Mice homozygous for the STAT4-null mutation were sensitized to cockroach Ag, challenged intratracheally 21 days later, and compared with STAT4-competent allergic mice. The STAT4-/- mice showed significant decreases in airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and peribronchial eosinophils compared with wild-type controls. In addition, pulmonary levels of chemokines were decreased in the STAT4-/- mice, including CC chemokine ligand (CCL)5, CCL6, CCL11, and CCL17. However, levels of Th2-type cytokines, such as IL-4 and IL-13, as well as serum IgE levels were similar in the two groups. Transfer of splenic lymphocytes from sensitized wild-type mice into sensitized STAT4-/- mice did not restore AHR in the mutant mice. Furthermore, chemokine production and peribronchial eosinophilia were not restored during the cellular transfer experiments. Thus, it appears that STAT4 expression contributes to a type 2 process such as allergen-induced chemokine production and AHR. In additional studies, competent allergic mice were treated with anti-IL-12 locally in the airways at the time of allergen rechallenge. These latter studies also demonstrated a decrease in AHR. Altogether, these data suggest that STAT4-mediated pathways play a role locally within the airway for the exacerbation of the allergen-induced responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy