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Nat Med. 2007 May;13(5):570-8. Epub 2007 Apr 15.

Osteopontin has a crucial role in allergic airway disease through regulation of dendritic cell subsets.

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Cellular Immunology Laboratory, Division of Cell Biology, Center for Basic Research, Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens, 4 Soranou Efessiou Street, 115 27 Athens, Greece.


Osteopontin (Opn) is important for T helper type 1 (T(H)1) immunity and autoimmunity. However, the role of this cytokine in T(H)2-mediated allergic disease as well as its effects on primary versus secondary antigenic encounters remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that OPN is expressed in the lungs of asthmatic individuals and that Opn-s, the secreted form of Opn, exerts opposing effects on mouse T(H)2 effector responses and subsequent allergic airway disease: pro-inflammatory at primary systemic sensitization, and anti-inflammatory during secondary pulmonary antigenic challenge. These effects of Opn-s are mainly mediated by the regulation of T(H)2-suppressing plasmacytoid dendritic cells (DCs) during primary sensitization and T(H)2-promoting conventional DCs during secondary antigenic challenge. Therapeutic administration of recombinant Opn during pulmonary secondary antigenic challenge decreased established T(H)2 responses and protected mice from allergic disease. These effects on T(H)2 allergic responses suggest that Opn-s is an important therapeutic target and provide new insight into its role in immunity.

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