Viral mimic poly-(IC) attenuates airway epithelial T-cell suppressive capacity: implications for asthma

Jurgen Schwarze, Paul M. Fitch, Janneke Heimweg, Claire Errington, Reina Matsuda, Harold G. de Bruin, Maarten van den Berge, Antoon Oosterhout, van, Irene H. Heijink*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

4 Citaten (Scopus)


In allergen-sensitised asthmatic individuals, allergen-specific type-2 T-helper cells proliferate and secrete type-2 cytokines (e.g. interleukin (IL)-4, -5 and -13), driving the airway inflammatory response that gives rise to the clinical symptoms of asthma. Both early-life sensitisation to aeroallergens and lower respiratory viral infections are important environmental risk factors for developing asthma. Additionally, respiratory viral infections are the most common trigger for asthma exacerbations. Of interest, many asthma susceptibility genes are expressed in the airway epithelium [1], which forms the first continuous line of defence against inhaled environmental insults, including viruses and aeroallergens. Impaired immune regulation and failure to maintain tolerance to allergens is thought to contribute to allergic sensitisation. Asthma epithelium may be deficient in its innate immune defence against viral infections, resulting in increased viral replication upon rhinovirus infection compared to nonasthma-derived epithelial cultures [2]. Furthermore, there is evidence for loss of the mucosal immune barrier in asthma, with disruption of epithelial integrity [1, 3]. This may lead not only to increased permeability, but also to the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, specifically of cytokines that drive type-2 responses [3, 4]. We recently observed that the ability of allergens to disrupt epithelial barrier function is related to the development of type-2-mediated inflammation in asthma [5, 6]. Furthermore, we demonstrated that healthy murine lung epithelium is a potent inhibitor of T-cell proliferation and that this inhibition is lost upon viral infection [7]. It is unknown if this immune regulatory effect is displayed by human epithelium and is dysregulated in asthma. We hypothesise that changes in this regulatory effect translate into aberrant regulation of T-cell responses in asthma. We studied the epithelial regulation of T-cell proliferation and cytokine responses upon epithelial stimulation with a viral mimic, using co-culture of human T-cells and primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBECs) from healthy controls and asthma patients.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1785-1788
Aantal pagina's4
TijdschriftEuropean Respiratory Journal
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
StatusPublished - dec-2016

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