Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 2002 Nov 1;169(9):4788-96.

Long-lived Th2 memory in experimental allergic asthma.

Author information

Division of Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Dermatology, Vienna International Research Cooperation Center, Austria.


Although life-long immunity against pathogens is beneficial, immunological memory responses directed against allergens are potentially harmful. Because there is a paucity of information about Th2 memory cells in allergic disease, we established a model of allergic asthma in BALB/c mice to explore the generation and maintenance of Th2 memory. We induced disease without the use of adjuvants, thus avoiding Ag depots, and found that unlike allergic asthma in mice immunized with adjuvant, immunizing with soluble and aerosol OVA resulted in pathological lung lesions resembling human disease. To test memory responses we allowed mice with acute disease to recover and then re-exposed them to aerosol OVA a second time. Over 400 days later these mice developed OVA-dependent eosinophilic lung inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness, mucus hypersecretion, and IgE. Over 1 year after recuperating from acute disease, mice had persistent lymphocytic lung infiltrates, Ag-specific production of IL-4 and IL-5 from spleen and lung cells in vitro, and elevated IgG1. Moreover, when recuperated mice were briefly aerosol challenged, we detected early expression of Th2 cytokine RNA in lungs. Taken together, these data demonstrate the presence of long-lived Th2 memory cells in spleen and lungs involved in the generation of allergic asthma upon Ag re-exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center