ABSTRACT: Airway hyperreactivity (AHR), eosinophilic inflammation with a Th2-type cytokine profile, and specific Th2-mediated IgE production characterize allergic asthma. In this paper, we show that OVA-immunized Jalpha18(-/-) mice, which are exclusively deficient in the invariant Valpha14(+) (iValpha14), CD1d-restricted NKT cells, exhibit impaired AHR and airway eosinophilia, decreased IL-4 and IL-5 production in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and reduced OVA-specific IgE compared with wild-type (WT) littermates. Adoptive transfer of WT iValpha14 NKT cells fully reconstitutes the capacity of Jalpha18(-/-) mice to develop allergic asthma. Also, specific tetramer staining shows that OVA-immunized WT mice have activated (CD69(+)) iValpha14 NKT cells. Importantly, anti-CD1d mAb treatment blocked the ability of iValpha14 T cells to amplify eosinophil recruitment to airways, and both Th2 cytokine and IgE production following OVA challenge. In conclusion, these findings clearly demonstrate that iValpha14 NKT cells are required to participate in allergen-induced Th2 airway inflammation through a CD1d-dependent mechanism.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2003; 171(4):1637-41. · 5.79 Impact Factor