Asthma as a chronic disease of the innate and adaptive immune systems responding to viruses and allergens.
ABSTRACT Research on the pathogenesis of asthma has traditionally concentrated on environmental stimuli, genetic susceptibilities, adaptive immune responses, and end-organ alterations (particularly in airway mucous cells and smooth muscle) as critical steps leading to disease. The focus of this cascade has been the response to allergic stimuli. An alternative scheme suggests that respiratory viruses and the consequent response of the innate immune system also drives the development of asthma as well as related inflammatory diseases. This conceptual shift raises the possibility that sentinel cells such as airway epithelial cells, DCs, NKT cells, innate lymphoid cells, and macrophages also represent critical components of asthma pathogenesis as well as new targets for therapeutic discovery. A particular challenge will be to understand and balance the innate as well as the adaptive immune responses to defend the host against acute infection as well as chronic inflammatory disease.
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ABSTRACT: Memory CD8(+) T cells in the lung airways provide protection from secondary respiratory virus challenge by limiting early viral replication. Here, we demonstrate that although airway-resident memory CD8(+) T cells were poorly cytolytic, memory CD8(+) T cells recruited to the airways early during a recall response showed markedly enhanced cytolytic ability. This enhanced lytic activity did not require cognate antigen stimulation, but rather was dependent on STAT1 transcription factor signaling through the interferon-alpha receptor (Ifnar1), resulting in the antigen-independent expression of granzyme B protein in both murine and human virus-specific T cells. Signaling through Ifnar1 was required for the enhanced lytic activity and control of early viral replication by memory CD8(+) T cells in the lung airways. These findings demonstrate that innate inflammatory signals act directly on memory T cells, enabling them to rapidly destroy infected host cells once they enter infected tissues.Immunity 07/2010; 33(1):96-105. · 19.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional emergency department study of 70 wheezing children and 59 control subjects (2 mo to 16 yr of age) examined the prevalence of respiratory viruses and their relationship to age, atopic status, and eosinophil markers. Nasal washes were cultured for respiratory viruses, assayed for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antigen, and tested for coronavirus and rhinovirus RNA using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). Also evaluated were eosinophil numbers and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in both nasal washes and serum, along with total IgE and specific IgE antibody in serum. Respiratory viruses were detected in 82% (18 of 22) of wheezing infants younger than 2 yr of age and in 83% (40 of 48) of older wheezing children. The predominant pathogens were RSV in infants (detected in 68% of wheezing subjects) and rhinovirus in older wheezing children (71%), and both were strongly associated with wheezing (p < 0.005). RSV was largely limited to wheezing children younger than 24 mo of age, but rhinovirus was detected by RT-PCR in 41% of all infants and in 35% of nonwheezing control subjects older than 2 yr of age. After 2 yr of age the strongest odds for wheezing were observed among those who had a positive RT-PCR test for rhinovirus together with a positive serum radioallergosorbent testing (RAST), nasal eosinophilia, or elevated nasal ECP (odds ratios = 17, 21, and 25, respectively). Results from this study demonstrate that a large majority of emergent wheezing illnesses during childhood (2 to 16 yr of age) can be linked to infection with rhinovirus, and that these wheezing attacks are most likely in those who have rhinovirus together with evidence of atopy or eosinophilic airway inflammation.American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 03/1999; 159(3):785-90. · 11.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although there have been numerous studies on the development of allergen-induced inflammation, the mechanisms leading to resolution of inflammation remain poorly understood. This represents an important consideration because failure to resolve allergen driven inflammation potentially leads to irreversible airway remodeling, characteristic of chronic asthma. We investigated the resolution of allergic inflammation and identified the factors responsible. BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were sensitized to ovalbumin and challenged through the airways to induce allergic inflammation. Mice were analyzed at 24 hours and 7 days after the final challenge. Airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and increased mucus production were present 7 days after the cessation of allergen challenge in BALB/c mice. Persisting AHR correlated with the continued presence of Th2 cells but not eosinophils in the lungs. The role of Th2 cells in maintaining AHR was confirmed using blocking antibodies against T1/ST2, IL-4, and IL-13 during the resolution period. Moreover, AHR in the "Th1 type" C57BL/6 mouse strain was resolved 1 week after allergen challenge, concomitant with clearance of Th2 cells from the lung. Expression of the T1/ST2 ligand, IL-33, also correlated with maintenance of AHR. We have used blockade of Th2 function and strain differences to show for the first time that resolution of allergic inflammation and AHR may be dependent on the T1/ST2-IL-33 pathway and the presence of Th2 cells, suggesting they are necessary not only for the development of an allergic response but also for its maintenance.American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 02/2009; 179(9):772-81. · 11.04 Impact Factor