• Frontline Science: Shh production and Gli signaling is activated in vivo in lung, enhancing the Th2 response during a murine model of allergic asthma

      Standing, Ariane S.I.; Yánez, Diane C.; Ross, Rosie; Crompton, Tessa; Furmanski, Anna L.; University of Bedfordshire (Society for Leukocyte Biology, 2017-02-24)
      The pathophysiology of allergic asthma is driven by T-helper 2 (Th2) immune responses following aeroallergen inhalation. The mechanisms that initiate, potentiate and regulate airways allergy are incompletely characterized. We have previously shown that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling to T-cells, via downstream Gli transcription factors, enhances T-cell conversion to a Th2 phenotype. Here, we show for the first time that Gli-dependent transcription is activated in T-cells in vivo during murine allergic airways disease (AAD) a model for the immunopathology of asthma; and that genetic repression of Gli signaling in Tcells decreases the differentiation and/or recruitment of Th2 cells to the lung. We report that T-cells are not the only cells capable of expressing activated Gli during AAD. A substantial proportion of eosinophils and lung epithelial cells, both central mediators of the immunopathology of asthma, are also able to undergo Hh/Gli signaling. Finally, we show that Shh increases Il4 expression in eosinophils. We therefore propose that Hh signaling during AAD is complex, involving multiple cell types, signaling in an auto- or paracrine fashion. Improved understanding of the role of this major morphogenetic pathway in asthma may give rise to new drug targets for this chronic condition.