Late allergic airway responses can be transferred by CD4+ T cells in the rat. To investigate the role of T-cell cytokines in these responses, we examined the expression of mRNA for Th2 (interleukin [IL]-4 and IL-5) and Th1 (IL-2 and interferon gamma [INF-gamma])-type cytokines in Brown Norway rats that were administered either antigen-primed W3/25(CD4)+ or OX8(CD8)+ T cells. Donors were actively sensitized by subcutaneous injection of ovalbumin (OVA) in the neck and T cells were obtained from the cervical lymph nodes by immunomagnetic cell sorting for administration to unsensitized rats. Control rats received bovine serum albumin (BSA)-primed CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Two days later, recipient rats were challenged with aerosolized OVA, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed 8 h after challenge. BAL cells expressing mRNA for IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, and INF-gamma were analyzed using the technique of in situ hybridization. Recipients of OVA-primed CD4+ T cells had an increase in the fraction of BAL cells expressing mRNA for IL-4 and IL-5 compared with BSA-primed CD4+ or OVA-primed CD8+ cells (P
Airway hyperresponsiveness to inhalational challenge with methacholine (MCh) develops by 32 h after allergen challenge of actively sensitized BN rats. To test the hypothesis that CD4+ T cells mediate allergen-induced hyperresponsiveness independent of IgE-mediated mechanisms, we administered CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and a mixture of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (total T cells) isolated from the cervical lymph nodes of rats sensitized with ovalbumin (OA) to naive BN rats that underwent aerosol challenge with either OA or bovine serum albumin (BSA) 2 d later. Responsiveness to MCh was measured 2 d before transfer of T cells and 32 h after challenge with OA or BSA. Airway responsiveness increased significantly in recipients of CD4+ T cells after OA challenge, but not in any other of the treatment groups. Analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells for major basic protein expression by immunostaining showed eosinophilia in OA-challenged CD4+ and total T-cell recipients. Cells retrieved by bronchoalveolar lavage showed increased expression of IL-5 mRNA (in situ hybridization) in CD4+ T cell recipients after OA challenge compared with other groups. Interferon-gamma mRNA was expressed to the greatest extent in CD8+ recipients, but it was elevated in both OA- and BSA-challenged animals. We conclude that CD4+ T cells can induce airway hyperresponsiveness after inhalational challenge with allergen and this is associated with IL-5 production and eosinophilia. CD8+ T cells may have a negative regulatory effect on responsiveness, possibly mediated by interferon-gamma.
Activated CD4+ helper T cells have been demonstrated in asthmatic airways and postulated to play a central role in eliciting allergic inflammation; direct evidence of their involvement seems to be lacking. We hypothesized that CD4+ T cells have the potential to induce allergic responses to antigen challenge, and tested this hypothesis in a model of allergic bronchoconstriction, the Brown Norway rat, using the approach of adoptive transfer. Animals were actively sensitized to either ovalbumin (OVA) or BSA and were used as donors of T cells. W3/25(CD4)+ or OX8(CD8)+ T cells were isolated from the cervical lymph nodes of sensitized donors and transferred to naive BN rats. 2 d after adoptive transfer recipient rats were challenged by OVA inhalation, and changes in lung resistance (RL), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells, and serum levels of antigen-specific IgE were studied. After OVA challenge recipients of OVA-primed W3/25+ T cells exhibited sustained increases in RL throughout the entire 8-h observation period and had significant bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia, which was detected by immunocytochemistry using an antimajor basic protein mAb. Recipients of BSA-primed W3/25+ T cells or OVA-primed OX8+ T cells failed to respond to inhaled OVA. OVA-specific immunoglobulin E was undetectable by ELISA or skin testing in any of the recipient rats after adoptive transfer. In conclusion, antigen-induced airway bronchoconstriction and eosinophilia were successfully transferred by antigen-specific W3/25+ T cells in Brown Norway rats. These responses were dependent on antigen-primed W3/25+ T cells and appeared to be independent of IgE-mediated mast cell activation. This study provides clear evidence for T cell mediated immune mechanisms in allergic airway responses in this experimental model.