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Anti-IL-5 attenuates activation and surface density of β2-integrins on circulating eosinophils after segmental antigen challenge



Mats W. Johansson, Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, 4285A Medical Sciences Center, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.




IL-5 activates αMβ2 integrin on blood eosinophils in vitro. Eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) following segmental antigen challenge have activated β2-integrins.


To identify roles for IL-5 in regulating human eosinophil integrins in vivo.


Blood and BAL eosinophils were analysed by flow cytometry in ten subjects with allergic asthma who underwent a segmental antigen challenge protocol before and after anti-IL-5 administration.


Blood eosinophil reactivity with monoclonal antibody (mAb) KIM-127, which recognizes partially activated β2-integrins, was decreased after anti-IL-5. Before anti-IL-5, surface densities of blood eosinophil β2, αM and αL integrin subunits increased modestly post challenge. After anti-IL-5, such increases did not occur. Before or after anti-IL-5, surface densities of β2, αM, αL and αD and reactivity with KIM-127 and mAb CBRM1/5, which recognizes high-activity αMβ2, were similarly high on BAL eosinophils 48 h post-challenge. Density and activation state of β1-integrins on blood and BAL eosinophils were not impacted by anti-IL-5, even though anti-IL-5 ablated a modest post-challenge increase on blood or BAL eosinophils of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), a receptor for P-selectin that causes activation of β1-integrins. Forward scatter of blood eosinophils post-challenge was less heterogeneous and on the average decreased after anti-IL-5; however, anti-IL-5 had no effect on the decreased forward scatter of eosinophils in post-challenge BAL compared with eosinophils in blood. Blood eosinophil KIM-127 reactivity at the time of challenge correlated with the percentage of eosinophils in BAL post-challenge.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

IL-5 supports a heterogeneous population of circulating eosinophils with partially activated β2-integrins and is responsible for up-regulation of β2-integrins and PSGL-1 on circulating eosinophils following segmental antigen challenge but has minimal effects on properties of eosinophils in BAL. Dampening of β2-integrin function of eosinophils in transit to inflamed airway may contribute to the decrease in lung inflammation caused by anti-IL-5.