Indexed on: 23 Feb '13Published on: 23 Feb '13Published in: PloS one
Leukocyte Immunoglobulin-like Receptor B4 (LILRB4) null mice have an exacerbated T helper cell type 2 (Th2) immune response and pulmonary inflammation compared with Lilrb4(+/+) animals when sensitized intranasally with ovalbumin (OVA) and low-dose lipopolysaccharide (LPS) followed by challenge with OVA. Moreover, OVA-challenged Lilrb4(-/-) mice exhibit greater migration of antigen (Ag)-bearing dendritic cells (DCs) to lymph nodes and accumulation of interleukin 4- and interleukin 5-producing lymph node lymphocytes. The main objective of this study was to determine how the absence of LILRB4 leads to a greater number of DCs in the lymph nodes of Ag-challenged mice and increased lung Th2 inflammation. Mice were sensitized intranasally with PBS alone or containing OVA and LPS; additional cohorts were subsequently challenged with OVA. Expression of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 21 (CCL21) in the lung was assessed immunohistologically. OVA ingestion and expression of LILRB4 and chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 7 (CCR7) were quantified by flow cytometry. Inhalation of OVA and LPS induced upregulation of LILRB4 selectively on lung Ag-bearing DCs. After sensitization and challenge, the lung lymphatic vessels of Lilrb4(-/-) mice expressed more CCL21, a chemokine that directs the migration of DCs from peripheral tissue to draining lymph nodes, compared with Lilrb4(+/+) mice. In addition, lung DCs of challenged Lilrb4(-/-) mice expressed more CCR7, the CCL21 receptor. The lungs of challenged Lilrb4(-/-) mice also contained significantly greater numbers of CD4+ cells expressing interleukin-4 or interleukin-5, consistent with the greater number of Ag-bearing DCs and Th2 cells in lymph nodes and the attendant exacerbated Th2 lung pathology. Our data establish a new mechanism by which LILRB4 can downregulate the development of pathologic allergic inflammation: reduced upregulation of key molecules needed for DC migration leading to decreases in Th2 cells in lymph nodes and their target tissue.