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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Th type 1-stimulating activity of lung macrophages inhibits Th2- mediated allergic airway inflammation by an IFN-gamma-dependent mechanism.

In the mucosal immune system, resident dendritic cells are specialized for priming Th2-polarized immunity, whereas the Ag-presenting activity of macrophages has been linked with the development of Th1 phenotype. As an immune switch toward Th1 can protect against Th2-mediated allergic response, this study investigated the capacity of lung macrophages to stimulate Th1 responses during the secondary exposure to inhaled allergen, thereby suppressing Th2-mediated allergic airway inflammation in a murine model of allergic asthma. Following airway macrophage depletion in OVA-sensitized mice, lung T cells defaulted to a phenotype that produced less Th1 (IFN-gamma) and more Th2 (IL-4 and IL-5) cytokines, leading to more severe airway hyperreactivity and inflammation after intranasal Ag challenge. After OVA pulsing and adoptive transfer, lung macrophages selectively promoted a Th1 response in Ag-sensitized recipients and did not induce pulmonary eosinophilia. By contrast, OVA pulsing and adoptive transfer of a lung cell preparation, consisting of dendritic cells, B cells, and macrophages, promoted a Th2 response with an associated inflammatory response that was suppressed when macrophages were present and pretreated with IFN-gamma, but exacerbated when macrophages were depleted before IFN-gamma treatment. In addition, Th1-promoting activity of lung macrophages was not related to the autocrine production of IL-12p40. These results suggest that the Th1-promoting APC activity may be an inherent property of the lung macrophage population, and may play an important role, upon stimulation by IFN-gamma, in antagonizing an ongoing Th2 immunity and Th2-dependent allergic responses.[1]


  1. Th type 1-stimulating activity of lung macrophages inhibits Th2-mediated allergic airway inflammation by an IFN-gamma-dependent mechanism. Tang, C., Inman, M.D., van Rooijen, N., Yang, P., Shen, H., Matsumoto, K., O'Byrne, P.M. J. Immunol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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