All-trans retinoic acid attenuates airway inflammation by inhibiting Th2 and Th17 response in experimental allergic asthma
Department of Pediatrics, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Ruijin 2nd Road 197, Shanghai 200025, China
BMC Immunology 2013, 14:28 doi:10.1186/1471-2172-14-28Published: 22 June 2013
Airway inflammation is mainly mediated by T helper 2 cells (Th2) that characteristically produce interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Epidemiological studies have revealed an inverse association between the dietary intake of vitamin A and the occurrence of asthma. Serum vitamin A concentrations are significantly lower in asthmatic subjects than in healthy control subjects. It has been reported that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a potent derivative of vitamin A, regulates immune responses. However, its role in Th2-mediated airway inflammation remains unclear. We investigated the effects of ATRA in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.
We found that ATRA treatment attenuated airway inflammation and decreased mRNA levels of Th2- and Th17-related transcription factors. The data showed that airway inflammation coincided with levels of Th2- and Th17-related cytokines. We also showed that ATRA inhibited Th17 and promoted inducible regulatory T-cell differentiation, whereas it did not induce an obvious effect on Th2 differentiation in vitro. Our data suggest that ATRA may interfere with the in vivo Th2 responses via T-cell extrinsic mechanisms.
Administration of ATRA dramatically attenuated airway inflammation by inhibiting Th2 and Th17 differentiation and/or functions. ATRA may have potential therapeutic effects for airway inflammation in asthmatic patients.