Evaluation of the C5a anaphylatoxin and its receptor (CD88) in allergic lung disease

Meenal Sinha, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Allergic asthma is characterized by airflow obstruction, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and chronic airway inflammation. We and others have reported that complement component C3 and the anaphylatoxin C3a receptor promote while C5 protects against the development of the biological and physiological hallmarks of allergic lung disease in mice. In this study, we assessed if the protective responses could be mediated by C5a, an activation-induced C5 cleavage product. Mice with ablation of the C5a receptor (C5aR) either by genetic deletion or by pharmacological blockade exhibited significantly exacerbated AHR compared to allergen-challenged wild-type (WT) mice. However, there were no significant differences in many of the other hallmarks of asthma such as airway infiltration by eosinophils or lymphocytes, pulmonary IL-4-producing cell numbers, goblet cell metaplasia, mucus secretion or total serum IgE levels. In contrast to elevated AHR, numbers of IL-5 and IL-13 producing pulmonary cells, and IL-5 and IL-13 protein levels, were significantly reduced in allergen-challenged C5aR-/- mice compared to allergen-challenged WT mice. Administration of a specific cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 1 (cysLT1R) antagonist before each allergen-challenge abolished AHR in C5aR-/- as well as in WT mice. Pretreatment with a C3aR antagonist dose-dependently reduced AHR in allergen-challenged WT and C5aR-/- mice. Additionally, allergen-induced upregulation of pulmonary C3aR expression was exaggerated in C5aR-/- mice compared to WT mice. In summary, deficiency or antagonism of C5aR in a mouse model of pulmonary allergy increased AHR, which was reversed or reduced by blockade of the cysLT1R and C3aR, respectively. In conclusion, this study suggests that C5a and C5aR mediate protection against AHR by suppressing cysLT and C3aR signaling pathways, which are known to promote AHR. This also supports important and opposing roles of complement components C3a/C3aR and C5a/C5aR in AHR.

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Recommended Citation

Sinha, Meenal, "Evaluation of the C5a anaphylatoxin and its receptor (CD88) in allergic lung disease" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3343817.