You are here:
B-Glucan exacerbates allergic asthma independent of fungal sensitization and promotes steroid-resistant TH2/TH17 responses
Zhang, Z., J. Biagini Myers, E. Brandt, P. Ryan, M. Lindsey, R. Mintz-Cole, T. Reponen, S. Vesper, F. Forde, B. Ruff, S. Bass, G. LeMasters, D. Bernstein, J. Lockey, A. Budelsky, AND G. Kurana Hershey. B-Glucan exacerbates allergic asthma independent of fungal sensitization and promotes steroid-resistant TH2/TH17 responses. JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY. Journal of Allergy Clinical Immunology, 139(1):54-65, (2017).
To describe the relationship between severe asthma and mold exposures.
BackgroundAllergic sensitization to fungi has been associated with asthma severity. As a result, it has been largely assumed that the contribution of fungi to allergic disease is mediated through their potent antigenicity.ObjectiveWe sought to determine the mechanism by which fungi affect asthma development and severity.MethodsWe integrated epidemiologic and experimental asthma models to explore the effect of fungal exposure on asthma development and severity.ResultsWe report that fungal exposure enhances allergen-driven TH2 responses, promoting severe allergic asthma. This effect is independent of fungal sensitization and can be reconstituted with β-glucan and abrogated by neutralization of IL-17A. Furthermore, this severe asthma is resistant to steroids and characterized by mixed TH2 and TH17 responses, including IL-13+IL-17+CD4+ double-producing effector T cells. Steroid resistance is dependent on fungus-induced TH17 responses because steroid sensitivity was restored in IL-17rc−/− mice. Similarly, in children with asthma, fungal exposure was associated with increased serum IL-17A levels and asthma severity.ConclusionOur data demonstrate that fungi are potent immunomodulators and have powerful effects on asthma independent of their potential to act as antigens. Furthermore, our results provide a strong rationale for combination treatment strategies targeting IL-17A for this subgroup of fungus-exposed patients with difficult-to-treat asthma.