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Allergy. 2014 Aug;69(8):1068-76. doi: 10.1111/all.12435. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Myeloid dendritic cells are primed in allergic asthma for thymic stromal lymphopoietin-mediated induction of Th2 and Th9 responses.

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Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université Catholique de Louvain and Walloon Institute for Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology (WELBIO), Brussels, Belgium; Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, service de Pneumologie, Brussels, Belgium.



Type 1 myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) contribute to inception of allergic asthma (AA) and are regulated by epithelial-derived cytokines.


To evaluate whether mDCs from AA patients are primed for thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)-driven responses.


mDCs from 18 AA patients and 15 controls were purified using immunomagnetic sorting. Cells were pulsed with TSLP or Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) allergen, before FACS phenotyping and co-culture with allogeneic CD4+ T cells. Bronchial biopsies from 15 AA patients and four controls were immunostained for CD1c and TSLP receptor (TSLPR).


Allergic asthma patients had a higher proportion of TSLPR+ mDCs, in blood and bronchial mucosa. When compared to mDCs from controls, both TSLP- and Der p-pulsed blood mDCs from AA patients induced increased polarization of CD4+ T cells into Th2 cells (IL-5, IL-13, and GATA3+), while only TSLP-mDCs promoted Th9 cells (IL-9 and PU.1+ /IRF4+). In addition, OX40L was induced upon TSLP stimulation and was required for the induction of Th2, but not Th9, cells. In contrast, development of Th9 cells in this model depended on TGF-β1.


Our data indicate overlapping but partially distinct effects of TSLP and Der p allergen pathways, showing that DCs are primed in human asthma for TSLP-driven induction of both Th2 and Th9 cells. This novel TSLP/mDC/Th9 axis operates through a distinct, OX40L-independent pathway. These data further highlight the TSLP pathway as a relevant target in human asthma.


Th9; asthma; interleukin-9; myeloid dendritic cells; thymic stromal lymphopoietin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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