Effect of Interferon-γon Allergic Airway Responses in Interferon-γ–deficient Mice
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Interferon (IFN)-gamma reduces airway responses after allergen challenge in mice. The mechanisms of this effect are not clear. These studies investigate whether IFN-gamma can reverse prolonged airway responses after allergen challenge in IFN-gamma-deficient (IFN-gammaKO) mice. Sensitized mice (IFN-gammaKO and wild-type [WT]) were challenged with ovalbumin. Airway responsiveness, eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and lung lymphocyte subsets (CD4(+) and CD8(+)) were measured 24 hours and 8 weeks after challenge. In further experiments, we treated IFN-gammaKO mice with recombinant IFN-gamma starting 4 weeks after the challenge for 1 week or 4 weeks. Airway responsiveness, bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophils, and lung CD4(+) cells were increased 8 weeks after challenge in IFN-gammaKO but not WT mice. IFN-gamma treatment returned lung CD4(+) cell numbers to values obtained in unchallenged mice. One week of IFN-gamma treatment also returned airway responsiveness to baseline levels; however, 4-week treatment with IFN-gamma failed to decrease airway responsiveness below levels observed in untreated animals. This suggests that IFN-gamma plays an essential role in reversing allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness and that it may have dual actions on the latter. Observations that IFN-gamma reverses airway responses, even when administered after challenge, suggests that IFN-gamma treatment could control allergic disease, including asthma.
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