Changes in Bone Marrow Inflammatory Cell Progenitors after Inhaled Allergen in Asthmatic Subjects
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Increases in inflammatory cell progenitors, particularly eosinophil/basophil colony-forming cells (Eo/B-CFU), occur in peripheral blood after allergen provocation. The role of bone marrow (BM) in these reactions is unclear. We examined the effect of allergen challenge on human bone marrow progenitor cell growth. Fifteen asthmatic subjects, eight dual responders (DR) and seven isolated early responders (IER), were challenged with inhaled allergen. BM aspirates were taken before and 24 h after challenge and progenitors were enumerated by a colony-forming assay. Eo/B-CFU numbers increased in both groups after allergen challenge (p < 0.0001). For DR, the increases were significant for BM incubated with optimal GMCSF and IL-5, but not with IL-3. For IER, the increases were significant for all three cytokines tested. At a suboptimal concentration of IL-5, there was a significant increase in the number of Eo/B-CFU after allergen in the DR, from 5.25 +/- 1.2 to 9.68 +/- 2.1 per 2.5 x 10(5) cells plated (p < 0.01), which was not demonstrated in the IER (p = 0.94). The responses at this concentration of IL-5 were different between groups (p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that inhaled allergen increases BM Eo/B-CFU, and that the bone marrow of dual responders is more responsive to IL-5 after allergen.