Asthma is a heterogeneous syndrome that has been subdivided into physiologic phenotypes and molecular endotypes. The most specific phenotypic manifestation of asthma is indirect airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), and a prominent molecular endotype is the presence of type 2 inflammation. The underlying basis for type 2 inflammation and its relationship to AHR are incompletely understood. We assessed the expression of type 2 cytokines in the airways of subjects with and without asthma who were extensively characterized for AHR. Using quantitative morphometry of the airway wall, we identified a shift in mast cells from the submucosa to the airway epithelium specifically associated with both type 2 inflammation and indirect AHR. Using ex vivo modeling of primary airway epithelial cells in organotypic coculture with mast cells, we show that epithelial-derived IL-33 uniquely induced type 2 cytokines in mast cells, which regulated the expression of epithelial IL33 in a feed-forward loop. This feed-forward loop was accentuated in epithelial cells derived from subjects with asthma. These results demonstrate that type 2 inflammation and indirect AHR in asthma are related to a shift in mast cell infiltration to the airway epithelium, and that mast cells cooperate with epithelial cells through IL-33 signaling to regulate type 2 inflammation.
Matthew C. Altman, Ying Lai, James D. Nolin, Sydney Long, Chien-Chang Chen, Adrian M. Piliponsky, William A. Altemeier, Megan Larmore, Charles W. Frevert, Michael S. Mulligan, Steven F. Ziegler, Jason S. Debley, Michael C. Peters, Teal S. Hallstrand
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.