Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen grains, which are generally considered too large to reach the lower respiratory tract, release subpollen particles (SPPs) of respirable size upon hydration. These SPPs contain allergenic proteins and functional NAD(P)H oxidases. In this study, we examined whether exposure to SPPs initiates the activation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs). We found that treatment with freshly isolated ragweed SPPs increased the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in moDCs. Phagocytosis of SPPs by moDCs, as demonstrated by confocal laser-scanning microscopy, led to an up-regulation of the cell surface expression of CD40, CD80, CD86, and HLA-DQ and an increase in the production of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-8, and IL-10. Furthermore, SPP-treated moDCs had an increased capacity to stimulate the proliferation of naïve T cells. Co-culture of SPP-treated moDCs with allogeneic CD3+ pan-T cells resulted in increased secretion of IFN-γ and IL-17 by T cells of both allergic and non-allergic subjects, but induced the production of IL-4 exclusively from the T cells of allergic individuals. Addition of exogenous NADPH further increased, while heat-inactivation or pre-treatment with diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), an inhibitor of NADPH oxidases, strongly diminished, the ability of SPPs to induce phenotypic and functional changes in moDCs, indicating that these processes were mediated, at least partly, by the intrinsic NAD(P)H oxidase activity of SPPs. Collectively, our data suggest that inhaled ragweed SPPs are fully capable of activating dendritic cells (DCs) in the airways and SPPs' NAD(P)H oxidase activity is involved in initiation of adaptive immune responses against innocuous pollen proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)