The characteristic features of bronchial asthma reflect the orchestrated activity of Th2 cells. Oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG) have recently been highlighted as an immunomodulator that biases toward a Th1- dominant phenotype. We have previously reported that intratracheal coadministration of CpG and allergen inhibited airway eosinophilia and hyperresponsiveness in a synergistic manner. To substantiate the synergism between CpG and Ag, we introduced a covalently linked conjugate between CpG and Ag and examined the efficacy on airway eosinophilia and Th2 cytokine production. We found that the conjugated form of CpG plus Ag was 100-fold more efficient in regulating airway eosinophilia than the unconjugated mixture. The inhibitory effects lasted for at least 2 mo. The inhibition of airway eosinophilia by the conjugate was Ag specific and associated with an improvement of the airway hyperresponsiveness and the unresponsiveness of the Ag-specific Th2 cells in the regional lymph nodes. The CpG-Ag conjugate was 100-fold more effective than the unconjugated mixture for inducing in vitro Th1 differentiation in an IL-12-dependent manner. Our data show that CpG conjugated to Ag can work as a novel Ag-specific immunomodulator and imply that inhalation of allergen-CpG conjugate could be a desensitization therapy for patients with bronchial asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy