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J Immunol. 2000 Feb 1;164(3):1538-45.

Evidence for local eosinophil differentiation within allergic nasal mucosa: inhibition with soluble IL-5 receptor.

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


Eosinophil differentiation occurs within the bone marrow in response to eosinopoietic cytokines, particularly IL-5. Recently, however, eosinophil precursors (CD34/IL-5Ralpha+ cells) and IL-5 mRNA+ cells have been identified within the lungs of asthmatics, indicating that a population of eosinophils may differentiate in situ. In this report, we examined the presence of eosinophil precursors within allergic nasal mucosa and examined whether they undergo local differentiation following ex vivo stimulation. We cultured human nasal mucosa obtained from individuals with seasonal allergic rhinitis with either specific allergen, recombinant human IL-5 (rhIL-5), or allergen + soluble IL-5Ralpha (sIL-5Ralpha), shown to antagonize IL-5 function. Simultaneous immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization demonstrated that there were fewer cells coexpressing CD34 immunoreactivity and IL-5Ralpha mRNA following culture with allergen or rhIL-5, compared with medium alone. Immunostaining revealed that the number of major basic protein (MBP) immunoreactive cells (eosinophils) was higher within tissue stimulated with allergen or rhIL-5, compared with unstimulated tissue. In situ hybridization detected an increase in IL-5 mRNA+ cells in sections from tissue cultured with allergen, compared with medium alone. These effects were not observed in tissue cultured with a combination of allergen and sIL-5Ralpha. Colocalization analysis indicated this expression to be mainly, but not exclusively, T cell (44%) and eosinophil (10%) derived. Our findings suggest that a subset of eosinophils may differentiate locally within allergic nasal mucosa, in what appears to be a highly IL-5-dependent fashion, and imply that this process might be regulated in vivo by endogenous production of sIL-5Ralpha.

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