Background: Type 1 myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) contribute to inception of allergic asthma (AA) and are regulated by epithelial-derived cytokines.
Objectives: To evaluate whether mDCs from AA patients are primed for thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)-driven responses.
Methods: mDCs from 18 AA patients and 15 controls were purified using immunomagnetic sorting. Cells were pulsed with TSLP or Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) allergen, before FACS phenotyping and co-culture with allogeneic CD4+ T cells. Bronchial biopsies from 15 AA patients and four controls were immunostained for CD1c and TSLP receptor (TSLPR).
Results: Allergic asthma patients had a higher proportion of TSLPR+ mDCs, in blood and bronchial mucosa. When compared to mDCs from controls, both TSLP- and Der p-pulsed blood mDCs from AA patients induced increased polarization of CD4+ T cells into Th2 cells (IL-5, IL-13, and GATA3+), while only TSLP-mDCs promoted Th9 cells (IL-9 and PU.1+ /IRF4+). In addition, OX40L was induced upon TSLP stimulation and was required for the induction of Th2, but not Th9, cells. In contrast, development of Th9 cells in this model depended on TGF-β1.
Conclusions: Our data indicate overlapping but partially distinct effects of TSLP and Der p allergen pathways, showing that DCs are primed in human asthma for TSLP-driven induction of both Th2 and Th9 cells. This novel TSLP/mDC/Th9 axis operates through a distinct, OX40L-independent pathway. These data further highlight the TSLP pathway as a relevant target in human asthma.
Keywords: Th9; asthma; interleukin-9; myeloid dendritic cells; thymic stromal lymphopoietin.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.