Lymph node trafficking and antigen presentation by endobronchial eosinophils

J Clin Invest. 2000 Apr;105(7):945-53. doi: 10.1172/JCI8945.


Because eosinophils recruited into the airways in allergic diseases are exposed to inhaled allergens, we evaluated whether eosinophils within the endobronchial lumen can function in vivo as antigen-presenting cells for inhaled antigens. We recovered eosinophils from the airways after aerosol antigen challenge in sensitized mice or from the peritoneal cavities of IL-5 transgenic mice and fluorescently labeled these cells ex vivo. These labeled cells, instilled intratracheally into normal mice, migrated into draining paratracheal lymph nodes and localized to T cell-rich paracortical areas. The homing of airway eosinophils to lymph nodes was not governed by eotaxin, because CCR3(-/-) and CCR3(+/+) eosinophils migrated identically. Airway eosinophils, recovered after inhalational antigen challenge in sensitized mice, expressed MHC class II and costimulatory CD80 and CD86 proteins and functioned in vitro as CD80- and CD86-dependent, antigen-specific, antigen-presenting cells. Moreover, when instilled into the airways of antigen-sensitized recipient mice, airway eosinophils recovered after inhalational antigen challenge stimulated antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell proliferation within paratracheal lymph nodes. Thus, eosinophils within the lumina of airways can process inhaled antigens, traffic to regional lymph nodes, and function in vivo as antigen-presenting cells to stimulate responses of CD4(+) T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • B7-1 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • Bronchi / cytology
  • Cell Movement*
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Eosinophils / physiology
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / biosynthesis
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology
  • Trachea / cytology


  • Antigens, CD
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • Ccr3 protein, mouse
  • Cd86 protein, mouse
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine