We have investigated the relationship between changes in T-cell activation in the bronchial mucosa, airway responsiveness and eosinophilic inflammation in sensitized Brown-Norway rats exposed to ovalbumin (OVA). Rats sensitized intraperitoneally with OVA and exposed to OVA aerosol 21 days later showed an enhanced increase in lung resistance (RNL) to acetylcholine (P < 0.05), and a significant increase in the number of eosinophils, neutrophils and lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) (P < 0.05), compared with sensitized but saline-exposed controls. There was a significant increase in cells expressing the T-cell activation marker CD25 (P < 0.05) and the numbers of CD8+ T cells (P < 0.05), but not in the numbers of CD2+ and CD4+ cells. Eosinophil counts in airway submucosal tissue, as assessed by staining with BMK-13; a monoclonal antibody that binds to eosinophil major basic protein (MBP), were increased in rats receiving sensitization and exposure to OVA compared with naive controls (P < 0.002). There were significant positive correlations between the increase in R(L) to acetylcholine and the numbers of CD25+ (r = 0.92, P < 0.001), CD4+ (r = 0.77, P < 0.05), CD8+ (r = 0.71, P < 0.05) and MBP+ (r = 0.72, P < 0.03) cells in the OVA-sensitized and exposed group, but not in saline-exposed or naive animals. The number of MBP+ cells also correlated with CD25 expression (r = 0.71, P < 0.05). We conclude that airway hyper-responsiveness and inflammatory cell infiltration caused by OVA exposure of sensitized animals is associated with the presence of activated T cells in the airway mucosa. CD8+ T cells may play a role in the regulation of events leading to eosinophil inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - 1995|
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