Research ArticleAsthma

Lipoxin A4 Regulates Natural Killer Cell and Type 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell Activation in Asthma

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Science Translational Medicine  27 Feb 2013:
Vol. 5, Issue 174, pp. 174ra26
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004812

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Asthma is a prevalent disease of chronic inflammation in which endogenous counterregulatory signaling pathways are dysregulated. Recent evidence suggests that innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), including natural killer (NK) cells and type 2 ILCs (ILC2s), can participate in the regulation of allergic airway responses, in particular airway mucosal inflammation. We have identified both NK cells and ILC2s in human lung and peripheral blood in healthy and asthmatic subjects. NK cells were highly activated in severe asthma, were linked to eosinophilia, and interacted with autologous eosinophils to promote their apoptosis. ILC2s generated antigen-independent interleukin-13 (IL-13) in response to the mast cell product prostaglandin D2 alone and in a synergistic manner with the airway epithelial cytokines IL-25 and IL-33. Both NK cells and ILC2s expressed the pro-resolving ALX/FPR2 receptors. Lipoxin A4, a natural pro-resolving ligand for ALX/FPR2 receptors, significantly increased NK cell–mediated eosinophil apoptosis and decreased IL-13 release by ILC2s. Together, these findings indicate that ILCs are targets for lipoxin A4 to decrease airway inflammation and mediate the catabasis of eosinophilic inflammation. Because lipoxin A4 generation is decreased in severe asthma, these findings also implicate unrestrained ILC activation in asthma pathobiology.

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