The Role of α 4 (CD49d) and β 2 (CD18) Integrins in Eosinophil and Neutrophil Migration to Allergic Lung Inflammation in the Brown Norway Rat

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We investigated the role of β2 (CD18) and α4 (CD49d) integrins in eosinophil and neutrophil recruitment to lung parenchyma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of allergen-challenged Brown Norway (BN) rats. Challenge of sensitized BN rats with ovalbumin induced an eosinophil- and neutrophil-rich infiltrate in BALF at 24 h, accompanied by an increase in BALF protein content. Treatment with either the TA-2 monoclonal antibody (mAb) against α4 (as an F[ab′]2 fragment) or the WT.3 mAb against β2 integrin significantly reduced eosinophil and neutrophil accumulation in BALF by 54 to 66% and eosinophil accumulation in the parenchyma by 48%. A significant difference in effect was observed between mAb TA-2 in intact immunoglobulin G or F(ab)2 form. Combined treatment with mAbs WT.3 plus TA-2 (F[ab]2) virtually abolished eosinophil accumulation in BALF and in the parenchyma, and reduced neutrophil accumulation in BALF by 91%. In contrast, neutrophil accumulation in the lung was not inhibited by these mAb treatments. The increase in BALF protein concentration was significantly inhibited by TA-2 (by 40%) and by WT.3 plus TA-2 in combination (71% inhibition). We conclude that eosinophil and neutrophil migration into the air space in allergic lung inflammation is partially CD18 (β2)- and CD49d (α4)- dependent and that α4 integrins mediate essentially all of the CD18-independent migration. Similarly, eosinophil accumulation in the parenchyma is completely α4 and CD18 (β2) integrin-dependent. In marked contrast, neutrophil accumulation in the lung in this allergen model can occur independently of both α4 and β2 integrins.

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