Aerosol-induced immunoglobulin (Ig)-E unresponsiveness to ovalbumin does not require CD8+ or T cell receptor (TCR)-γ/δ+ T cells or interferon (IFN)-γ in a murine model of allergen sensitization

Brian W P Seymour, Laurel J Gershwin, Robert L. Coffman

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138 Scopus citations


Mice expressed for 20 min daily to aerosolized ovalbumin (OVA) for 10 d at concentrations from 1 to 0.01% OVA made greatly reduced immunoglobulin (Ig)-E responses to subsequent immunogenic OVA challenges, given either intraperitoneally or aerosol. This IgE-specific unresponsiveness lasted for at least four months. However, these aerosol-treated mice were primed for larger OVA-specific IgG1 and IgG2a responses. The specific reduction in IgE responses was not due to preferential induction of a T helper (Th)-1 response as aerosol OVA-primed mice made greatly reduced Th2 and no detectable Th1 response after rechallenge in vitro. Consistent with this, the increase in circulating eosinophils observed in control Th2-primed mice was absent in aerosol OVA-treated animals. Interferon (IFN)-γ was not required for this unresponsiveness, as IFN-γ knockout mice and anti-IFN-γ antibody-treated wild type mice had greatly reduced levels of IgE similar to wild-type controls. CD8+ T cells played a relatively small role as IgE responses were reduced to about the same extent in β2 microglobulin-deficient, or in anti- CD8-treated wild-type mice as in normal mice after aerosol OVA treatment. Similarly, T cell receptor (TCR)-γ/δ T cells were not required for maximal inhibition of the IgE response. These results demonstrate that exposure to inhaled protein antigens can induce a state of unresponsiveness of CD4+ T cells that results in a prolonged loss of IgE and eosinophil responses to subsequent challenges. This T cell unresponsiveness was shown not to require CD8+ or TCR-γ/δ+ T cells or IFN-γ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-731
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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