Invariant T-cell receptor-positive natural killer (iNKT) cells have been shown to be essential for the development of allergen-induced airway hyperreactivity (AHR).We examined the role of iNKT cells in allergic skin inflammation using a murine model of atopic dermatitis (AD) elicited by epicutaneous sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA).Wild-type (WT) and natural killer T-cell-deficient CD1d-/- mice were epicutaneously sensitized with OVA or normal saline and challenged with aerosolized OVA. iNKT cells in skin and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and cytokine mRNA levels were measured by quantitative RT-PCR. AHR to methacholine was measured after OVA inhalation.Skin infiltration by eosinophils and CD4+ cells and expression of mRNA encoding IL-4 and IL-13 in OVA-sensitized skin were similar in WT and CD1d-/- mice. No significant increase in iNKT cells was detectable in epicutaneously sensitized skin. In contrast, iNKT cells were found in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from OVA-challenged epicutaneously sensitized WT mice, but not CD1d-/- mice. Epicutaneously sensitized CD1d-/- mice had an impaired expression of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 mRNA in the lung and failed to develop AHR in response to airway challenge with OVA.These results demonstrate that iNKT cells are not required for allergic skin inflammation in a murine model of AD, in contrast with airway inflammation, in which iNKT cells are essential.Understanding the potential role of iNKT cells in AD will allow us to have a more specific target for therapeutic use.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.08.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000242880300025
View details for PubMedID 17157667