Results:  Patients with high-calcium dialysate (n = 82) had a hig

Results:  Patients with high-calcium dialysate (n = 82) had a higher incidence of malnutrition and inflammation (61.0% vs 44.1% and 43.9%, respectively) than those with standard- and low-calcium dialysate (n = 528 and 107). Backward stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that high-calcium Talazoparib in vivo dialysate was negatively correlated with nutritional index, serum albumin levels, but positively associated

with the inflammatory marker of serum ferritin levels. At the end of the 2 year follow up, 45 patients had died. Cox multivariate analysis demonstrated that high-calcium dialysate was a significant associated factor (relative risk 2.765; 95% confidence interval 1.429–5.352) for 2 year all-cause mortality in these patients. Conclusion:  The RGFP966 analytical results indicate that high-calcium dialysate is associated with malnutrition and inflammation as well as 2 year mortality in non-diabetic maintenance haemodialysis patients and the findings suggest that this population, even those with optimal mineral balance, should avoid high-calcium dialysate. “
“We studied the diagnostic accuracy of blood gas determination as a novel method for the estimation of arteriovenous fistula (AVF) recirculation (RC). In 25 patients on chronic haemodialysis, with failure of a previously well functioning native AVF (mean two-needle

urea-based RC: 41 ± 10%), arterial line (AL) as well as a peripheral vein (PV) blood samples drawn by the end of a 4 h haemodialysis session, Thymidylate synthase before and after the surgical repair of their AVF.

Compared to PV samples, patients with RC had significantly higher AL blood pCO2 and pO2 values (P < 0.001) and lower AL blood pH and K+ values (P < 0.001), findings that were reversed after the surgical restoration of adequate AVF function. On regression analysis, urea RC values were correlated positively with AL pCO2 values (r = 0.683, P < 0.001) and negatively with AL pH values (r = 0.896, P < 0.001). AL pCO2 > 40 mmHg was shown to have the best sensitivity and AL pH < 7.25 the best specificity. RC index, that is, the AL pCO2/pH ratio, was found to have superior test characteristics compared to pH and pCO2 (sensitivity 95% and specificity 88% for values >5.5) making it a powerful diagnostic as well as screening tool. We propose the regular AL blood gas measurement as a novel method of AVF function surveillance and RC diagnosis. AL blood pH < 7.25, pCO2 > 40 mmHg and RC index > 5.5, escorted by rather high pO2 and low K+ by the end of dialysis session, but probably earlier as well, signify an important RC (>20%) and warrant further investigation of AVF patency. “
“Two populations of renal cells fully possess functional contractile cell apparatus: mesangial cells and podocytes. Previous studies demonstrated that in the context of malignant hypertension overproduction of Angiotensin-II by the contracting mesangial cells aggravated hypercellularity and apoptosis of adjacent cell populations.

For the analyses of target gene expression in the CaCo-2 cells wi

For the analyses of target gene expression in the CaCo-2 cells with quantitative RT–PCR, total RNA was isolated (Sigma), reverse transcription was performed with added DNAse treatment, and qPCR analyses were performed

as described above for biopsy samples. Markers of apoptosis were bcl-2 (Hs00608023_m1) and BAX (Hs00180269_m1). Ribosomal 18 s RNA was used as an endogenous control (Hs99999901_s1). The data analysis was performed with SPAW statistics version 17·0 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chigaco, IL, USA) and GraphPad prism software (San Diego, CA, USA). For comparisons between the groups, the non-parametric Kruskal–Wallis test and Mann–Whitney U-test were used. The Spearman’s rank correlation test was applied to analyse correlations between different parameters. P-values < 0·05 were considered significant. The Ethics Trametinib nmr Committee of the Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland and the Regional Ethics Committee for Human Research at the University Hospital of Linköping, Sweden approved the study plans and written informed consent was obtained from parents and children. The results of the immunohistochemistry and qPCR analyses of the small intestinal biopsies from the Finnish study population consisting of children with untreated CD, children with T1D and reference children are shown in Fig. 1. The expression of IL-17-positive cells and IL-17-specific

mRNA levels differed significantly between the groups (P = 0·029 and P < 0·001, respectively, Kruskal–Wallis test). The density of intestinal IL-17-positive cells was Tacrolimus (FK506) increased in untreated CD https://www.selleckchem.com/products/Erlotinib-Hydrochloride.html compared to the T1D patients (P = 0·039, Mann–Whitney U-test) (Fig. 1a). Additionally, the IL-17 mRNA level was higher in untreated CD than in subjects with T1D or reference children (P < 0·001 for both comparisons, Mann–Whitney U-test) (Fig. 1b). In T1D, no difference in the number of IL-17-positive cells or transcripts was seen in comparison to the reference children. In children with untreated CD the expression of IL-17-positive cells correlated positively with the IL-17 mRNA

expression levels (R = 0·444; P = 0·111, Spearman), whereas no such correlation was seen in the reference group (R = −0·247; P = 0·555, Spearman) or in children with T1D (R = −0·104; P = 0·775, Spearman). The number of FoxP3-positive cells and FoxP3-specific mRNA differed significantly between the groups (P = 0·003 and P = 0·008, respectively, Kruskal–Wallis test) (Fig. 1c,d). Increased numbers of FoxP3-positive cells were found in untreated CD when compared to T1D and reference children (P = 0·003 and P = 0·006, respectively, Mann–Whitney U-test) (Fig. 1c). Additionally, untreated CD had higher FoxP3 mRNA levels than subjects with T1D and reference children (P = 0·007 and P = 0·015, respectively, Mann–Whitney U-test) (Fig. 1d).

Part of the work presented here was supported by a grant from the

Part of the work presented here was supported by a grant from the University of Saarland Medical Faculty (Homfor, to I.J.) and from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF) (grant #01 KI 07103 Skin Staph to M.H.). “
“Chaperone production is an essential step for proper folding of certain proteins. Accumulation of misfolded/unfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen triggers a signalling pathway named unfolded protein response (UPR). Upon activation,

the UPR pathway AZD1208 in vivo augments transcription of ER chaperones increasing protein folding, decreases protein translation to ameliorate the ER overload, increases protein degradation, and activates the apoptotic programme if all previous measures fail. In this review, we will cover the chaperones involved in folding of proteins related to the immune response, followed by an overview of the UPR pathway. Lastly, we will discuss data from this last decade that demonstrate how the improper Selleckchem Daporinad activation of the UPR pathway has been uncovered as a mechanism responsible for failure to mount a proper immune response, both innate

and adaptive. The accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), followed by inability of the cell to cope with this excessive protein load defines the ER stress. The unfolded protein response (UPR) corresponds to the signalling pathway that cells have evolved in order to trigger those mechanisms that aim at properly folding and exporting intra-luminal protein load. This aim is achieved by means of (1) induction of molecular chaperones to increase the rate of protein folding; (2) attenuation of protein translation; (3) increased degradation of misfolded proteins; and ultimately, when all previous fail; (4) activation of apoptotic pathways for cell termination. In this review, we will cover some aspects of immunity-related proteins folding, followed by an overview of the activation and regulation steps of the UPR pathway. Lastly, we will describe the scenarios known so far in which improper protein folding was uncovered as a mechanism responsible for failure of a proper immune response. Loperamide This review will focus specifically in immune responses from the innate

system and B cells, so far characterized as being most sensitive to failure of activation of the UPR pathway. Chaperone production is an essential step for proper folding of certain proteins. ER chaperones bind to unfolded polypeptide chains while they are being synthesized, preventing them from aggregating and becoming non-functional. Some chaperones are important for proper assembly of macromolecular structures, as immunoglobulins, for example. Chaperones assist the folding and assembly of several macromolecules but are not components of the final structure. Chaperones are divided into three groups: chaperones of the heat-shock family, chaperone lectins, and substrate-specific chaperones (for an extensive review on chaperone classification see [1]).

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic regulators that are

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic regulators that are involved in the maintenance of repressive chromatin states during development 52–59. The Hox genes were their most studied targets for many years, but more recent studies have revealed additional targets, most of them are regulators of development 60–65. We have previously demonstrated unusual binding pattern DAPT molecular weight of PcG proteins at the signature cytokine genes

in Th1 and Th2 cells; PcG proteins were associated with Ifng promoter in Th1 cells and Il4 promoter in Th2 cells in correlation with gene expression 66. PcG proteins form two major complexes: PcG repressive complex 1 (PRC1), which contains the core proteins Bmi-1, Mel-18, M33, Ring1A and Ring1B, and PRC2, with the core proteins Suz12, Ezh2 and Eed. Ring1B is histone H2A ubiquitin E3 ligase and Ezh2 is histone methyltransferase of H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27me3) 67–70. Here we show that Mel-18 and Ezh2, representatives of two PRCs, positively regulate Il17a and Il17f expression following restimulation of differentiated Th17 cells. They were associated more strongly with the Il17a promoter than with Il4 or Ifng promoters. The binding of Mel-18 at the Il17a promoter was induced by signaling pathways downstream to the TCR; however, continuous presence of TGF-β was necessary to maintain Il17a gene expression and Mel-18 binding Erastin research buy activity 18 h following restimulation.

In contrast, the binding activity of Ezh2 18 h following restimulation was TGF-β independent. The binding activity of Mel-18 at the Il17a promoter was also correlated with the binding of RORγt. All together our results show that PcG proteins support, possibly directly, the expression of Il17a in Th17 cells. However, they also possess distinct functions, and in accordance with that their recruitment can be differentially regulated. The regulation of the binding activity of Mel-18 integrates signaling pathways downstream to the TCR and TGF-β. In order to determine how

general the phenomenon of selective association of PcG proteins is with promoters Regorafenib mw of active cytokine genes in differentiated Th cells, we assessed the binding pattern of Mel-18 and Ezh2 at the Il17a promoter in Th17 cells. Freshly isolated CD4+ T cells were differentiated for 5 days under Th17-skewing conditions, verified by the high amounts of Il17a and Il17f mRNAs and low amounts of Ifng and Il4 mRNAs following restimulation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies in comparison to their expression levels in Th1 and Th2 cells (Fig. 1A). The expression levels of Mel-18 and Ezh2 mRNAs were significantly increased in developing Th17 cells, peaking around the second day and then maintained at lower levels (Fig. 1B). Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay we found that Mel-18 and Ezh2 were bound to the Il17a promoter following PMA and ionomycin stimulation.

Since innate immune responses in particular differ between mice a

Since innate immune responses in particular differ between mice and humans, these responses should be investigated more intensively after viral infection of mice with reconstituted human immune system components. Two bacterial pathogens in particular have been explored in mice with reconstituted human immune system components, namely Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Salmonella enterica

Typhi (S. Typhi), the etiological agents of tuberculosis and typhoid fever, respectively (Table 1). Intranasal Mtb infection led to lung granuloma formation in mice with reconstituted human immune system components [79, 80]. These granulomas were quite similar to granulomas of tuberculosis patients in that they were comprised of human giant cells and macrophages in a necrotic core, surrounded Daporinad by human T cells and encapsulated by a fibrotic response. Mouse leukocytes of the NSG hosts were sparse in these granulomas and restricted to the periphery. Moreover, no granulomas were observed in nonreconstituted

mice. Apart from Mtb, i.p. or i.v. injection of S. Typhi established this infection in reconstituted, but not BRG or NSG mice without reconstitution [81-83]. Infection was documented by colony-forming units (cfu) in the spleen, liver, BM, gall bladder, and blood. Mutant S. Typhi strains were also explored in this setting, and a strain that was avirulent in human volunteers replicated to lower cfu levels, while a typhoid toxin mutant showed increased infection. Therefore, both Mtb and S. Typhi infections can be explored in ice with reconstituted human immune system components. Interestingly, while the reported S. Typhi Selleck SRT1720 immune response was only analyzed for bacteria-specific antibody responses of an undefined isotype in a subset of mice (25%) [81], the CD4+ T-cell responses to Mtb infection seemed to serve an unexpected purpose [79]. CD4+ T-cell depletion compromised Vitamin B12 granuloma formation and

this diminished bacterial load [79]. In contrast, TNF neutralization preserved granuloma formation and diminished Mtb load. These data suggest that granulomas promote Mtb replication and TNF mediates protective functions, which are independent of granuloma formation. These studies mark the beginning of investigations of antibacterial immune responses in mice with human immune system components. The limited information that has been generated thus far already leads to a better understanding of bacterial pathogenesis in humans and allows exploring mutants as vaccine candidates to elicit immune responses in this preclinical model of human immune responses. Born out of the need for new in vivo models for infection with human pathogens and the immune responses raised against them, which might be better translatable to human patients than the classical animal models, mice with reconstituted human immune system components are increasingly being explored.

To determine whether PCs secreting IgG to dsDNA and nucleolin mak

To determine whether PCs secreting IgG to dsDNA and nucleolin make up the majority of IgG-secreting cells in nephritic kidneys, we analyzed IWR-1 the total numbers of IgG-secreting cells and the numbers of cells secreting IgG antibodies to dsDNA and nucleolin. ELISPOT with single cell suspension from >30-wk-old female NZB/W F1 mice displaying high titers of anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and proteinuria resulted in significantly increased numbers of infiltrating IgG-secreting cells in their inflamed kidneys when compared to young healthy NZB/W F1 and to non-autoimmune C57BL/6 mice (Fig. 2A).

Most importantly, a large fraction of autoreactive cells produced antibodies reacting with dsDNA (31%) and/or

nucleolin (24%) (Figs. 2B, C and 3B). Hence, autoantibodies, especially anti-dsDNA antibodies involved in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis, are produced within the inflamed organ. Previous experiments revealed enriched anti-dsDNA antibodies after elution of immunoglobulins from glomeruli, we now demonstrate the existence and disease-dependent appearance of these presumably pathogenic ASCs in the renal tissue of lupus mice 16. Similar to our results, Espeli et al. recently identified anti-dsDNA secreting cells in inflamed kidneys of NZB/W F1 mice. However, they neither analyzed additional autoantigens such as nucleolin nor compared frequencies Hydroxychloroquine in vitro of autoreactive PCs in kidneys with their frequencies in

spleen and BM 13. Our results suggest that, in addition to circulating anti-dsDNA IgG produced elsewhere, IgG antibodies produced by PCs that have infiltrated inflamed kidneys also contribute to lupus nephritis. Possibly, the absence of autoantibody production with high local antibody concentrations within kidneys could account for the variable or mild nephritogenicity of certain transferred anti-dsDNA antibodies in mouse models 17. However, the pathogenic Histamine H2 receptor relevance of in situ production of autoantibodies yet needs to be determined. Next, we compared the total cell numbers and relative frequencies of cells secreting IgG, anti-dsDNA-IgG and anti-nucleolin-IgG in nephritic kidneys with their frequencies in the spleen and femoral BM (Fig. 3A and B). Interestingly, the percentage of autoreactive PCs within the population of all IgG-secreting cells was increased in the nephritic kidneys of lupus mice with advanced disease compared to spleen and BM (Fig. 3B). Furthermore, a comparison of antigen-specific PCs within each individual mouse seems to indicate that a low frequency of splenic auto-ASCs correlated with an increased frequency within the kidneys and vice versa. Although a preferential migration of autoreactive PCs from the spleen into the inflamed kidneys might explain these findings, this model lacks experimental evidence.

The factors that trigger EC apoptosis in PAH remain unclear Auto

The factors that trigger EC apoptosis in PAH remain unclear. Autoimmune factors may be among them [12, 30]. Recently, we reported that the majority of PAH patients have circulating AECA specifically targeting cell surface antigens of ECs [13]. To study the specificity of AECA towards ECs in our study we determined the reactivity

of our patients’ sera towards human fibroblasts by means of a cyto-ELISA with unfixed normal human dermal fibroblast (NHDF). The sera of the AECA-positive PAH patients did not show any reactivity towards NHDF compared to the sera of the healthy controls (data not shown). We also demonstrated that IgG from AECA-positive patients with SLE nephritis induce EC apoptosis in vitro by a mechanism as yet unknown [18]. In avian SSc, AECA have been shown to induce Sirolimus nmr EC apoptosis, which is considered a primary pathogenic event in SSc [31]. However, conflicting data have been published concerning the mechanisms by which AECA exert EC apoptosis in human SSc [17, 32]. AECA in SSc have find more been shown to directly induce

apoptosis [17]. Alternatively, EC apoptosis may be induced by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) [32]. Irrespective of the mechanism, AECA have been shown to exert pro-apoptotic activity on ECs. Hence we hypothesized that AECA could be the trigger leading to the development of PAH by inducing EC apoptosis which subsequently activates a cascade culminating in EC proliferation. In the present study we demonstrate, surprisingly, that in contrast to IgG from AECA-positive

SLE patients the IgG from AECA-positive PAH patients do not induce apoptosis of EC. We confirmed this finding by employing three different methods, of which the RT–CES™ technology is a new method, to measure cell viability by high-throughput screening [28]. The lack of apoptosis-inducing activity of purified IgG from AECA-positive PAH patients suggests that other circulating factors may trigger EC apoptosis. Kahaleh et al. suggested serum-mediated PDK4 endothelial injury and demonstrated the presence of granular enzymes (granzymes) in sera of SSc patients [33]. Granzymes gain access to the cells following cellular membrane damage by perforin [34]. We tested sera from PAH patients on their ability to induce EC apoptosis in vitro to assess whether serum factors other than IgG could induce EC apoptosis. However, none of the tested sera from AECA-positive PAH expressed EC apoptosis-inducing activity (data not shown). ADCC is another proposed mechanism of EC apoptosis in SSc [32]. This mechanism of EC apoptosis requires antibodies and appropriate effector cells. Sgonc et al. found activated natural killer (NK) cells to be absolutely necessary for the AECA-dependent apoptosis induction in EC cultures [32]. In the present study we did not address this mechanism of EC apoptosis in PAH.

Naïve perforin-deficient BALB/c mice survive while vaccinated PKO

Naïve perforin-deficient BALB/c mice survive while vaccinated PKO mice containing virus-specific memory CD8+ T cells rapidly

succumb to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection. Thus, vaccination converts a nonlethal persistent infection into a fatal disease mediated by virus-specific memory CD8+ T cells. Here, we determine the extent to which vaccination-induced mortality in PKO mice following LCMV challenge is due to differences in vaccine modalities, the quantity or epitope specificity of memory CD8+ T cells. We show that LCMV-induced mortality in immune PKO mice is independent of vaccine modalities and that the starting number of memory CD8+ T cells specific to the immunodominant epitope NP118-126 dictates the magnitude of secondary CD8+ T-cell p38 MAPK activity expansion, the inability to regulate production of CD8+ T-cell-derived IFN-γ,

and mortality in the vaccinated PKO mice. Alisertib Importantly, mortality is determined by the epitope specificity of memory CD8+ T cells and the associated degree of functional exhaustion and cytokine dysregulation but not the absolute magnitude of CD8+ T-cell expansion. These data suggest that deeper understanding of the parameters that influence the outcome of vaccine-induced diseases would aid rational vaccine design to minimize adverse outcomes after infection. Following infection or immunization, Ag-specific CD8+ T cells undergo vigorous expansion in numbers and differentiation into effector cells [[1-6]] that are capable of perforin-dependent cytolysis and production of cytokines such as IFN-γ and TNF [[7]]. Tight Janus kinase (JAK) regulation of cytolysis and cytokine production by effector and memory CD8+ T cells is thought to minimize immunopathology [[8]]. CD8+ T-cell responses to infection can be associated with lethal immunopathology

as evidenced by uniform, perforin-dependent mortality after intracranial injection of mice with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) [[9, 10]]. In addition to its cytotoxic function in the granule exocytosis effector pathway in CD8+ T cells and NK cells [[11]], perforin has also been shown to regulate other aspects of the Ag-specific CD8+ T-cell response, including the degree of proliferative expansion in a bacterial infection [[12]], exhaustion in chronic viral infection [[13, 14]], and survival of CD8+ T cells in models of graft-versus-host disease [[15]]. However, the precise role of perforin in regulating these aspects of the CD8+ T-cell response is still unclear. In particular, the role of perforin in regulating the secondary CD8+ T-cell response to infection has not been well characterized. Additionally, perforin-deficient (PKO) mice serve as a clinically relevant model for the human disease, familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL) [[16-19]].

Mouse splenocytes were stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate

Mouse splenocytes were stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)/ionomycin

for 3–6 h and processed through the mouse IL-17 secretion assay detection kit. Cells were isolated by MiniMACS magnet and two consecutive MS columns and stained with CD154 antibodies (human only) and appropriate phenotyping click here markers. Cells cultured into lines (see Rauser et al. [9] for method) were also stained with HLA-restricted tetramers for various CMV pp65 peptides in addition to phenotyping antibodies. Flow cytometry was carried out using BD FACS Calibur and Miltenyi Biotec MACSQuant analysers. Human IL-17-producing cells were detected readily following 3 h Cytostim stimulation, typically forming 0·1% of viable T cells (Fig. 2a). The production of IL-17 was found only in CD154+ activated T cells, and confined almost exclusively to the CD4 subset (Fig. 2a). IL-17 was produced by 0·04–2% of human CD4 T cells (n = 21), thus there was a large amount of donor

variability. In accordance with previously reported in vitro-generated IL-17-producing LY2109761 T cells lines [10], IL-17-producing cells in PBMC were >90% positive for the C-type lectin-like receptor CD161 (Fig. 2b). Human IL-17-secreting cells could be isolated readily from Cytostim-stimulated PBMC and enriched to very high purities of more than 90% (Fig. 2a). Such isolated cells are excellent for determining the ‘natural’ delineation of immune responses, and cells co-processed with IL-17 and

IL-2 or IFN-γ secretion assays neatly illustrate the separation of Th1 and Th17 responses with mutually exclusive production of IFN-γ and IL-17 (Fig. 2c). Conversely, three populations of cells were seen when co-processed with IL-2 with a distinct IL-2+ IL-17+ population (Fig. 2c). In stark contrast to human cells, IL-17 was made by Liothyronine Sodium multiple different cell types in mouse spleen (BALB/c) – CD4+, CD8+, γ/δ TCR+ and natural killer (NK) T cells (Fig. 3a). IL-17 formed a major part of the cytokine responses of γ/δ and NK T cells at 18·8% and 6·4%, respectively. The peak levels of mouse IL-17 secretion were reached extremely quickly, with maximal numbers of IL-17 producing CD4+ T cells and maximum mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of cytokine produced by 3–4 h (Fig. 3b). The kinetics of IL-17 production and amount of cytokine produced vary markedly from mouse strain to strain and this should be checked before embarking on a study. The housing conditions of the mice are also important; for example, specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice make no detectable IL-17 (data not shown). One of the few well-defined antigen-specific Th17 responses in humans is against C. albicans[11]. Although Candida-specific T cells are relatively rare – typically, <0·04% of CD4+ cells make IL-17 when stimulated with Candida lysate (Fig. 4) – it was possible to enrich these cells easily to >84% purity (Fig. 4).

1b) The lungs were washed by cannulating the

1b). The lungs were washed by cannulating the Ibrutinib trachea and gently injecting/recovering (3×) 1·0 ml of PBS. The bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) was centrifuged at 300 g at 4°C for 5 min and the supernatants were stored at −20°C for cytokine analysis. The cell pellet was resuspended in 0·1 ml of 3% bovine serum albumin (BSA) and cells counted using a haemocytometer. The cells were then cytocentrifuged and stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) for differential

counting based on cell morphology and staining patterns. The means of three independent counts of 100 cells in a randomized field were shown. Following bronchoalveolar lavage, the lungs were fixed with formalin. Serial sagittal sections of whole lung (3–4 µm Selleck Vemurafenib thick) were cut and stained with Gomori trichome for light microscopy. At least 10 fields were selected randomly and examined. The severity of the inflammatory process in the lungs was scored by two pathologists who were blinded to group identity. The scale varied from 0 to 5 as follows: 0, no inflammation, 1, minimal; 2, mild; 3,

medium; 4, moderate; and 5, marked [35,36]. The EPO assay was performed as described previously [37]. Briefly, a 100-mg sample of tissue from each lung was homogenized in 1·9 ml of PBS and centrifuged at 12 000 g for 10 min. The supernatant was discarded and the erythrocytes were lysed. The samples were centrifuged, the supernatant discarded and the pellet resuspended in 1·9 ml of 0·5% hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide in PBS saline. The samples were frozen in liquid nitrogen and centrifuged at 4°C at 12 000 g for 10 min. The supernatant was used for the enzymatic assay. Briefly, o-phenylenediamine (OPD) (10 mg) FER was dissolved in 5·5 ml distilled water, and then 1·5 ml of OPD solution was added to 8·5 ml of Tris buffer (pH 8·0), followed by addition of 7·5 µl H2O2. In a 96-well plate, 100 µl of substrate solution was added to 50 µl of each sample. After 30 min, the reaction was stopped with 50 µl of 1 M H2SO4 and the absorbance was read at 492 nm. Levels of IL-4, IL-5,

IL-10, TNF-α and IFN-γ were determined by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of the different groups of mice with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) sandwich technique using commercially available kits (OptEIA; BD Bioscience, San Jose, CA, USA), according to the manufacturer’s protocol. The optical density (OD) values were read at 450 nm. The results were expressed as picograms per millilitre, compared to a standard curve. The levels of OVA-specific IgE in serum were determined by ELISA, as described previously [38,39]. Briefly, Maxisorp 96-well microtitre plates (nunc, Roskilde, Denmark) were coated with rat anti-mouse unlabelled IgE (1 : 250; Southern Biotechnology, AL, USA) in pH 9·6 carbonate-bicarbonate buffer for 12–16 h at 4°C and then blocked for 1 h at room temperature with 200 µl/well of 0·25% PBS-casein.