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ABSTRACT: T-cell immunoglobulin- and mucin-domain-containing molecule-3 (Tim-3) is preferentially expressed on Th1-helper type T-cells and functions to repress the Th1-mediated immune response. However, the role of Tim-3 during the inflammatory pathogenesis of asthma remains unclear. This study determines the expression level of Tim-3 in CD4+ T-cells within the peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) isolated from a murine model of atopic asthma and explores the potential role of Tim-3 during the inflammatory response. Mice were randomly divided into normal control, asthma day 1, and asthma day 7 groups, and peripheral blood T lymphocytes and BALF cells were collected. The ratio of Tim-3+/CD4+ cells among the total CD4+cell populations from peripheral blood and BALF was determined by flow cytometry, and the expression of the Tim-3 mRNA was determined by Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). In contrast with the normal control group, the ratio of Tim-3+/CD4+:CD4+ cells and the level of Tim-3 mRNA in both the peripheral blood T lymphocytes and BALF cells among the asthma day 1 and asthma day 7 groups were significantly increased (p < 0.01), and those in the asthma day 7 group were higher than the asthma day 1 group (p < 0.05). There was also a positive correlation between the ratio of Tim-3+/CD4+:CD4+ detected in BALF and that the ratio detected in peripheral blood T lymphocytes (r = 0.84, p < 0.01). Therefore, the expression of Tim-3 is increased in CD4+ T-cells following airway challenge and likely affects asthma-induced inflammation by repressing the Th1-mediated immune response.
Journal of Asthma 11/2009; 46(9):872-7. · 1.85 Impact Factor