Research ArticleAsthma

Rhinovirus-induced IL-25 in asthma exacerbation drives type 2 immunity and allergic pulmonary inflammation

Science Translational Medicine  01 Oct 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 256, pp. 256ra134
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009124

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Abstract

Rhinoviruses (RVs), which are the most common cause of virally induced asthma exacerbations, account for much of the burden of asthma in terms of morbidity, mortality, and associated cost. Interleukin-25 (IL-25) activates type 2–driven inflammation and is therefore potentially important in virally induced asthma exacerbations. To investigate this, we examined whether RV-induced IL-25 could contribute to asthma exacerbations. RV-infected cultured asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells exhibited a heightened intrinsic capacity for IL-25 expression, which correlated with donor atopic status. In vivo human IL-25 expression was greater in asthmatics at baseline and during experimental RV infection. In addition, in mice, RV infection induced IL-25 expression and augmented allergen-induced IL-25. Blockade of the IL-25 receptor reduced many RV-induced exacerbation-specific responses including type 2 cytokine expression, mucus production, and recruitment of eosinophils, neutrophils, basophils, and T and non-T type 2 cells. Therefore, asthmatic epithelial cells have an increased intrinsic capacity for expression of a pro–type 2 cytokine in response to a viral infection, and IL-25 is a key mediator of RV-induced exacerbations of pulmonary inflammation.

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