We previously demonstrated in mice that airway eosinophils traffic from the airway lumen into lung-draining paratracheal lymph nodes. However, mechanisms whereby eosinophils traverse from the lungs and home to paratracheal lymph nodes remain unclear. We investigated roles of cysteinyl leukotrienes in mediating eosinophil trafficking from lungs to paratracheal lymph nodes.
The expression of CCR7 was determined by flow cytometry. Transwell assays were used to test chemotactic responses of leukotriene C4 synthase-deficient and control airway eosinophils to the chemokine CCL19 ex vivo. Eosinophils from the spleens of IL-5 transgenic mice, fluorescently labeled ex vivo, were intratracheally injected into ovalbumin-sensitized and ovalbumin-aerosol challenged leukotriene C4 synthase-deficient and control mice. Eosinophils were identified by microscopy and flow cytometry in the lungs and paratracheal lymph nodes.
Mouse eosinophils expressed CCR7, the receptor for CCL19, and responded chemotactically to CCL19. Leukotriene C4 synthase-deficient eosinophils exhibited impaired chemotaxis to CCL19 that was restored by exogenous leukotriene C4. The migration of intratracheally-injected eosinophils into paratracheal lymph nodes from distal alveolar lung was diminished in leukotriene C4 synthase-deficient mice compared to wild-type mice, with increased retention of eosinophils in the lungs of leukotriene C4 synthase-deficient mice. Exogenous administration of leukotriene C4 restored trafficking of eosinophils to paratracheal lymph nodes in leukotriene C4 synthase-deficient mice.
Our findings that cysteinyl leukotrienes are involved in regulating airway and lung eosinophil migration into paratracheal lymph nodes identify previously unrecognized roles for the cysteinyl leukotrienes in regulating the pulmonary trafficking of eosinophils in experimental allergic asthma.
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