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Immunol Lett. 1998 Mar;61(1):15-23.

Prevention of lung eosinophilic inflammation by oral tolerance.

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Departmento de Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, ICB-III, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Airway inflammation plays a major role in human asthma. Increasing evidence points to a close correlation between eosinophil infiltration and allergic lung disease. A new murine model of eosinophilic lung inflammation has recently been developed; it consists of immunizing mice with small fragments of solidified hen egg white implanted (EWI) into the subcutaneous tissue. In this model, which is further characterized here, mice challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) present an intense and persistent lung eosinophilia, as well as histopathological findings that resemble human asthma. In the present work, the effect of oral tolerance on the development of allergic lung inflammation in B6 mice immunized with antigen plus adjuvant or with EWI is investigated. It was found that in mice rendered orally tolerant by previous exposure to antigen in the drinking water, the T-helper type 2 cell (Th2)-associated allergic responses in both protocols of immunization were almost completely abolished. The allergic responses were assessed by pulmonary and bone marrow eosinophilia, lung histopathology and antigen-specific IgE and IgG1 production. These findings provide the first indication that Th2-associated lung pathology can be prevented by oral tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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