Facilitation of allergic sensitization and allergic airway inflammation by pollen-induced innate neutrophil recruitment

Koa Hosoki, Leopoldo Aguilera-Aguirre, Allan R. Brasier, Alexander Kurosky, Istvan Boldogh, Sanjiv Sur

17 Scopus citations


Neutrophil recruitment is a hallmark of rapid innate immune responses. Exposure of airways of naive mice to pollens rapidly induces neutrophil recruitment. The innate mechanisms that regulate polleninduced neutrophil recruitment and the contribution of this neutrophilic response to subsequent induction of allergic sensitization and inflammation need to be elucidated. Here we show that ragweed pollen extract (RWPE) challenge in naive mice induces C-X-C motif ligand (CXCL) chemokine synthesis, which stimulates chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 2 (CXCR2)-dependent recruitment of neutrophils into the airways. Deletion of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) abolishes CXCL chemokine secretion and neutrophil recruitment induced by a single RWPE challenge and inhibits induction of allergic sensitization and airway inflammation after repeated exposures to RWPE. Forced induction of CXCL chemokine secretion and neutrophil recruitment in mice lacking TLR4 also reconstitutes the ability of multiple challenges of RWPE to induce allergic airway inflammation. Blocking RWPE-induced neutrophil recruitment in wild-type mice by administration of a CXCR2 inhibitor inhibits the ability of repeated exposures to RWPE to stimulate allergic sensitization and airway inflammation. Administration of neutrophils derived from naive donor mice into the airways of Tlr4 knockout recipient mice after each repeated RWPE challenge reconstitutes allergic sensitization and inflammation in these mice. Together these observations indicate that pollen-induced recruitment of neutrophils is TLR4 and CXCR2 dependent and that recruitment of neutrophils is a critical rate-limiting event that stimulates induction of allergic sensitization and airway inflammation. Inhibiting pollen-induced recruitment of neutrophils, such as by administration of CXCR2 antagonists, may be a novel strategy to prevent initiation of pollen-induced allergic airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Allergic inflammation
  • CXCR2
  • Neutrophil
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Toll-like receptor 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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