Ocular surface diseases, including conjunctivitis, are recognized as common comorbidities in atopic dermatitis (AD) and occur at an increased frequency in patients with AD treated with biologics targeting IL-4 receptor α (IL-4Rα) or IL-13. However, the inflammatory mechanisms underlying this pathology are unknown. Here, we developed a potentially novel mouse model of skin inflammation–evoked conjunctivitis and showed that it is dependent on CD4+ T cells and basophils. Blockade of IL-4Rα partially attenuated conjunctivitis development, downregulated basophil activation, and led to a reduction in expression of genes related to type 2 cytokine responses. Together, these data suggest that an IL-4Rα/basophil axis plays a role in the development of murine allergic conjunctivitis. Interestingly, we found a significant augmentation of a number of genes that encode tear proteins and enzymes in anti–IL-4Rα–treated mice, and it may underlie the partial efficacy in this model and may represent candidate mediators of the increased frequency of conjunctivitis following dupilumab in patients with AD.
Hongwei Han, Sheila Cummings, Kai-Ting C. Shade, Jennifer Johnson, George Qian, Joseph Gans, Srinivas Shankara, Javier Escobedo, Erik Zarazinski, Renee Bodinizzo, Dinesh Bangari, Paul Bryce, Alexandra Hicks