Lung interstitial macrophages (IMs) can be polarized towards an alternative activation phenotype in ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthmatic mice. However, the role of alternative activation of lung IMs in Th2 cell responses in the asthmatic murine is still unclear. Here, we leverage an anti-F4/80 treatment which has been shown to selectively deplete IMs in mice and investigate how this treatment modulates Th2 cell responses in lung and whether the modulation is dependent on lung IMs in murine models of asthma. We show that anti-F4/80 treatment alleviates Th2 cell responses in mice immunized and challenged with OVA or house dust mite (HDM). The anti-F4/80 treatment does not target lung alveolar macrophages (AMs) in OVA-induced asthmatic mice or impact the abundance of other immune cell types, including B cells, T cells, and NK cells in wild-type mice. However, this treatment does inhibit the expression of polarized markers of alternatively activated macrophages, including arginase-1, Ym-1, and Fizz-1 in the lung tissues from OVA-induced asthmatic mice. Furthermore, we find that the inhibitory effects of anti-F4/80 treatment on Th2 cell responses can be reversed upon adoptive transfer of lung IMs. Taken together, our data show that anti-F4/80 treatment attenuates Th2 cell responses, which is at least partially related to depletion of lung IMs in murine models of asthma. This suggests that targeted lung IMs may provide a potential therapeutic protocol for the treatment of asthmatics.
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