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Keywords:

  • asthma bronchiale;
  • dendritic cells;
  • ovalbumin;
  • thymic stromal lymphopoietin;
  • soluble receptor

Summary

Recent studies show that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) plays a critical role in the upstream phase of the allergic cascade to induce T helper type 2 cell (Th2)-dominant allergic diseases. However, the effect of blocking TSLP signalling with the soluble TSLP receptor (TSLPR), TSLPR-immunoglobulin (Ig), on asthma development needs further investigation. Here, we examined the effects of TSLPR-Ig on asthmatic airway inflammation and dendritic cell (DC) function. TSLPR-Ig (comprising the extracellular domain of murine TSLPR and an IgG2a Fc tail) purified from transfected COS-7 cells reduced the expression of CD40, CD80 and CD86 on TSLP-activated DCs in vitro. We also investigated the mechanisms underlying TSLPR-Ig-mediated amelioration of allergic airway inflammation in a murine asthma model. When TSLP signalling was blocked by intratracheal administration of TSLPR-Ig prior to sensitization, allergen-specific serum IgE levels, airway tissue inflammation, inflammatory cell infiltration and Th2 cytokine levels in the bronchiolar lavage fluid (BALF) were reduced significantly. This was because of the TSLP-Ig-mediated down-regulation of co-stimulatory molecule expression on pulmonary DCs. We also transferred bone marrow-derived mature DCs (mDCs) into the airways of asthmatic mice. Intratracheal administration of TSLPR-Ig prior to the transfer of mDCs reduced eosinophilic airway inflammation and Th2 differentiation significantly. Collectively, these data suggest that local use of TSLPR-Ig prevents airway inflammation, at least in part, by regulating DC function, and that blocking TSLP signalling using TSLPR-Ig may be a novel strategy for the treatment of asthma bronchiale.