Epidemiology supports a causal link between air pollutant exposure and childhood asthma, but the mechanisms are unknown. We have previously reported that ozone exposure can alter the anatomic distribution of CD25+ lymphocytes in airways of allergen-sensitized infant rhesus monkeys. Here, we hypothesized that ozone may also affect eosinophil trafficking to allergen-sensitized infant airways. To test this hypothesis, we measured blood, lavage, and airway mucosa eosinophils in 3-month old monkeys following cyclical ozone and house dust mite (HDM) aerosol exposures. We also determined if eotaxin family members (CCL11, CCL24, CCL26) are associated with eosinophil location in response to exposures. In lavage, eosinophil numbers increased in animals exposed to ozone and/or HDM. Ozone + HDM animals showed significantly increased CCL24 and CCL26 protein in lavage, but the concentration of CCL11, CCL24, and CCL26 was independent of eosinophil number for all exposure groups. In airway mucosa, eosinophils increased with exposure to HDM alone; comparatively, ozone and ozone + HDM resulted in reduced eosinophils. CCL26 mRNA and immunofluorescence staining increased in airway mucosa of HDM alone animals and correlated with eosinophil volume. In ozone. +. HDM animal groups, CCL24 mRNA and immunofluorescence increased along with CCR3 mRNA, but did not correlate with airway mucosa eosinophils. Cumulatively, our data indicate that ozone exposure results in a profile of airway eosinophil migration that is distinct from HDM mediated pathways. CCL24 was found to be induced only by combined ozone and HDM exposure, however expression was not associated with the presence of eosinophils within the airway mucosa.
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