Beneficial effects of Galectin-9 on allergen-specific sublingual immunotherapy in a <i>Dermatophagoides farinae</i>-induced mouse model of chronic asthma

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<p><i>Background:</i> Allergen-specific sublingual immunotherapy is a potential disease-modifying treatment for allergic asthma. Galectin-9 (Gal-9), a β-galactoside-binding protein with various biologic effects, acts as an immunomodulator in excessive immunologic reactions by expanding regulatory T cells (Treg) and enhancing transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling. We investigated the efficacy of sublingually administered Gal-9 as an adjuvant to a specific allergen in a <i>Dermatophagoides farinae</i> (Df)-induced mouse model of chronic asthma.</p><p><i>Methods:</i> BALB/c mice were intranasally sensitized with Df extract 5 days/week for 5 weeks, and then sublingual Df-allergen extract for 2 weeks (5 days/week). Three days after the final sublingual treatment, mice were intranasally challenged with Df extract. The early asthmatic response (EAR) was evaluated 5 min after the last Df challenge. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was assayed and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed 24 h after the last allergen challenge. Serum IgE and cytokine levels, and number of inflammatory cells in the BAL fluid (BALF) were analyzed.</p><p><i>Results:</i> Sublingual Df treatment in the presence of Gal-9, but not alone, significantly reduced AHR; EAR; number of eosinophils and interleukin-13 in the BALF; and serum IgE levels. BALF TGF-β1 levels were significantly increased in the presence of Gal-9 compared with Df alone. Treg depletion blocked the inhibitory effects of Gal-9 on the EAR, AHR, eosinophilic airway inflammation, and Df-specific serum IgE levels, and suppressed BALF TGF-β1 levels.</p><p><i>Conclusions:</i> Gal-9 exhibited beneficial effects of sublingual Df allergen-specific immunotherapy in a Df-induced mouse model of chronic asthma, possibly by Gal-9-induced TGF-β1 production in the lung.</p><p></p>


  • Allergology International

    Allergology International 66(3), 432-439, 2017

    Japanese Society of Allergology


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