Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways that is induced by Th2 cytokines and inhibited by Th1 cytokines. Despite a steady increase in the incidence, morbidity, and mortality from asthma, no current treatment can reduce or prevent asthma for a prolonged period. We examined the ability of unmethylated CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN), which are potent inducers of Th1 cytokines, to prevent the inflammatory and physiological manifestations of asthma in mice sensitized to ragweed allergen. Administration of CpG ODN 48 h before allergen challenge increased the ratio of IFN-γ to IL-4 secreting cells, diminished allergen-induced eosinophil recruitment, and decreased the number of ragweed allergen-specific IgE-producing cells. These effects of CpG ODN were sustained for at least 6 wk after its administration. Furthermore, there was a vigorous Th1 memory response the recall Ag, inhibition of peribronchial and perivascular lung inflammation, and inhibition of bronchial hyperresponsiveness 6 wk after administration of CpG ODN. Administration of CpG ODN in IFN-γ -/- mice failed to inhibit eosinophil recruitment, indicating a critical role of IFN-γ in mediating these effects. This is the first report of a treatment that inhibits allergic lung inflammation in presensitized animals for a prolonged period and thus has relevance to the development of an effective long term treatment for asthma.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - May 15 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy