Effect of interferon-γ on allergic airway responses in interferon-γ-deficient mice

Makoto Yoshida, Richard Leigh, Koichiro Matsumoto, Jennifer Wattie, Russ Ellis, Paul M. O'Byrne, Mark D. Inman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Interferon (IFN)-γ reduces airway responses after allergen challenge in mice. The mechanisms of this effect are not clear. These studies investigate whether IFN-γ can reverse prolonged airway responses after allergen challenge in IFN-γ-deficient (IFN-γKO) mice. Sensitized mice (IFN-γKO and wild-type [WT]) were challenged with ovalbumin. Airway responsiveness, eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and lung lymphocyte subsets (CD4+ and CD8+) were measured 24 hours and 8 weeks after challenge. In further experiments, we treated IFN-γKO mice with recombinant IFN-γ starting 4 weeks after the challenge for 1 week or 4 weeks. Airway responsiveness, bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophils, and lung CD4+ cells were increased 8 weeks after challenge in IFN-γKO but not WT mice. IFN-γ treatment returned lung CD4+ cell numbers to values obtained in unchallenged mice. One week of IFN-γ treatment also returned airway responsiveness to baseline levels; however, 4-week treatment with IFN-γ failed to decrease airway responsiveness below levels observed in untreated animals. This suggests that IFN-γ plays an essential role in reversing allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness and that it may have dual actions on the latter. Observations that IFN-γ reverses airway responses, even when administered after challenge, suggests that IFN-γ treatment could control allergic disease, including asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-456
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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