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J Immunol. 2011 Jul 1;187(1):462-71. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1100259. Epub 2011 May 25.

Airway inflammation and IgE production induced by dust mite allergen-specific memory/effector Th2 cell line can be effectively attenuated by IL-35.

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Department of Paediatrics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228.


CD4(+) memory/effector T cells play a central role in orchestrating the rapid and robust immune responses upon re-encounter with specific Ags. However, the immunologic mechanism(s) underlying these responses are still not fully understood. To investigate this, we generated an allergen (major house dust mite allergen, Blo t 5)-specific murine Th2 cell line that secreted IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13, but not IL-9 or TNF-α, upon activation by the cognate Ag. These cells also exhibited CD44(high)CD62L(-) and CD127(+) (IL-7Rα(+)) phenotypes, which are characteristics of memory/effector T cells. Experiments involving adoptive transfer of this Th2 cell line in mice, followed by three intranasal challenges with Blo t 5, induced a dexamethasone-sensitive eosinophilic airway inflammation. This was accompanied by elevation of Th2 cytokines and CC- and CXC-motif chemokines, as well as recruitment of lymphocytes and polymorphic mononuclear cells into the lungs. Moreover, Blo t 5-specific IgE was detected 4 d after the last intranasal challenge, whereas elevation of Blo t 5-specific IgG1 was found at week two. Finally, pulmonary delivery of the pVAX-IL-35 DNA construct effectively downregulated Blo t 5-specific allergic airway inflammation, and i.m. injection of pVAX-IL-35 led to long-lasting suppression of circulating Blo t 5-specific and total IgE. This model provides a robust research tool to elucidate the immunopathogenic role of memory/effector Th2 cells in allergic airway inflammation. Our results suggested that IL-35 could be a potential therapeutic target for allergic asthma through its attenuating effects on allergen-specific CD4(+) memory/effector Th2 cell-mediated airway inflammation.

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