Background Increased levels of serum IgE are associated with greater asthma prevalence and disease severity. IgE depletion using an anti-IgE monoclonal antibody has met with success in the treatment of moderate-to-severe and severe persistent allergic asthma.
Objective To test whether B cell-targeted therapy is a more effective treatment for airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in a murine model compared with IgE-depletion.
Methods We delivered soluble mTACI-Ig, a receptor for the B cell survival factors BLyS (B Lymphocyte Stimulator) and APRIL (A PRoliferation-Inducing Ligand), or anti-IgE to allergen-sensitized mice before airway challenge with allergen.
Results mTACI-Ig treatment reduced circulating mature B cell levels in the blood, while anti-IgE treatment had no effect on B cell counts. Both mTACI-Ig and anti-IgE decreased the levels of total and allergen-specific IgE in the serum. Histopathologic analysis of lungs showed a reduction in disease severity scores for both treatment groups, but results were more pronounced in mTACI-Ig-treated mice. Neutrophil and eosinophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were significantly reduced following mTACI-Ig treatment, but not after anti-IgE delivery. BLyS and APRIL blockade also resulted in a significant decrease in IL-4 and eotaxin mRNA and IL-4 and KC protein levels in total lung homogenates and BAL fluid, respectively. Finally, mTACI-Ig treatment was more effective than anti-IgE treatment in reducing AHR to inhaled antigen.
Conclusions Our data demonstrate that delivery of mTACI-Ig is a more effective treatment than anti-IgE mAb in a murine model of AHR.