Pulmonary mast cell progenitor (MCp) numbers increase dramatically in sensitized and aerosolized Ag-challenged mice. This increase depends on CD4(+) T cells, as no MCp increase occurs in the lungs of sensitized wild-type (WT) mice after mAb depletion of CD4(+) but not CD8(+) cells before aerosol Ag challenge. Neither the genetic absence of IL-4, IL-4Ralpha chain, STAT-6, IFN-gamma, or IL-12p40 nor mAb blockade of IFN-gamma, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-12p40, or IL-12p40Rbeta1 before Ag challenge in WT mice reduces the pulmonary MCp increase. However, sensitized and Ag-challenged IL-9-deficient mice and sensitized WT mice given mAb to IL-9 just before Ag challenge show significant reductions in elicited lung MCp/10(6) mononuclear cells of 47 and 66%, respectively. CD1d-deficient mice and WT mice receiving anti-CD1d before Ag challenge also show significant reductions of 65 and 59%, respectively, in elicited lung MCp/10(6) mononuclear cells, revealing an additional requirement for MCp recruitment. However, in Jalpha18-deficient mice, which lack only type 1 or invariant NKT cells, the increase in the numbers of lung MCp with Ag challenge was intact, indicating that their recruitment must be mediated by type 2 NKT cells. Furthermore, anti-CD1d treatment of IL-9-deficient mice or anti-IL-9 treatment of CD1d-deficient mice does not further reduce the significant partial impairment of MCp recruitment occurring with a single deficiency. These findings implicate type 2 NKT cells and IL-9 as central regulators that function in the same pathway mediating the Ag-induced increase in numbers of pulmonary MCp.
2009. Vol. 183, no 8, 5251-5260 p.