NYMC Faculty Publications


Induction of Severe Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Multi-Organ Inflammation by Airborne Allergens is Associated with IL-4/IL-13 and CCL11 but Not IgE in Genetic Susceptible Mice

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Faculty, Student

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Second Department

Microbiology and Immunology

Third Department



Background: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is an increasingly common chronic inflammatory disease. The pathological mechanisms underlying EoE are largely unknown.

Objective: We sought to understand the mechanisms underlying aeroallergen-induced EoE in Sharpin gene deficient (Sharpin-/-) mice that is prone to inflammatory response.

Methods: Sharpin-/-mice were exposed with Aspergillus fumigatus and ovalbumin intranasally every alternate day for 4 weeks. Wild type (WT) naïve mice, WT exposed, and un-exposed Sharpin-/- mice were controls. Histopathological analysis was performed by H&E, trichrome and major basic protein staining. Total and specific IgE, IgG, and IgA levels were measured by ELISA and Th2 cytokine and CCL11 chemokine gene expression were determined.

Results: Airborne allergen exposed Sharpin-/- mice showed severe eosinophilic inflammation in the esophagus (p < 0.001), and markedly increased epithelial thickening (p < 0.0001) compared to WT normal controls, whereas airborne allergen exposed WT mice and unexposed Sharpin-/- mice only showed mild eosinophilic inflammation in the esophagus. These exposed Sharpin-/- mice also showed over 7-fold increase in blood eosinophils (p < 0.0001), 60-fold increase in eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (p < 0.0001) and 4-fold increase in eosinophils in the skin (p < 0.0001) compared to normal controls. Surprisingly, exposed Sharpin-/- mice did not show elevation of serum total or antigen-specific IgE levels but reduced total IgA and IgG levels than normal controls There was a marked increase in IL-4, IL-13 and CCL11 gene expression in esophageal tissue (p < 0.001) in exposed Sharpin-/- mice compared to WT normal mice.

Conclusion: Th2 cytokines and chemokines, but not IgE may play an important pathologic role in aeroallergen-induced EoE. This study may provide insight into new therapeutics for EoE.