Eosinophils may play an important role in the pathogenesis of airway remodeling in asthma through the production of various fibrogenic cytokines such as transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1). Cysteinyl leukotrienes are also suggested to be involved in remodeling with their potential to induce proliferation of airway smooth muscle cells. Since massive eosinophil infiltration and the release of cysteinyl leukotrienes in airway secretions are often seen in asthma, we hypothesized that cysteinyl leukotrienes may be involved in airway remodeling through induction of TGF-beta1 from eosinophils. Peripheral blood eosinophils were cultured with leukotriene D(4) (LTD(4)) and/or interleukin-5 (IL-5) or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) for 16 h and gene expression of TGF-beta1 was quantified with real-time PCR. A combination of LTD(4) and IL-5 or LTD(4) and GM-CSF synergistically induced TGF-beta1 expression in eosinophils although stimulation with single factor, LTD(4), IL-5 or GM-CSF did not induce the gene expression. LTD(4) also induced significant gene expression in eosinophils cultured in an intercellular adhesion molecule-1-coated plate. The results suggested that CysLTs stimulate eosinophils to induce TGF-beta1 production in allergic inflammation where IL-5 and GM-CSF are abundant and may be involved in the pathogenesis of airway remodeling.
Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.