Basophils-associated OX40 Ligand Participates in the Initiation of Th2 Responses during Airway Inflammation [Molecular Bases of Disease]

April 3rd, 2015 by Di, C., Lin, X., Zhang, Y., Zhong, W., Yuan, Y., Zhou, T., Liu, J., Xia, Z.

Asthma is characterized by increased airway submucosal infiltration of T helper (Th) cells and myeloid cells that co-conspire to sustain a chronic inflammation. While recent studies have demonstrated that the myeloid basophils promote Th2 cells in response to various types of allergens, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we found for the first time that in a mouse model of allergic asthma basophils highly expressed OX40 ligand (OX40L) after activation. Interestingly, blockade of OX40-OX40L interaction suppressed basophils-primed Th2 cell differentiation in vitro and ameliorated ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic eosinophilic inflammation mediated by Th2 activation. In accordance, the adoptive transfer of basophils derived from mediastinal lymph nodes (MLN) of OVA-immunized mice triggered a robust Th2 response and eosinophilic inflammation in wild-type mice but largely muted in OX40-/- mice and mice receiving OX40L-blocked basophils. Taken together, our results reveal a critical role of OX40L presented by the activated basophils to initiate Th2 responses in an allergic asthma model, implicating OX40-OX40L signaling as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of allergic airway inflammation.