Synergy between dexamethasone and interleukin-5 for the induction of major histocompatability complex class II expression by human peripheral blood eosinophils

Laura Guida, Robyn E. O'Hehir, Catherine M. Hawrylowicz

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The hematopoietic growth factors interleukin-3 (IL-3), IL-5, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) regulate the survival, maturation, and activation of eosinophils. Corticosteroids in contrast have a negative effect both on the hematopoietic process and the function of eosinophils. We have unexpectedly observed synergy between IL-5 and glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone and hydrocortisone for induction of the MHC class II antigens HLA-DR and HLA-DP on eosinophils isolated from human blood. Similarly glucocorticoids enhanced GM-CSF and IL-3, but not interferon γ (IFNγ), induced expression of these antigens. Expression of a third MHC class II molecule, HLA-DQ, was not induced on eosinophils by any of the cytokines alone, but in one of three donors tested, IL-3 plus dexamethasone induced high levels of expression. Although cytokineinduced expression of the accessory molecule intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) was partially inhibited by glucocorticoids, cytokine- and dexamethasone-treated eosinophils presented antigen more efficiently to a hemagglutinin peptide-specific T-cell clone than eosinophils treated with cytokine alone. These results highlight a potential new role for endogenous or exogenous glucocorticoid hormones in enhancing MHC class II expression by eosinophils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2733-2740
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes

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