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Immunology - Respiratory Medicine

Interleukin-19: A Constituent of the Regulome That Controls Antigen Presenting Cells in the Lungs and Airway Responses to Microbial Products
Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Author: Carol Hoffman et al.

by Carol Hoffman, Sung-Hyun Park, Eleen Daley, Claire Emson, Jennifer Louten, Maureen Sisco, Rene de Waal Malefyt, Gabriele Grunig


Interleukin (IL)-19 has been reported to enhance chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma but the in vivo mechanism is incompletely understood. Because IL-19 is produced by and regulates cells of the monocyte lineage, our studies focused on in vivo responses of CD11c positive (CD11c+) alveolar macrophages and lung dendritic cells.

Methodology/Principal Findings

IL-19-deficient (IL-19-/-) mice were studied at baseline (naïve) and following intranasal challenge with microbial products, or recombinant cytokines. Naïve IL-19-/- mixed background mice had a decreased percentage of CD11c+ cells in the bronchoalveolar-lavage (BAL) due to the deficiency in IL-19 and a trait inherited from the 129-mouse strain. BAL CD11c+ cells from fully backcrossed IL-19-/- BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice expressed significantly less Major Histocompatibility Complex class II (MHCII) in response to intranasal administration of lipopolysaccharide, Aspergillus antigen, or IL-13, a pro-allergic cytokine. Neurogenic-locus-notch-homolog-protein-2 (Notch2) expression by lung monocytes, the precursors of BAL CD11c+ cells, was dysregulated: extracellular Notch2 was significantly decreased, transmembrane/intracellular Notch2 was significantly increased in IL-19-/- mice relative to wild type. Instillation of recombinant IL-19 increased extracellular Notch2 expression and dendritic cells cultured from bone marrow cells in the presence of IL-19 showed upregulated extracellular Notch2. The CD205 positive subset among the CD11c+ cells was 3-5-fold decreased in the airways and lungs of naïve IL-19-/- mice relative to wild type. Airway inflammation and histological changes in the lungs were ameliorated in IL-19-/- mice challenged with Aspergillus antigen that induces T lymphocyte-dependent allergic inflammation but not in IL-19-/- mice challenged with lipopolysaccharide or IL-13.


Because MHCII is the molecular platform that displays peptides to T lymphocytes and Notch2 determines cell fate decisions, our studies suggest that endogenous IL-19 is a constituent of the regulome that controls both processes in vivo.