Intraepithelial neutrophils in pediatric severe asthma are associated with better lung function

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


BACKGROUND: Neutrophils and IL-17A have been linked mechanistically in models of allergic airways disease and have been associated with asthma severity. However, their role in pediatric asthma is unknown.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to investigate the role of neutrophils and the IL-17A pathway in mediating pediatric severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA).

METHODS: Children with STRA (n = 51; age, 12.6 years; range, 6-16.3 years) and controls without asthma (n = 15; age, 4.75 years; range, 1.6-16 years) underwent clinically indicated fiberoptic bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), endobronchial brushings, and biopsy. Neutrophils, IL-17A, and IL-17RA-expressing cells and levels of IL-17A and IL-22 were quantified in BAL and biopsies and related to clinical features. Primary bronchial epithelial cells were stimulated with IL-17A and/or IL-22, with and without budesonide.

RESULTS: Children with STRA had increased intraepithelial neutrophils, which positively correlated with FEV1 %predicted (r = 0.43; P = .008). Neutrophilhigh patients also had better symptom control, despite lower dose maintenance inhaled steroids. Submucosal neutrophils were not increased in children with STRA. Submucosal and epithelial IL-17A-positive cells and BAL IL-17A and IL-22 levels were similar in children with STRA and controls. However, there were significantly more IL-17RA-positive cells in the submucosa and epithelium in children with STRA compared with controls (P = .001). Stimulation of primary bronchial epithelial cells with IL-17A enhanced mRNA expression of IL-17RA and increased release of IL-8, even in the presence of budesonide.

CONCLUSIONS: A proportion of children with STRA exhibit increased intraepithelial airway neutrophilia that correlated with better lung function. STRA was also characterized by increased airway IL-17RA expression. These data suggest a potential beneficial rather than adverse role for neutrophils in pediatric severe asthma pathophysiology.


  • Cecilia K. Andersson
  • Alexandra Adams
  • Prasad Nagakumar
  • Cara Bossley
  • Atul Gupta
  • Daphne De Vries
  • Afiqah Adnan
  • Andrew Bush
  • Sejal Saglani
  • Clare M Lloyd
Externa organisationer
  • Imperial College London


Sidor (från-till)1819-1829.e11
TidskriftJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Utgåva nummer6
StatusPublished - 2017 jun
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa