TGFβ1 mimetic peptide modulates immune response to grass pollen allergens in mice

Galber R Araujo, Lorenz Aglas, Emília R Vaz, Yoan Machado, Sara Huber, Martin Himly, Albert Duschl, Luiz R Goulart, Fatima Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) is a cytokine that exerts immunosuppressive functions, as reflected by its ability to induce regulatory T (Treg) cell differentiation and inhibit Th1 and Th2 responses. Hence, peptides that mimic the active core domain of TGFβ1 may be promising candidates for modulation of the allergic response. This study aimed to investigate a synthetic TGFβ1 mimetic peptide (TGFβ1-mim) for its ability to modulate the immune response during allergic sensitization to grass pollen allergens.

METHODS: The in vitro action of TGFβ1-mim was evaluated in human lung epithelial cells, Jurkat cells, and rat basophilic leukemia cells. The in vivo action was evaluated in a murine model of Phl p 5 allergic sensitization. Additionally, the Th2 modulatory response was evaluated in IL-4 reporter mice.

RESULTS: In vitro, TGFβ1-mim downregulated TNF-α production, IL-8 gene expression, and cytokine secretion, upregulated IL-10 secretion, and inhibited Phl p 5-induced basophil degranulation. During Phl p 5 sensitization in mice, TGFβ1-mim downregulated IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and IFN-γ, upregulated IL-10, and induced Treg cell production. Furthermore, mice treated with TGFβ1-mim had lower levels of IgE, IgG1, IgG2a and higher levels of IgA antibodies than control mice. In a reporter mouse, the mimetic inhibited Th2 polarization.

CONCLUSION: The TGFβ1-mim efficiently modulated various important events that exacerbate the allergic microenvironment, including the production of main cytokines that promote Th1 and Th2 differentiation, and the induction of allergen-specific regulatory T cells, highlighting its potential use in therapeutic approaches to modulate the immune response towards environmental allergens.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 EAACI and John Wiley and Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 303 Health Sciences

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