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J Clin Invest. 2004 Feb;113(4):551-60.

Inhibition of airway remodeling in IL-5-deficient mice.

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Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0635, USA.


To determine the role of IL-5 in airway remodeling, IL-5-deficient and WT mice were sensitized to OVA and challenged by repetitive administration of OVA for 3 months. IL-5-deficient mice had significantly less peribronchial fibrosis (total lung collagen content, peribronchial collagens III and V) and significantly less peribronchial smooth muscle (thickness of peribronchial smooth muscle layer, alpha-smooth muscle actin immunostaining) compared with WT mice challenged with OVA. WT mice had a significant increase in the number of peribronchial cells staining positive for major basic protein and TGF-beta. In contrast, IL-5-deficient mice had a significant reduction in the number of peribronchial cells staining positive for major basic protein, which was paralleled by a similar reduction in the number of cells staining positive for TGF-beta, suggesting that eosinophils are a significant source of TGF-beta in the remodeled airway. OVA challenge induced significantly higher levels of airway epithelial alphaVbeta6 integrin expression, as well as significantly higher levels of bioactive lung TGF-beta in WT compared with IL-5-deficient mice. Increased airway epithelial expression of alphaVbeta6 integrin may contribute to the increased activation of latent TGF-beta. These results suggest an important role for IL-5, eosinophils, alphaVbeta6, and TGF-beta in airway remodeling.

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