Bronchial epithelial injury in the context of alloimmunity promotes lymphocytic bronchiolitis through hyaluronan expression.
Epithelial injury is often detected in lung allografts, however, its relation to rejection pathogenesis is unknown. We hypothesized that sterile epithelial injury can lead to alloimmune activation in the lung. We performed adoptive transfer of mismatched splenocytes into recombinant activating gene 1 (Rag1)-deficient mice to induce an alloimmune status and then exposed these mice to naphthalene to induce sterile epithelial injury. We evaluated lungs for presence of alloimmune lung injury, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and hyaluronan expression, examined the effect of ER stress induction on hyaluronan expression and lymphocyte trapping by bronchial epithelia in vitro, and examined airways from patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and normal controls histologically. We found that Rag1-deficient mice that received mismatched splenocytes and naphthalene injection displayed bronchial epithelial ER stress, peribronchial hyaluronan expression, and lymphocytic bronchitis. Bronchial epithelial ER stress led to the expression of lymphocyte-trapping hyaluronan cables in vitro. Blockade of hyaluronan binding ameliorated naphthalene-induced lymphocytic bronchitis. ER stress was present histologically in >40% of bronchial epithelia of BOS patients and associated with subepithelial hyaluronan deposition. We conclude that sterile bronchial epithelial injury in the context of alloimmunity can lead to sustained ER stress and promote allograft rejection through hyaluronan expression.
Stober, VP; Szczesniak, C; Childress, Q; Heise, RL; Bortner, C; Hollingsworth, JW; Neuringer, IP; Palmer, SM; Garantziotis, S
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