Asthma is a chronic disease affecting up to 10% of the Australian population for which medical treatment is solely aimed at relief of symptoms rather than prevention of disease. Evidence from animal and human studies demonstrates a strong link between viral respiratory infections, atopy and the development of asthma. Type I IFNs include IFNα and IFNβ, with subtype expression tailored toward the specific viral infection. We hypothesized that exposure to type I IFNs and allergen may interfere with the healthy response to innocuous airway antigen exposure. In this study, we use an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced BALB/c model of experimental allergic airways disease, where pre-exposure of the airways to OVA is protective against allergen sensitization, leading to allergen tolerance. We investigated airways pre-exposure with OVA and type I IFNs on development of allergic airways disease. We demonstrate restoration of allergic airways disease on pre-exposure with allergen and IFNβ, and not IFNα. Dysfunction in tolerance led to changes in dendritic cell antigen capture/traffic, T-cell and B-cell responses. Furthermore, exposure to IFNβ with ongoing allergen exposure led to the development of hallmark asthma features, including OVA-specific IgE and airways eosinophilia. Data indicate a role for IFNβ in linking viral infection and allergy.
|Journal||Immunology and Cell Biology|
|Early online date||17 Apr 2018|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2018|