T-cells subsets and activation in bronchial mucosa of sensitized Brown-Norway rats after single allergen exposure

Angela Franciska Haczku, R. Moqbel, M. Jacobson, A. B. Kay, P. J. Barnes, K. F. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-597
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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