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  • Journal article
    Lloyd C, Puttur F, Denney L, Gregory L, Vuononvirta J, Oliver R, McGhee E, Pease J, Krummel MF, Headley MB, Carlin Let al., 2019,

    Pulmonary environmental cues drive group 2 innate lymphoid cell dynamics in mice and humans

    , Science Immunology, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2470-9468

    Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) are enriched in mucosal tissues (e.g., lung) and respond to epithelial cell–derived cytokines initiating type 2 inflammation. During inflammation, ILC2 numbers are increased in the lung. However, the mechanisms controlling ILC2 trafficking and motility within inflamed lungs remain unclear and are crucial for understanding ILC2 function in pulmonary immunity. Using several approaches, including lung intravital microscopy, we demonstrate that pulmonary ILC2s are highly dynamic, exhibit amoeboid-like movement, and aggregate in the lung peribronchial and perivascular spaces. They express distinct chemokine receptors, including CCR8, and actively home to CCL8 deposits located around the airway epithelium. Within lung tissue, ILC2s were particularly motile in extracellular matrix–enriched regions. We show that collagen-I drives ILC2 to markedly change their morphology by remodeling their actin cytoskeleton to promote environmental exploration critical for regulating eosinophilic inflammation. Our study provides previously unappreciated insights into ILC2 migratory patterns during inflammation and highlights the importance of environmental guidance cues in the lung in controlling ILC2 dynamics.

  • Journal article
    Saglani S, 2018,

    Inception of early life allergen induced airway hyperresponsiveness is reliant on IL-13+CD4+ T cells

    , Science Immunology, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2470-9468

    Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a critical feature of wheezing and asthma in children, but the initiating immune mechanisms remain unconfirmed. We demonstrate that both recombinant interleukin-33 (rIL-33) and allergen [house dust mite (HDM) or Alternaria alternata] exposure from day 3 of life resulted in significantly increased pulmonary IL-13+CD4+ T cells, which were indispensable for the development of AHR. In contrast, adult mice had a predominance of pulmonary LinnegCD45+CD90+IL-13+ type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) after administration of rIL-33. HDM exposure of neonatal IL-33 knockout (KO) mice still resulted in AHR. However, neonatal CD4creIL-13 KO mice (lacking IL-13+CD4+ T cells) exposed to allergen from day 3 of life were protected from AHR despite persistent pulmonary eosinophilia, elevated IL-33 levels, and IL-13+ ILCs. Moreover, neonatal mice were protected from AHR when inhaled Acinetobacter lwoffii (an environmental bacterial isolate found in cattle farms, which is known to protect from childhood asthma) was administered concurrent with HDM. A. lwoffii blocked the expansion of pulmonary IL-13+CD4+ T cells, whereas IL-13+ ILCs and IL-33 remained elevated. Administration of A. lwoffii mirrored the findings from the CD4creIL-13 KO mice, providing a translational approach for disease protection in early life. These data demonstrate that IL-13+CD4+ T cells, rather than IL-13+ ILCs or IL-33, are critical for inception of allergic AHR in early life.

  • Journal article
    Patel D, Peiro T, Shoemark A, Akthar S, Walker S, Grabiec A, Jackson P, Hussell T, Gaggar A, Xu X, Trevor J, Li J, Steele C, Tavernier G, Blalock JE, Niven R, Gregory L, Simpson A, Lloyd C, Snelgrove RJet al., 2018,

    An extracellular matrix fragment drives epithelial remodeling and airway hyper-responsiveness

    , Science Translational Medicine, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1946-6234

    It is anticipated that bioactive fragments of the extracellular matrix (matrikines) can influence the development and progression of chronic diseases. The enzyme leukotriene A4 hydrolase (LTA4H) mediates opposing proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory activities, through the generation of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and degradation of proneutrophilic matrikine Pro-Gly-Pro (PGP), respectively. We show that abrogation of LTB4 signaling ameliorated inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in a murine asthma model, yet global loss of LTA4H exacerbated AHR, despite the absence of LTB4. This exacerbated AHR was attributable to a neutrophil-independent capacity of PGP to promote pathological airway epithelial remodeling. Thus, we demonstrate a disconnect between airway inflammation and AHR and the ability of a matrikine to promote an epithelial remodeling phenotype that negatively affects lung function. Subsequently, we show that substantial quantities of PGP are detectable in the sputum of moderate-severe asthmatics in two distinct cohorts of patients. These studies have implications for our understanding of remodeling phenotypes in asthma and may rationalize the failure of LTA4H inhibitors in the clinic.

  • Journal article
    McKibben S, Bush A, Thomas M, Griffiths Cet al., 2018,

    "Tossing a coin:" defining the excessive use of short-acting beta(2)-agonists in asthma-the views of general practitioners and asthma experts in primary and secondary care

    , npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 28, ISSN: 2055-1010

    The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) identified high prescribing of short–acting beta2-agonists (SABAs) as a key factor in over 40% of deaths. We interviewed asthma experts from both a hospital background (n = 5) and a primary care background (n = 8), and general practitioners delivering asthma care (n = 8), to identify how SABA use is defined and perceived. We identified disparity in how acceptable SABA use is defined, ranging from 0.5 (100 doses/year) to 12 SABA inhalers (2400 doses/year), and complacency in the perception that over-use did not represent a marker for risk of asthma death. Despite current evidence, these findings suggest clinicians of various backgrounds are complacent about excessive SABA use.

  • Journal article
    Peiró T, Patel DF, Akthar S, Gregory LG, Pyle CJ, Harker JA, Birrell MA, LLoyd CM, Snelgrove RJet al., 2017,

    Neutrophils drive alveolar macrophage IL-1β release during respiratory viral infection

    , Thorax, Vol: 73, Pages: 546-556, ISSN: 1468-3296

    Background Alveolar macrophages are sentinels of the airways that must exhibit immune restraint to innocuous antigens but elicit a robust inflammatory response to pathogenic threats. How distinction between these dichotomous functions is controlled is poorly defined.Neutrophils are the first responders to infection, and we hypothesised that they may free alveolar macrophages from their hyporesponsive state, promoting their activation. Activation of the inflammasome and interleukin (IL)-1β release is a key early inflammatory event that must be tightly regulated. Thus, the role of neutrophils in defining inflammasome activation in the alveolar macrophage was assessed.Methods Mice were infected with the X31 strain of influenza virus and the role of neutrophils in alveolar macrophage activation established through administration of a neutrophil-depleting (1A8) antibody.Results Influenza elicited a robust IL-1β release that correlated (r=0.6849; p<0.001) with neutrophil infiltrate and was ablated by neutrophil depletion. Alveolar macrophages were shown to be the prominent source of IL-1β during influenza infection, and virus triggered the expression of Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and pro-IL-1β in these cells. However, subsequent activation of the inflammasome complex and release of mature IL-1β from alveolar macrophages were critically dependent on the provision of a secondary signal, in the form of antimicrobial peptide mCRAMP, from infiltrating neutrophils.Conclusions Neutrophils are critical for the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in alveolar macrophages during respiratory viral infection. Accordingly, we rationalise that neutrophils are recruited to the lung to confront a viable pathogenic threat and subsequently commit alveolar macrophages to a pro-inflammatory phenotype to combat infection.

  • Journal article
    Pyle CJ, Uwadiae FI, Swieboda DP, Harker JAet al., 2017,

    Early IL-6 signalling promotes IL-27 dependent maturation of regulatory T cells in the lungs and resolution of viral immunopathology.

    , PLoS Pathogens, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1553-7366

    Interleukin-6 is a pleiotropic, pro-inflammatory cytokine that can promote both innate and adaptive immune responses. In humans with respiratory virus infections, such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), elevated concentrations of IL-6 are associated with more severe disease. In contrast the polymorphisms in the Il6 promoter which favour lower IL-6 production are associated with increased risk of both RSV and Rhinovirus infections. To determine the precise contribution of IL-6 to protection and pathology we used murine models of respiratory virus infection. RSV infection resulted in increased IL-6 production both in the airways and systemically which remained heightened for at least 2 weeks. IL-6 depletion early, but not late, during RSV or Influenza A virus infection resulted in significantly increased disease associated with an influx of virus specific TH1 and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, whilst not affecting viral clearance. IL-6 acted by driving production of the immunoregulatory cytokine IL-27 by macrophages and monocytes, which in turn promoted the local maturation of regulatory T cells. Concordantly IL-27 was necessary to regulate TH1 responses in the lungs, and sufficient to limit RSV induced disease. Overall we found that during respiratory virus infection the prototypic inflammatory cytokine IL-6 is a critical anti-inflammatory regulator of viral induced immunopathology in the respiratory tract through its induction of IL-27.

  • Journal article
    De Simoni A, Horne R, Fleming L, Bush A, Griffiths Cet al., 2017,

    What do adolescents with asthma really think about adherence to inhalers? Insights from a qualitative analysis of a UK online forum

    , BMJ OPEN, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2044-6055

    Objective To explore the barriers and facilitators to inhaled asthma treatment in adolescents with asthma.Design Qualitative analysis of posts about inhaler treatment in adolescents from an online forum for people with asthma. Analysis informed by the Perceptions and Practicalities Approach.Participants Fifty-four forum participants (39 adolescents ≥16 years, 5 parents of adolescents, 10 adults with asthma) identified using search terms ‘teenager inhaler’ and ‘adolescent inhaler’.Setting Posts from adolescents, parents and adults with asthma taking part in the Asthma UK online forum between 2006 and 2016, UK.Results Practical barriers reducing the ability to adhere included forgetfulness and poor routines, inadequate inhaler technique, organisational difficulties (such as repeat prescriptions), and families not understanding or accepting their child had asthma. Prompting and monitoring inhaler treatment by parents were described as helpful, with adolescents benefiting from self-monitoring, for example, by using charts logging adherence. Perceptions reducing the motivation to adhere included asthma representation as episodic rather than chronic condition with intermittent need of inhaler treatment. Adolescents and adults with asthma (but not parents) described concerns related to attributed side effects (eg, weight gain) and social stigma, resulting in ‘embarrassment of taking inhalers’. Facilitators to adherence included actively seeking general practitioners’/consultants’ adjustments if problems arose and learning to deal with the side effects and stigma. Parents were instrumental in creating a sense of responsibility for adherence.Conclusions This online forum reveals a rich and novel insight into adherence to asthma inhalers by adolescents. Interventions that prompt and monitor preventer inhaler use would be welcomed and hold potential. In clinical consultations, exploring parents’ beliefs about asth

  • Journal article
    Scadding GW, Calderon MA, Shamji MH, Eifan AO, Penagos M, Dumitru F, Sever ML, Bahnson HT, Lawson K, Harris KM, Plough AG, Laurienzo Panza J, Qin T, Lim N, Tchao NK, Togias A, Durham SRet al., 2017,

    Effect of 2 years of treatment with sublingual grass pollen immunotherapy on nasal response to allergen challenge at three years among patients with moderate to severe seasonal allergic rhinitis: The GRASS randomized clinical trial

    , Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol: 317, Pages: 615-625, ISSN: 0098-7484

    Importance Sublingual immunotherapy and subcutaneous immunotherapy are effective in seasonal allergic rhinitis. Three years of continuous treatment with subcutaneous immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy has been shown to improve symptoms for at least 2 years following discontinuation of treatment.Objective To assess whether 2 years of treatment with grass pollen sublingual immunotherapy, compared with placebo, provides improved nasal response to allergen challenge at 3-year follow-up.Design, Setting, and Participants A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3–parallel-group study performed in a single academic center, Imperial College London, of adult patients with moderate to severe seasonal allergic rhinitis (interfering with usual daily activities or sleep). First enrollment was March 2011, last follow-up was February 2015.Interventions Thirty-six participants received 2 years of sublingual immunotherapy (daily tablets containing 15 µg of major allergen Phleum p 5 and monthly placebo injections), 36 received subcutaneous immunotherapy (monthly injections containing 20 µg of Phleum p 5 and daily placebo tablets) and 34 received matched double-placebo. Nasal allergen challenge was performed before treatment, at 1 and 2 years of treatment, and at 3 years (1 year after treatment discontinuation).Main Outcomes and Measures Total nasal symptom scores (TNSS; range; 0 [best] to 12 [worst]) were recorded between 0 and 10 hours after challenge. The minimum clinically important difference for change in TNSS within an individual is 1.08. The primary outcome was TNSS comparing sublingual immunotherapy vs placebo at year 3. Subcutaneous immunotherapy was included as a positive control. The study was not powered to compare sublingual immunotherapy with subcutaneous immunotherapy.Results Among 106 randomized participants (mean age, 33.5 years; 34 women [32.1%]), 92 completed the study at 3 years. In the intent-to-treat population, mean TNSS sc

  • Journal article
    Ng-Blichfeldt JP, Alçada J, Montero MA, Dean CH, Griesenbach U, Griffiths MJ, Hind Met al., 2017,

    Deficient retinoid-driven angiogenesis may contribute to failure of adult human lung regeneration in emphysema

    , Thorax, Vol: 72, Pages: 510-521, ISSN: 0040-6376

    BACKGROUND: Molecular pathways that regulate alveolar development and adult repair represent potential therapeutic targets for emphysema. Signalling via retinoic acid (RA), derived from vitamin A, is required for mammalian alveologenesis, and exogenous RA can induce alveolar regeneration in rodents. Little is known about RA signalling in the human lung and its potential role in lung disease. OBJECTIVES: To examine regulation of human alveolar epithelial and endothelial repair by RA, and characterise RA signalling in human emphysema. METHODS: The role of RA signalling in alveolar epithelial repair was investigated with a scratch assay using an alveolar cell line (A549) and primary human alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells from resected lung, and the role in angiogenesis using a tube formation assay with human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVEC). Localisation of RA synthetic (RALDH-1) and degrading (cytochrome P450 subfamily 26 A1 (CYP26A1)) enzymes in human lung was determined by immunofluorescence. Regulation of RA pathway components was investigated in emphysematous and control human lung tissue by quantitative real-time PCR and Western analysis. RESULTS: RA stimulated HLMVEC angiogenesis in vitro; this was partially reproduced with a RAR-α agonist. RA induced mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and VEGFR2. RA did not modulate AT2 repair. CYP26A1 protein was identified in human lung microvasculature, whereas RALDH-1 partially co-localised with vimentin-positive fibroblasts. CYP26A1 mRNA and protein were increased in emphysema. CONCLUSIONS: RA regulates lung microvascular angiogenesis; the endothelium produces CYP26A1 which is increased in emphysema, possibly leading to reduced RA availability. These data highlight a role for RA in maintenance of the human pulmonary microvascular endothelium.

  • Journal article
    Byrne AJ, Weiss M, Mathie SA, Walker S, Eames HL, Saliba D, Udalova IA, Lloyd CMet al., 2016,

    A critical role for IRF5 in regulating allergic airway inflammation

    , Mucosal Immunology, Vol: 10, Pages: 716-726, ISSN: 1935-3456

    Interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) is a key transcription factor involved in the control of theexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokine and responses to infection, however its role in regulatingpulmonary immune responses to allergen is unknown. We used genetic ablation, adenoviralvector-driven overexpression and adoptive transfer approaches to interrogate the role of IRF5 inpulmonary immunity and during challenge with the aero-allergen, house dust mite. Global IRF5deficiency resulted in impaired lung function and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition. IRF5was also essential for effective responses to inhaled allergen, controlling airway hyper-responsiveness, mucus secretion and eosinophilic inflammation. Adoptive transfer of IRF5-deficient alveolar macrophages into the WT pulmonary milieu was sufficient to drive airwayhyper-reactivity, at baseline or following antigen challenge. These data identify IRF5-expressingmacrophages as a key component of the immune defence of the airways. Manipulation of IRF5activity in the lung could therefore be a viable strategy for the redirection of pulmonary immuneresponses and thus, the treatment of lung disorders.

  • Journal article
    Löser S, Gregory LG, Zhang Y, Schaefer K, Walker SA, Buckley J, Denney L, Dean CH, Cookson WO, Moffatt MF, Lloyd CMet al., 2016,

    Pulmonary ORMDL3 is critical for induction of Alternaria induced allergic airways disease

    , Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol: 139, Pages: 1496-1507.e3, ISSN: 1097-6825

    BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies have identified the ORMDL3 (ORM (yeast)-like protein isoform 3) gene locus on human chromosome 17q to be a highly significant risk factor for childhood-onset asthma. OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate in vivo the functional role of ORMDL3 in disease inception. METHODS: An Ormdl3 deficient mouse was generated and the role of ORMDL3 in the generation of allergic airways disease to the fungal aeroallergen Alternaria alternata determined. An adeno-associated viral vector was also utilized to reconstitute ORMDL3 expression in airway epithelial cells of Ormdl3 KO mice. RESULTS: Ormdl3 knock-out mice were found to be protected from developing allergic airways disease and showed a marked decrease in pathophysiology, including lung function and airway eosinophilia induced by Alternaria. Alternaria is a potent inducer of cellular stress and the unfolded protein response and ORMDL3 was found to play a critical role in driving the ATF6 mediated arm of this response through Xbp1 and downstream activation of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation pathway. Additionally ORMDL3 mediated uric acid release, another marker of cellular stress. In the knockout mice, reconstitution of Ormdl3 transcript levels specifically in the bronchial epithelium resulted in reinstatement of susceptibility to fungal allergen-induced allergic airways disease. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that ORMDL3, an asthma susceptibility gene identified by genome-wide association studies, contributes to key pathways that promote changes in airway physiology during allergic immune responses.

  • Journal article
    Bossley CJ, Fleming L, Ullmann N, Gupta A, Adams A, Nagakumar P, Bush A, Saglani Set al., 2016,

    Assessment of corticosteroid response in pediatric patients with severe asthma by using a multidomain approach.

    , Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol: 138, Pages: 413-420.e6, ISSN: 1097-6825

    BACKGROUND: There is no agreed upon definition of systemic corticosteroid response in asthmatic children. Moreover, pediatric severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA) is heterogeneous, and thus response to steroids is unlikely to be uniform in all patients. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the utility of a multidomain approach incorporating symptoms, lung function, and inflammation to determine steroid responsiveness in pediatric patients with STRA. METHODS: Eighty-two children (median age, 12 years) with STRA received a clinically indicated dose of intramuscular steroid. Changes in 4 separate domains were assessed 4 weeks after intramuscular triamcinolone acetonide: normalization of (1) symptoms (Asthma Control Test score, >19/25 or 50% increase), (2) spirometric results (FEV1 ≥80% of predicted value or ≥15% increase), (3) fraction of exhaled nitric oxide levels (<24 ppb), and (4) sputum eosinophil counts (<2.5%). Fifty-four of 82 children had complete data in all 4 domains. RESULTS: Twenty-three (43%) of 54 children had a symptom response, 29 (54%) of 54 had a lung function response, 28 (52%) of 54 had a fraction of exhaled nitric oxide response, and 29 (54%) of 54 had a sputum eosinophil response. Although a similar proportion of children responded to systemic corticosteroids in each domain, there were no reliable predictors of a response pattern. Seven (13%) of 54 were complete responders (response in all domains), 8 (15%) of 54 were nonresponders (no response in any domain), and 39 (72%) of 54 were partial responders (response in ≥1 domain). CONCLUSIONS: A multidomain evaluation of systemic steroid responsiveness using pragmatic clinical assessments confirms childhood STRA is heterogeneous and that a complete response in symptoms and inflammatory and physiologic parameters is rare. Individual response patterns to systemic steroids might be useful in guiding the choice of add-on therapies in each child as a step toward achieving pe

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