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Aspergillus fumigatus, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, causes multiple allergic and nonallergic airway diseases. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a nonallergic, life-threatening disease of immunocompromised patients. In a murine model of IPA, interleukin (IL)-4-deficient (IL-4-/-) BALB/c mice were used to examine the role of IL-4 in lung pathology and immune responses. IL-4-/- mice were more resistant than wild-type mice to infection caused by multiple intranasal injections of viable A. fumigatus conidia. Resistance was associated with decreased lung inflammatory pathology, impaired T helper (Th)-2 responses (including lung eosinophilia), and an IL-12-dependent Th1 response. In contrast, development of host-detrimental antifungal Th2 cells occurred in IL-12-/- and interferon-gamma-/- mice and in IL-4-/- mice when subjected to IL-12 neutralization. These results demonstrate that IL-4 renders mice susceptible to infection with A. fumigatus by inhibition of protective Th1 responses. IL-4 appears to have a distinct role in the pathogenesis of allergic and nonallergic lung diseases caused by the fungus.

Original publication

DOI

10.1086/315142

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Infect Dis

Publication Date

12/1999

Volume

180

Pages

1957 - 1968

Keywords

Animals, Aspergillosis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immune Tolerance, Interleukin-4, Lung, Lung Diseases, Fungal, Lymphocyte Activation, Lymphocytes, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred DBA, Mice, Knockout, Th1 Cells, Th2 Cells