A Comprehensive Evaluation of Nasal and Bronchial Cytokines and Chemokines Following Experimental Rhinovirus Infection in Allergic Asthma: Increased Interferons (IFN-γ and IFN-λ) and Type 2 Inflammation (IL-5 and IL-13).

04 Jul 2018

BACKGROUND: Rhinovirus infection is a major cause of asthma exacerbations. OBJECTIVES: We studied nasal and bronchial mucosal inflammatory responses during experimental rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbations. METHODS: We used nasosorption on days 0, 2-5 and 7 and bronchosorption at baseline and day 4 to sample mucosal lining fluid to investigate airway mucosal responses to rhinovirus infection in patients with allergic asthma (n=28) and healthy non-atopic controls (n=11), by using a synthetic absorptive matrix and measuring levels of 34 cytokines and chemokines using a sensitive multiplex assay. RESULTS: Following rhinovirus infection asthmatics developed more upper and lower respiratory symptoms and lower peak expiratory flows compared to controls (all P<0.05). Asthmatics also developed higher nasal lining fluid levels of an anti-viral pathway (including IFN-γ, IFN-λ/IL-29, CXCL11/ITAC, CXCL10/IP10 and IL-15) and a type 2 inflammatory pathway (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, CCL17/TARC, CCL11/eotaxin, CCL26/eotaxin-3) (area under curve day 0-7, all P<0.05). Nasal IL-5 and IL-13 were higher in asthmatics at day 0 (P<0.01) and levels increased by days 3 and 4 (P<0.01). A hierarchical correlation matrix of 24 nasal lining fluid cytokine and chemokine levels over 7days demonstrated expression of distinct interferon-related and type 2 pathways in asthmatics. In asthmatics IFN-γ, CXCL10/IP10, CXCL11/ITAC, IL-15 and IL-5 increased in bronchial lining fluid following viral infection (all P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Precision sampling of mucosal lining fluid identifies robust interferon and type 2 responses in the upper and lower airways of asthmatics during an asthma exacerbation. Nasosorption and bronchosorption have potential to define asthma endotypes in stable disease and at exacerbation.