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J Exp Med. 1998 Nov 2;188(9):1739-50.

Essential role of nuclear factor kappaB in the induction of eosinophilia in allergic airway inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Section, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The molecular mechanisms that contribute to an eosinophil-rich airway inflammation in asthma are unclear. A predominantly T helper 2 (Th2)-type cell response has been documented in allergic asthma. Here we show that mice deficient in the p50 subunit of nuclear factor (NF)- kappaB are incapable of mounting eosinophilic airway inflammation compared with wild-type mice. This deficiency was not due to a block in T cell priming or proliferation in the p50(-/-) mice, nor was it due to a defect in the expression of the cell adhesion molecules VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 that are required for the extravasation of eosinophils into the airways. The major defects in the p50(-/-) mice were the lack of production of the Th2 cytokine interleukin 5 and the chemokine eotaxin, which are crucial for proliferation and for differentiation and recruitment, respectively, of eosinophils into the asthmatic airway. Additionally, the p50(-/-) mice were deficient in the production of the chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha and MIP-1beta that have been implicated in T cell recruitment to sites of inflammation. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NF-kappaB in vivo in the expression of important molecules that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma.

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