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

Failure of aged rats to accumulate eosinophils in allergic inflammation of the airway.

To investigate the effect of aging on the allergic airway response, we examined the bronchoconstrictive responses and cellular inflammatory changes in a rat model of bronchial asthma by evaluating young and old animals. Two different age groups of Brown-Norway rats, actively sensitized by injection of ovalbumin into the foot pads, were used: 7 to 8 weeks old (young group) and 100 to 120 weeks old (aged group). Both the aged and young rats produced on ovalbumin-specific IgE antibody and exhibited an immediate asthmatic response after exposure to ovalbumin, but the degree of specific IgE antibody was significantly higher in young rats. The young group showed a marked increase in the number of eosinophils and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 2 days after exposure to ovalbumin, whereas no eosinophilia was seen in the aged group. To evaluate the mechanism of the decreased accumulation of eosinophils in aged rats, cells from popliteal lymph nodes from ovalbumin-sensitized rats were incubated with ovalbumin for 48 hours. Although eosinophil chemotactic activity, determined by a modified Boyden chamber method, was present in the supernatant of cultured lymph node cells from young rats, it was absent from those of aged rats. In vivo administration of anti-IL-5 monoclonal antibody revealed that one of the factors of eosinophil chemotactic activity was IL-5. Lymph node cells from aged rats tended to produce greater amounts of interferon-gamma than did those from young animals. Findings indicate that aged rats have a defect in eosinophil accumulation in sites exposed to antigen, probably because of an age-dependent alteration in T cells.[1]


  1. Failure of aged rats to accumulate eosinophils in allergic inflammation of the airway. Yagi, T., Sato, A., Hayakawa, H., Ide, K. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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