Thymic stromal lymphopoietin:a potential therapeutic target for allergy and asthma.
ABSTRACT Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is an interleukin (IL)-7-like cytokine that has recently been implicated as central to the microenvironment and is permissive for the immunologic cascade that initiates and propagates allergic immune responses. In humans, TSLP is produced predominantly by epithelial cells and activated mast cells, and stimulates myeloid dendritic cells (mDC), which uniquely express the heterodimeric TSLP receptor. TSLP-activated mDC can promote naïve CD4+ T cells to differentiate into a Th2 phenotype and can promote the expansion of CD4+ Th2 memory cells. Recent evidence implicates TSLP as playing a pivotal role in the pathobiology of allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis. The potential for TSLP to provide a new therapeutic target for the treatment of allergic disorders is compelling, and elucidating the mechanisms that regulate TSLP expression and the effects of TSLP on orchestrating the immune response toward a Th2 phenotype should facilitate this quest.
Article: Parasites represent a major selective force for interleukin genes and shape the genetic predisposition to autoimmune conditions.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many human genes have adapted to the constant threat of exposure to infectious agents; according to the "hygiene hypothesis," lack of exposure to parasites in modern settings results in immune imbalances, augmenting susceptibility to the development of autoimmune and allergic conditions. Here, by estimating the number of pathogen species/genera in a specific geographic location (pathogen richness) for 52 human populations and analyzing 91 interleukin (IL)/IL receptor genes (IL genes), we show that helminths have been a major selective force on a subset of these genes. A population genetics analysis revealed that five IL genes, including IL7R and IL18RAP, have been a target of balancing selection, a selection process that maintains genetic variability within a population. Previous identification of polymorphisms in some of these loci, and their association with autoimmune conditions, prompted us to investigate the relationship between adaptation and disease. By searching for variants in IL genes identified in genome-wide association studies, we verified that six risk alleles for inflammatory bowel (IBD) or celiac disease are significantly correlated with micropathogen richness. These data support the hygiene hypothesis for IBD and provide a large set of putative targets for susceptibility to helminth infections.Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2009; 206(6):1395-408. · 13.85 Impact Factor
Article: Site-directed mutagenesis reveals a unique requirement for tyrosine residues in IL-7Ralpha and TSLPR cytoplasmic domains in TSLP-dependent cell proliferation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is an interleukin-7 (IL-7) like cytokine, which plays an important role in the regulation of immune responses to allergens. TSLP binds to a heterodimeric receptor complex composed of the IL-7 receptor alpha chain (IL-7Ralpha) and the TSLP receptor (TSLPR, also known as CRLF2). It has previously been suggested that the lone tyrosine residue in the mouse TSLPR cytoplasmic domain is required for cell proliferation using chimeric receptor systems. Also the role of tyrosine residues in the IL-7Ralpha cytoplasmic domain in TSLP signaling has not yet been investigated. We undertook a systematic analysis to test the role of tyrosine residues of both the IL-7Ralpha and the TSLPR in inducing cell proliferation in a growth factor dependent cell line, Ba/F3. A multiple sequence alignment of the IL-7Ralpha and TSLPR cytoplasmic domains revealed conservation of most, but not all, cytoplasmic tyrosine residues across several species. Our site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that the single tyrosine residue in human TSLPR was not required for TSLP-dependent cell proliferation. It has previously been reported that Y449 of human IL-7Ralpha is required for IL-7 dependent proliferation. Interestingly, in contrast to IL-7 signaling, none of tyrosine residues in the human IL-7Ralpha cytoplasmic domain were required for TSLP-dependent cell proliferation in the presence of a wild type TSLPR. However, the mutation of all cytoplasmic four tyrosine residues of human IL-7Ralpha and human TSLPR to phenylalanine residues abolished the proliferative ability of the TSLP receptor complex in response to TSLP. These results suggest that TSLP requires at least one cytoplasmic tyrosine residue to transmit proliferative signals. Unlike other members of IL-2 cytokine family, tyrosine residues in IL-7Ralpha and TSLPR cytoplasmic domains play a redundant role in TSLP-mediated cell growth.BMC Immunology 02/2010; 11:5. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nasal polyposis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the upper airways often associated with asthma and characterized by markedly increased numbers of eosinophils, Th2 type lymphocytes, fibroblasts, goblet cells and mast cells. Previous studies have shown elevated levels of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in atopic diseases like asthma, atopic dermatitis and mainly in animal models of allergic rhinitis (AR). Here, we investigated the expression of TSLP in nasal polyps from atopics and non-atopics in comparison with the nasal mucosa and its potential role in nasal polyposis. Messenger RNA expression for TSLP, thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and macrophage derived chemokine (MDC) in nasal polyps and nasal mucosa of atopics and non-atopics was analyzed by real time PCR. Immunoreactivity for TSLP in nasal polyps and in the nasal mucosa of patients with AR and non-allergic rhinitis (NAR) was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Eosinophil counts was analyzed by Wright-Giemsa staining and nasal polyp tissue IgE, by ELISA. Messenger RNA expression for TSLP,TARC and MDC was markedly higher in nasal polyps as compared to the allergic nasal mucosa. Immunoreactivity for TSLP was detected in epithelial cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and inflammatory cells of the nasal mucosa and nasal polyps. The number of TSLP+ cells was significantly greater in the nasal mucosa of AR than NAR patients. The number of TSLP+ cells in nasal polyps from atopics was significantly greater than that of non-atopics and that in the allergic nasal mucosa. The number of TSLP+ cells correlated well with the number of eosinophils and the levels of IgE in nasal polyps. The high expression of TSLP in nasal polyps and its strong correlation to eosinophils and IgE suggest a potential role for TSLP in the pathogenesis of nasal polyps by regulating the Th2 type and eosinophilic inflammation.Allergy, asthma & immunology research 07/2011; 3(3):186-93. · 1.91 Impact Factor