Background: IL-10-treated dendritic cells (DCs) have been shown to inhibit T-cell responses through induction of anergy and regulatory T cells in various model systems, including allergic inflammation, but the factors being involved in this inhibition are still unclear.
Objective: This study set out to analyze such factors produced or induced by IL-10-treated DCs by using gene expression profiling and to explore their function.
Methods: CD4(+) T cells from allergic donors were stimulated with autologous monocyte-derived allergen-pulsed mature DCs or IL-10-treated DCs. After 24 hours, the transcriptional profile was analyzed by using Affymetrix technology. Results were validated by using quantitative real-time PCR, protein expression, and functional in vitro and in vivo studies.
Results: In CD4(+) T-cell/IL-10-treated DC cocultures the expression of several known genes, such as IL13, IL5 and OX40, was suppressed. Interestingly, there was only one factor that was strongly upregulated: the DC-derived chemokine CCL18. In vitro addition of CCL18 to cocultures of CD4(+) T cells and allergen-pulsed DCs resulted in a similar inhibition of T(H)2 cytokine production as induced by allergen-pulsed IL-10-treated DCs without exogenous CCL18, whereas T(H)1 cytokine production, IL-10 production, and proliferation were not affected. Furthermore, in a humanized mouse model of allergy using PBMC-engrafted NOD-scid-γc(-/-) mice, CCL18, but not another T(H)2-associated chemokine, CCL17, inhibited airway reactivity and lung inflammation. Chemotaxis assays revealed that CCL18 preferentially attracted regulatory T cells and, less efficiently, T(H)2 cells.
Conclusion: These data demonstrate that CCL18 might represent a molecule of significant importance in immunoregulation and might be a therapeutic target in patients with allergic airway diseases.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.