Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is characterized by persistent airway inflammation and airway infection that ultimately leads to respiratory failure. Aspergillus sp. are present in the airways of 20-40% of CF patients and are of unclear clinical significance. In this study, we demonstrate that CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-deficient (CFTR knockout, Cftr tm1Unc- TgN(fatty acid-binding protein)CFTR) and mutant (ΔF508) mice develop profound long inflammation in response to Aspergillus fumigatus hyphal Ag exposure. CFTR-deficient mice also develop an enhanced Th2 inflammatory response to A. fumigatus, characterized by elevated IL-4 in the lung and IgE and IgG1 in serum. In contrast, CFTR deficiency does not promote a Th1 immune response. Furthermore, we demonstrate that CD4+ T cells from naive CFTR-deficient mice produce higher levels of IL-4 in response to TCR ligation than wild-type CD4+ T cells. The Th2 bias of CD4+ T cells in the absence of functional CFTR correlates with elevated nuclear levels of NFAT. Thus, CFTR is important to maintain the Th1/Th2 balance in CD4+ T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy