Effect of microbial heat shock proteins on airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness

Yeong Ho Rha, Christian Taube, Angela Franciska Haczku, Anthony Joetham, Katsuyuki Takeda, Catherine Duez, Marvin Siegel, M. Kemal Aydintug, Willi K. Born, Azzeddine Dakhama, Erwin W. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Microbial heat shock proteins (hsp) have been associated with the generation and induction of Thl-type immune responses. We tested the effects of treatment with five different microbial hsp (Mycobacterium leprae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, bacillus Calmette-Guérin, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) in a murine model of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Mice were sensitized to OVA by i.p. injection and then challenged by OVA inhalation. Hsp were administered to each group by i.p. injection before sensitization and challenge. Sensitized and challenged mice developed increased serum levels of OVA-specific IgE with significant airway eosinophilia and heightened responsiveness to methacholine when compared with nonsensitized animals. Administration of M. leprae hsp prevented both development of AHR as well as bronchoalveolar lavage fluid eosinophilia in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with M. leprae hsp also resulted in suppression of IL-4 and IL-5 production in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, while IL-10 and IFN-γ production were increased. Furthermore, M. leprae hsp treatment significantly suppressed OVA-specific IgE production and goblet cell hyperplasia/mucin hyperproduction. In contrast, treatment with the other hsp failed to prevent changes in airway responsiveness, lung eosinophilia, or cytokine production. Depletion of γ/δ T lymphocytes before sensitization and challenge abolished the effect of M. leprae hsp treatment on AHR. These results indicate selective and distinctive properties among the hsp, and that M. leprae hsp may have a potential therapeutic role in the treatment of allergic airway inflammation and altered airway function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5300-5307
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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