Background: IL-9 is a pleiotropic cytokine that exhibits biologic activity on cells of diverse hemopoietic lineage. IL-9 stimulates the proliferation of activated T cells, enhances the production of IgE from B cells, and promotes the proliferation and differentiation of mast cells and hematopoietic progenitors. Objective: In this study we evaluated the expression of IL-9 messenger (m)RNA and protein by human peripheral blood eosinophils. We also investigated the role of IL-1β and TNF-α in the release of IL-9 from human peripheral blood eosinophils. Methods: RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry were used to investigate the presence of IL-9 mRNA and protein in human peripheral blood eosinophils from asthmatic patients and normal control subjects. Furthermore, biologic assay was used to investigate the release of IL-9 protein from IL-1β- or TNF-α-stimulated eosinophils in vitro. Results: RT-PCR analysis showed the presence of IL-9 mRNA in human peripheral blood eosinophil RNA preparations from subjects with atopic asthma, as well as in the eosinophil-differentiated HL-60 cell line. By using in situ hybridization, a significant difference (P < .01) in IL-9 mRNA expression was detected in human peripheral blood eosinophils freshly isolated from asthmatic subjects compared with those isolated from normal control subjects. Furthermore, the percentage of IL-9 immunoreactive eosinophils from asthmatic patients was increased compared with that found in normal control subjects (P < .01). We also demonstrate that cultured human peripheral blood eosinophils from asthmatic subjects synthesize and release IL-9 protein, which is upregulated on stimulation with TNF-α and IL-1β. Conclusion: Human eosinophils express biologically active IL-9, which suggests that these cells may influence the recruitment and activation of effector cells linked to the pathogenesis of allergic disease. These observations provide further evidence for the role of eosinophils in regulating airway immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy