Bronchial epithelial cells produce IL-5: implications for local immune responses in the airways

Cell Immunol. 2010;264(1):32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2010.04.008. Epub 2010 May 5.


IL-5 is a pleiotropic cytokine that promotes eosinophil differentiation and survival. While naïve bronchial epithelial cells (BEC) produce low levels of IL-5, the role of BEC-derived IL-5 in allergic airway inflammation is unknown. We now show that BEC, isolated from mice with OVA-induced allergic airway disease (AAD), produced elevated levels of IL-5 mRNA and protein as compared to BEC from naïve mice. To determine the contribution of BEC-derived IL-5 to effector responses in the airways, IL-5 deficient bone marrow chimeric mice were generated in which IL-5 expression was restricted to stromal (e.g. BEC) or hematopoietic cells. When subjected to AAD, IL-5 produced by BECs contributed to mucous metaplasia, airway eosinophilia, and OVA-specific IgA levels. Thus, IL-5 production by BEC can impact the microenvironment of the lung, modifying pathologic and protective immune responses in the airways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / chemically induced
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eosinophilia
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Immunity
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Interleukin-5 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-5 / genetics
  • Interleukin-5 / immunology
  • Metaplasia
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Transplantation Chimera


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Interleukin-5