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

Marked airway eosinophilia prevents development of airway hyper-responsiveness during an allergic response in IL-5 transgenic mice.

Tissue eosinophilia probably plays important roles in the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma and allergic disorders; however, this concept was challenged recently by controversial results in mouse models of bronchial asthma treated with anti-IL-5 Ab and the failure of anti-IL-5 therapy in humans. We have now used a unique model, IL-5 transgenic (TG) mice, to address a fundamental question: is airway eosinophilia beneficial or detrimental in the allergic response? After sensitization and challenge with OVA, IL-5 TG mice showed a marked airway eosinophilia. Surprisingly, these IL-5 TG mice showed lower airway reactivity to methacholine. Immunohistochemical analysis of the lungs revealed a marked peribronchial infiltration of eosinophils, but no eosinophil degranulation. In vitro, mouse eosinophils from peritoneal lavage fluids did not produce superoxide anion, but did produce an anti-inflammatory and fibrotic cytokine, TGF-beta 1. Indeed, the TGF-beta 1 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid specimens from IL-5 TG mice directly correlated with airway eosinophilia (r = 0.755). Furthermore, anti-IL-5 treatment of IL-5 TG mice decreased both airway eosinophilia and TGF-beta 1 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids and increased airway reactivity. Thus, in mice, marked eosinophilia prevents the development of airway hyper-reactivity during an allergic response. Overall, the roles of eosinophils in asthma and in animal models need to be addressed carefully for their potentially detrimental and beneficial effects.[1]


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