Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have evoked numerous mechanisms to subvert host innate immunity and establish a local immunosuppressive environment to facilitate persistent virus infection. Topical application of 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) was speculated to overcome this immunosuppressive environment and was employed in the immunotherapy of HPV-associated lesions. We have previously shown that DNCB treatment of skin expressing HPV16.E7 protein, the major oncogenic protein expressed in HPV-associated premalignant cervical epithelium, results in a hyperinflammatory response, with an associated induction of Th2 cytokines and infiltration of myeloid cells producing arginase-1, which also contributes to the hyperinflammation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying arginase-1 induction and arginase-mediated hyperinflammation in K14.E7 skin have not been elucidated. Here, we show that HPV16.E7 protein expression as a transgene in skin is associated with enhanced IL-17A production by macrophages exposed to DNCB. Interestingly, induction of arginase-1 by DNCB is not seen in K14.E7 animals unable to express IL-17A. Further, blockade of either IL-17A or arginase activity alleviates DNCB-induced hyperinflammation through reduced recruitment of neutrophils, as a consequence of decreased CXCL1 and CXCL5 chemokine production. Thus, our findings suggest that increased IL-17A expression by macrophages in E7-expressing skin exposed to DNCB promotes arginase-1 induction and contributes directly to the observed hyperinflammation.
- 2 4-Dinitrochlorobenzene
- Bone marrow-derived macrophages
- Human papillomavirus