Background Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma, but their regulation in patients with aspirin-intolerant asthma (AIA) remains unclear. Objective We sought to characterize MDSC accumulation and pathogenic functions in allergic airway inflammation mediated by COX-1 deficiency or aspirin treatment in mice. Methods Allergic airway inflammation was induced in mice by means of ovalbumin challenge. The distribution and function of MDSCs in mice were analyzed by using flow cytometry and pharmacologic/gene manipulation approaches. Results CD11b+Gr1highLy6G+Ly6Cint MDSCs (polymorphonuclear MDSCs [PMN-MDSCs]) recruited to the lungs are negatively correlated with airway inflammation in allergen-challenged mice. Aspirin-treated and COX-1 knockout (KO) mice showed significantly lower accumulation of PMN-MDSCs in the inflamed lung and immune organs accompanied by increased TH2 airway responses. The TH2-suppressive function of PMN-MDSCs was notably impaired by COX-1 deletion or inhibition, predominantly through downregulation of arginase-1. COX-1-derived prostaglandin E2 promoted PMN-MDSC generation in bone marrow through E prostanoid 2 and 4 receptors (EP2 and EP4), whereas the impaired arginase-1 expression in PMN-MDSCs in COX-1 KO mice was mediated by dysregulation of the prostaglandin E2/EP4/cyclic AMP/protein kinase A pathway. EP4 agonist administration alleviated allergy-induced airway hyperresponsiveness in COX-1 KO mice. Moreover, the immunosuppressive function of PMN-MDSCs from patients with AIA was dramatically decreased compared with that from patients with aspirin-tolerant asthma. Conclusion The immunosuppressive activity of PMN-MDSCs was diminished in both allergen-challenged COX-1 KO mice and patients with AIA, probably through an EP4-mediated signaling pathway, indicating that activation of PMN-MDSCs might be a promising therapeutic strategy for asthma, particularly AIA.
Shi, M., Shi, G., Tang, J., Kong, D., Bao, Y., Xiao, B., … Yu, Y. (2014). Myeloid-derived suppressor cell function is diminished in aspirin-triggered allergic airway hyperresponsiveness in mice. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 134(5), 1163-1174.e16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2014.04.035