2018 Volume 65 Issue 2 Pages 37-46
Summary: Background: The role of IL-38, a new member of the IL-1 family, in airway eosinophilic inflammatory conditions such as asthma is unclear. To investigate the role of IL-38 in airway eosinophilic inflammation, an IL-38-gene deficient (KO) murine asthma model was analyzed.
Methods: The numbers of eosinophils and neutrophils, and levels of IL-5, IL-13 and IL-17A protein and mRNA in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue were compared between wild-type (WT) and IL-38-KO mice after OVA sensitization and challenge. The effects of additional purified recombinant mouse (rm) IL-38 protein were investigated in the IL-38-KO murine asthma model.
Results: The IL-38 and IL-5 mRNA in WT mice was significantly higher after OVA challenge than after saline challenge (p<0.05). The number of airway eosinophils in IL-38-KO mice was significantly lower than in WT mice after OVA challenge (p<0.01). BALF analysis confirmed the lower number of airway eosinophils in IL-38-KO mice and showed that this was significantly associated with lower IL-5 protein levels (r=0.92, p<0.0001). However, the additional rm IL-38 protein did not neutralize airway eosinophilia in IL-38-KO mice.
Conclusion: IL-38 may enhance airway eosinophilic inflammation in asthma through IL-5 induction.