Although atopic dermatitis (AD) is the initial step of the atopic march a progression from AD to asthma, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Selective expression of IL-13 in the skin of mice caused an AD phenotype resembling human AD, and the disorder was associated with enhanced production of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in the AD skin with a systemic Th2 immunity. Here we show that IL-13 transgenic mice with AD had significantly enhanced lung inflammation, mucus hypersecretion, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) when sensitized and challenged by allergen. In addition, the level of TSLP was significantly higher in acute AD than in chronic AD. Furthermore, elimination of TSLP signaling significantly diminished the allergic asthma responses, immune cell production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-13), and serum IgE. These studies indicate that IL-13 induces AD and atopic march via a TSLP dependent mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas