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J Immunol. 2009 Nov 1;183(9):5705-15. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0901666. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

Pulmonary IL-17E (IL-25) production and IL-17RB+ myeloid cell-derived Th2 cytokine production are dependent upon stem cell factor-induced responses during chronic allergic pulmonary disease.

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Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


In the present studies local neutralization of allergen-induced stem cell factor (SCF) leads to decreased production of Th2 cytokines, a reduction in inflammation, allergen-specific serum IgE/IgG1, and attenuation of severe asthma-like responses. The local blockade of pulmonary SCF also resulted in a significant reduction of IL-17E (IL-25). Sorted cell populations from the lung indicated that IL-25 was produced from c-kit(+) cells, whereas Th2 cytokine production was primarily from c-kit(-) cell populations. SCF stimulated c-kit(+) eosinophils produced IL-25, whereas bone marrow-derived mast cells did not. Using 4get mice that contain a IL-4-IRES-eGFP that when transcribed coexpress GFP and IL-4, our studies identified cells that comprised a CD11b(+), GR1(+), Ly6C(+/-), c-kit(-), CD4(-), CD11c(-), MHC class II(low) cell population as a source of IL-4 in the lung after chronic allergen challenge. In the bone marrow a similar cell was identified with approximately a third of the IL-4(+) cells also expressing c-kit(+). The pulmonary and bone marrow IL-4(+) cell populations were significantly reduced upon local pulmonary anti-SCF treatment. Subsequently, when IL-25R was examined during the chronic allergen responses the expression was found on the IL-4(+) myeloid cell population that expressed CD11b(+)GR1(+). Interestingly, the IL-25R(+) cells in the bone marrow were also all CD11b(+)GR1(+), similar to the lung cells, but they were also all c-kit(+), potentially suggesting a maturation of the bone marrow cell once it enters the lung and/or is stimulated by SCF. Overall, these studies suggest a complex relationship between SCF, bone marrow-derived IL-25-responsive myeloid cells, Th2 cytokines, and chronic allergic disease.

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