Allergen-Induced Increase in Airway Responsiveness, Airway Eosinophilia, and Bone-Marrow Eosinophil Progenitors in Mice
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Increases in bone-marrow (BM) inflammatory cell progenitors are associated with allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in asthmatics and dogs. Here, for the first time, we compare the time course of airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, and marrow progenitor responses in a mouse model of airway allergen challenge. Sensitized BALB/c mice were studied at 2, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h after intranasal ovalbumin or saline challenges. Outcome measurements included airway responsiveness, airway inflammation as assessed via bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissue sections, and BM eosinophil colony-forming units (Eo-CFU) as enumerated using a semisolid culture assay with optimal concentrations of interleukin-5. We observed significant increases in BAL fluid eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages by 2 h after the second of two intranasal allergen challenges (P < 0.05). Significant increases in airway responsiveness or BM Eo-CFU were observed at 24 h and persisted until 48 h after the second challenge (P < 0.05). Airway inflammation, including eosinophils, persisted until at least 72 h (P < 0.05). We observed that allergen-induced airway eosinophilia is accompanied by increases in BM eosinophil progenitors, indicating that in this model, increased eosinophil production involves an expansion of the relevant stem-cell population. These findings support the use of this model to explore the mechanisms of increased eosinopoiesis observed in human asthma.
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