Dental amalgam restorations are a significant source of mercury exposure in the human population, but their potential to cause systemic health effects is highly disputed. We examined effects on the immune system by giving genetically mercury-susceptible Brown Norway (BN) rats and mercury-resistant Lewis (LE) rats silver amalgam restorations in 4 molars of the upper jaw, causing a body burden similar to that described in human amalgam-bearers (from 250 to 375 mg amalgam/kg body weight). BN rats with amalgam restorations, compared with control rats given composite resinous restorations, developed a rapid activation of the immune system, with a maximum 12-fold increase of the plasma IgE concentration after 3 wks (p 0.05). After 12 wks, BN rats with amalgam restorations showed significantly increased (p spleen > cerebrum occipital lobe > cerebellum > liver > thymus, and the tissue silver concentration was significantly (p
T lymphocytes may play a regulatory role in the development of allergic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). We have studied the relationship between airway responsiveness and a number of immunological changes in Brown-Norway rats sensitized intraperitoneally and repeatedly exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) aerosol. Acetylcholine provocation concentration (PC)150 (the concentration of acetylcholine causing a 150% increase of base-line lung resistance) was measured and peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells were collected 18-24hr after the final exposure. Total and OVA-specific IgE in serum was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mononuclear cells were analysed by flow cytometry after labelling with monoclonal antibodies against CD2 (pan T-cell marker), CD4, CD8 (T-cell subsets) or CD25 (interleukin-2 receptor). There were significant differences in PC150 (P
Trimellitic anhydride (TMA) is a cause of asthma in man. Dose-dependent TMA-specific IgE, histopathology, and airway responses after sensitization by inhalation were examined in the Brown Norway rat. Rats were exposed to 0.04, 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/m3 TMA aerosol for 10 min, once a week, over 10 weeks. All lower exposures were, subsequently, rechallenged to 40 mg/m3 TMA aerosol. All rats received a sham exposure 1 week prior to the first TMA exposure. Following the sham exposure and weekly after each TMA exposure, TMA-specific IgE and both early-phase airway response (EAR) and late-phase airway response (LAR) were measured using enhanced pause (Penh). All rats sensitized by 40 mg/m3 TMA developed specific IgE, EAR, and LAR to one or more of the challenges to 40 mg/m3 TMA. TMA of 4 mg/m3 induced a much lower, but stable, specific IgE response. EAR and LAR were observed only after a 40 mg/m3 TMA rechallenge in this group, but it was much larger than that observed in the 40 mg/m3 TMA-sensitized and challenged group. Exposure-dependent histopathological changes noted included eosinophilic granulomatous interstitial pneumonia, perivascular eosinophil infiltrates, bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue hyperplasia, and peribronchiolar plasma cell infiltrates.
Occupational exposure to low molecular weight chemicals, like trimellitic anhydride (TMA), can result in occupational asthma. Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are among the first cells to encounter inhaled compounds. These cells can produce many different mediators that have a putative role in asthma. In this study, we examined the role of AMs in lung function and airway inflammation of rats exposed to TMA. Female Brown Norway rats were sensitized by dermal application of TMA or received vehicle alone on days 0 and 7. One day before challenge, rats received intratracheally either empty or clodronate-containing liposomes to deplete the lungs of AMs. On day 21, all rats were challenged by inhalation of TMA in air. Lung function parameters were measured before, during, within 1 h after, and 24 h after challenge. IgE levels and parameters of inflammation and tissue damage were assessed 24 h after challenge. Sensitization with TMA led to decreased lung function parameters during and within 1 h after challenge as compared to non-sensitized rats. AM depletion alleviated the TMA-induced drop in lung function parameters and induced a faster recovery compared to sham-depleted TMA-sensitized rats. It also decreased the levels of serum IgE 24 h after challenge, but did not affect the sensitization-dependent increase in lung lavage fluid IL-6 and tissue TNF-alpha levels. In contrast, AM depletion augmented the TMA-induced tissue damage and inflammation 24 h after challenge. AMs seem to have a dual role in this model for TMA-induced occupational asthma since they potentiate the immediate TMA-induced decrease in lung function but tended to dampen the TMA-induced inflammatory reaction 24 h later.
To test the hypothesis that CD8+ T cells may suppress the allergen-induced late airway response (LAR) and airway eosinophilia, we examined the effect of administration of Ag-primed CD8+ T cells on allergic airway responses, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) leukocytes, and mRNA expression for cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IFN-gamma) in OVA-sensitized Brown Norway rats. On day 12 postsensitization to OVA, test rats were administered 2 million CD8+ T cells i.p. isolated from either the cervical lymph nodes (LN group; n = 8) or the spleen (Spl group; n = 6) of sensitized donors. On day 14, test rats were challenged with aerosolized OVA. Control rats were administered PBS i.p. on day 12, and challenged with OVA (n = 10) or BSA (n = 6) on day 14. The lung resistance was measured for 8 h after challenge. BAL was performed at 8 h. Cytospin slides of BAL were analyzed for major basic protein by immunostaining and for cytokine mRNA by in situ hybridization. The LAR was significantly less in the LN group (1.8 +/- 0.5 U; p
CD26 truncates several chemokines as well as neuropeptides and influences immune responses via modulation of cell adhesion and T cell activation, suggesting an involvement of CD26 in asthmatic and airway inflammation. Therefore, Fischer 344 (F344), Brown Norway (BN) and Lewis (LEW) rat strains, which differ in their CD26-like enzymatic activity, were compared using an asthma model. Additionally, two CD26-deficient mutant F344 rat substrains were included and compared to the wild-type F344 substrain. Immunization was performed twice with ovalbumin (OVA), and 2 weeks later the rats were challenged with OVA intratracheally Flow cytometry (FACS) analysis of different leucocyte subsets as well as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IgE levels in the blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were performed 24 h after challenge. LEW rats with the lowest CD26 activity among the rat strains investigated here displayed significantly reduced CD4+ T cell numbers in the BAL compared to wild-type F344 and BN rats. Moreover, in asthma, the ratio of CD26+ to CD26- T cell receptor (TCR)-positive cells increased significantly in F344 and LEW but not BN rats. Most intriguingly, in both CD26-deficient F344 rat substrains the number of CD4+ T lymphocytes was markedly reduced compared to wild-type F344. The decrease in T cell recruitment observed in the CD26-deficient rats was associated with significantly reduced OVA-specific IgE-titres. This is the first report to show a remarkably reduced T cell recruitment in rat strains that either lack or exhibit reduced CD26-like enzymatic activity, suggesting a role for CD26 in the pathogenesis of asthma via T cell-dependent processes such as antibody production.
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta is a multifunctional regulator of cell growth and differentiation with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. We used an inhibitor of TGF-beta receptor I (TGF-betaRI) kinase, SD-208 (2,4-disubstituted pteridine, a ATP-competitive inhibitor of TGF-betaRI kinase), to determine the role of TGF-beta in airway allergic inflammation and remodeling. Brown-Norway rats sensitized and repeatedly exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) aerosol challenge were orally administered SD-208 twice daily, before each of six OVA exposures to determine the preventive effects, or only before each of the last three of six OVA exposures to investigate its reversal effects. SD-208 (60 mg/kg) reversed bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) induced by repeated allergen exposure, but it did not prevent it. SD-208 prevented changes in serum total and OVA-specific IgE, but it did not reverse them. SD-208 had both a preventive and reversal effect on airway inflammation as measured by major basic protein-positive eosinophils and CD2(+) T-cell counts in mucosal airways, cell proliferation measured by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine expression in airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and epithelial cells, and goblet cell hyperplasia induced by repeated allergen challenges. There was a significant decrease in intracellular Smad2/3 expression. SD-208 did not significantly decrease the increased ASM thickness induced by allergen exposure. These findings support a proinflammatory and proremodeling role for TGF-beta in allergic airway inflammation. Inhibition of TGF-betaRI kinase activities by SD-208 may be a useful approach to the reversal of BHR and to the prevention and reversal of inflammatory and remodeling features of chronic asthma.
BACKGROUND: Gamma-delta (gammadelta) T cells regulate immune responses to foreign protein at mucosal surfaces. Whether they can modify allergen-induced early (EAR) and late airway responses (LAR) is unknown. OBJECTIVE: We have tested the hypothesis that the CD8+ subtype of gammadelta T cells decreases allergen-induced LAR and airway eosinophilia in the rat. METHODS: Brown Norway rats were administered, intraperitoneally, 3.5 x 10(4) lymph node CD8+gammadelta T cells from naive or sensitized rats. The recipients were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) in Al(OH)(3) 3 days after cell transfer and challenged with aerosolized OVA 14 days later. Serum IgE was measured before allergen challenge. After challenge, lung resistance was monitored for 8 hours and then bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was analyzed for eosinophil major basic protein (MBP), IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and IFN-gamma messenger RNA-expressing cells. RESULTS: gammadelta T cells from naive donors significantly decreased LAR in OVA-challenged sensitized rats, whereas MBP(+) eosinophils were decreased by both gammadelta T cells from naive and sensitized donors. EAR and serum IgE levels were unchanged. The expression of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 by BAL cells of gammadelta T cell recipients was attenuated compared with OVA-challenged controls. This was accompanied by an increase in the expression of IFN-gamma. CONCLUSIONS: Our results are consistent with a suppressive role of CD8+gammadelta T cells on allergic airway responses. However, only gammadelta T cells from naive donors inhibit LAR.
BACKGROUND: There is evidence that the cytokine IL-5 is a prominent feature of airway inflammation in asthma. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether exogenous IL-5 could cause changes in lung physiology, the early and late airway response after antigen challenge, and airway inflammation in rats that do not have a propensity to develop these changes after sensitization and challenge. METHOD AND RESULTS: Intratracheal administration of IL-5 to ovalbumin sensitized Brown Norway SSN rats increased the airway responsiveness to methacholine (AHR) 20 hours after administration of IL-5 at the same time as an increase in neutrophils occurred in the lung lavage. This effect was dose dependent and was not caused by endotoxin. Concurrent intratracheal administration of 50 ng of anti-IL-5 monoclonal antibody with 10 microg of recombinant human IL-5 decreased the AHR and neutrophil influx. Pretreatment with 3 microg of IL-5 had no effect on the early and late airway response or on AHR after ovalbumin challenge. However, IL-5 increased lung re-sistance 20 hours after antigen challenge. Although total lung cells and differential counts did not differ significantly 8 hours after antigen challenge, the blood lymphocyte CD4/CD8 ratio decreased in IL-5 pretreated rats (P
Early nutritional events have the potential to affect health outcomes in later life including the development of allergy. Food allergy is usually the first manifestation of allergy. Breast-feeding has been associated with a protective effect against the development of allergy, but the evidence is contradictory and the mechanisms involved are not clear. We hypothesize that milk cytokines, such as transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), play a role in regulating immune responses to dietary antigens. Using a rat pup model of gastrostomy feeding, the immune response profile, at weaning and post-weaning, of allergy-prone Brown Norway rats fed formula supplementation with TGF-beta was assessed. We show that feeding formula to allergy-prone rat pups results in increased total IgE immunoglobulin, beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) IgG1 antibody, and mucosal mast cell activation, as measured by serum rat mast cell protease II (RMCPII) levels in the gut. Supplementation of formula with physiological levels of TGF-beta down-regulated the BLG IgG1 response as well as total IgE and mucosal mast cell activation. Supplementation of formula also resulted in an increase in Th1 cytokines, interleukin (IL)-18, IL-12p40, IL-12p35, and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and an increase in IL-10. In conclusion, TGF-beta supplementation of formula moved the immune response profile of allergy prone (Th2 type) rat pups toward a Th1 profile in the suckling period. Importantly, this immune profile persisted after weaning when TGF-beta was no longer present in the diet.