Rhinovirus (RV) infections in asthmatic patients are often associated with asthma exacerbation, characterized by worsened airways hyperreactivity and increased immune cell infiltration to the airways. The C-X-C chemokines, CXCL3 and CXCL5, regulate neutrophil trafficking to the lung via CXCR2, and their expression in the asthmatic lung is associated with steroid-insensitive type 2 inflammatory signatures. Currently, the role of CXCL3 and CXCL5 in regulating neutrophilic and type 2 responses in viral-induced asthma exacerbation is unknown. Inhibition of CXCL3 or CXCL5 with silencing RNAs in a mouse model of RV-induced exacerbation of asthma attenuated the accumulation of CXCR2 neutrophils, eosinophils, and innate lymphoid cells in the lung and decreased production of type 2 regulatory factors IL-25, IL-33, IL-5, IL-13, CCL11, and CCL24. Suppression of inflammation was associated with decreased airways hyperreactivity, mucus hypersecretion, and collagen deposition. Similar results were obtained by employing RC-3095, which has been shown to bind to CXCR2, or by depletion of neutrophils. Our data demonstrate that CXCL3 and CXCL5 may be critical in the perpetuation of RV-induced exacerbation of asthma through the recruitment of CXCR2-positive neutrophils and by promoting type 2 inflammation. Targeting the CXCL3/CXCL5/CXCR2 axis may provide a new therapeutic approach to attenuating RV-induced exacerbations of asthma.
Copyright © 2020 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.