. After allergen challenge, expression of STAT6 was markedly increased in placebo-treated patients (P < 0.01). By confocal microscopy, STAT6 was localized to the cytoplasm and the nucleus of positively-staining cells. The allergen-induced increase in STAT6 immunoreactive cells was not observed in the steroid-treated patients. The change in STAT6 immunoreactivity after allergen challenge correlated significantly with the change in numbers IL-4 mRNA+ cells (r = 0.74, P = 0.006) and CD3+ T cells (r = 0.76, P = 0. 004), but not MBP+ eosinophils.

CONCLUSION:

This study provides the first evidence of increased STAT6 expression in vivo in human allergic inflammation. The results support a role for STAT6 and IL-4 in the pathogenesis of late nasal response and show that decreases in STAT6 expression parallel the reduction in IL-4 expression that occurs with topical steroid treatment.

PMID:
10606935
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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