Despite the accepted notion that granulocytes play a universally destructive role in organ and tissue grafts, it has been recently described that eosinophils can facilitate immunosuppression-mediated acceptance of murine lung allografts. The mechanism of eosinophil-mediated tolerance, or their role in regulating alloimmune responses in the absence of immunosuppression, remains unknown. Using lung transplants in a fully MHC-mismatched BALB/c (H2d) to C57BL/6 (H2b) strain combination, we demonstrate that eosinophils downregulate T cell–mediated immune responses and play a tolerogenic role even in the absence of immunosuppression. We further show that such downregulation depends on PD-L1/PD-1–mediated synapse formation between eosinophils and T cells. We also demonstrate that eosinophils suppress T lymphocyte responses through the inhibition of T cell receptor/CD3 (TCR/CD3) subunit association and signal transduction in an inducible NOS–dependent manner. Increasing local eosinophil concentration, through administration of intratracheal eotaxin and IL-5, can ameliorate alloimmune responses in the lung allograft. Thus, our data indicate that eosinophil mobilization may be utilized as a novel means of lung allograft–specific immunosuppression.
Oscar Okwudiri Onyema, Yizhan Guo, Bayan Mahgoub, Qing Wang, Amir Manafi, Zhongcheng Mei, Anirban Banerjee, Dongge Li, Mark H. Stoler, Melissa T. Zaidi, Adam G. Schrum, Daniel Kreisel, Andrew E. Gelman, Elizabeth A. Jacobsen, Alexander Sasha Krupnick