INKT cells are responsible for the apoptotic reduction of basophils that mediate Th2 immune responses elicited by papain in mice following γPGA stimulation

Hyun Jung Park, Sung Won Lee, Se Ho Park, Seokmann Hong

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have demonstrated that Bacillus subtilis-derived poly-gamma glutamic acid (γPGA) treatment suppresses the development of allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD). Although basophils, an innate immune cell, are known to play critical roles in allergic immune responses and repeated long-term administration of γPGA results in decreased splenic basophils in an AD murine model, the underlying mechanisms by which γPGA regulates basophil frequency remain unclear. To investigate how γPGA modulates basophils, we employed basophil-mediated Th2 induction in vivo model elicited by the allergen papain protease. Repeated injection of γPGA reduced the abundance of basophils and their production of IL4 in mice, consistent with our previous study using NC/Nga AD model mice. The depletion of basophils by a single injection of γPGA was dependent on the TLR4/DC/IL12axis. CD1d-dependent Va14TCR invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are known to regulate a variety of immune responses, such as allergy. Because iNKT cell activation is highly sensitive to IL12 produced by DCs, we evaluated whether the effect of γPGA on basophils is mediated by iNKT cell activation. We found that in vivo yPGA treatment did not induce the reduction of basophils in iNKT cell-deficient CD1d KO mice, suggesting the critical role of iNKT cells in γPGA-mediated basophil depletion at the early time points. Furthermore, increased apoptotic basophil reduction triggered by iNKT cells upon yPGA stimulation was mainly attributed to Th1 cytokines such as IFNγ and TNFα, consequently resulting in inhibition of papain-induced Th2 differentiation via diminishing basophil-derived IL4. Taken together, our results clearly demonstrate that γPGA-induced iNKT cell polarization toward the Th1 phenotype induces apoptotic basophil depletion, leading to the suppression of Th2 immune responses. Thus, elucidation of the crosstalk between innate immune cells will contribute to the design and development of new therapeutics for Th2-mediated immune diseases such as AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0152189
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2013R1A1A2010772). Thefunders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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