Background: Dendritic cells (DC) play a decisive role in the induction of allergen-induced Th1 and Th2 responses. Since the induction of allergen-specific Th1 responses has shown to inhibit allergen-induced Th2-type inflammation, in this study we investigated whether manipulated myeloid-derived DC pulsed with the specific allergen would predominantly induce allergen-specific Th1 responses thereby reducing the development of Th2 responses. Methods: Murine bone marrow (BM)-DC were generated and pulsed with ovalbumin (OVA) and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN). Langerhans cells (LC) were also isolated and pulsed in vitro with OVA. Subsequently, mice were vaccinated intravenously with either CpG/OVA-pulsed BM-DC or OVA-pulsed LC, and the protocol to induce OVA-specific Th2 responses using OVA/alum sensitization was initiated. Airway inflammation and OVA-specific serum antibody levels were evaluated 6 days after the intranasal challenge with OVA. Results: The application ofCpG/OVA-pulsed BM-DC was unable to reduce airway eosinophilia and inflammation in OVA/alum-immunized mice. OVA-specific IgG1 or IgE serum levels were also not reduced. The experiments using LC pulsed with OVA yielded similar results. However, mice vaccinated with CpG/OVA-pulsed BM-DC had greatly enhanced levels of serum OVA-specific IgG2a, suggesting the induction of allergen-specific Th1 responses in vivo. Moreover, allergen-induced mast cell degranulation was decreased using this approach. Conclusions: Taken together, our results demonstrated that the vaccination with OVA-pulsed BM-DC matured with CpG-ODN or OVA-pulsed LC did not result in a reduction in allergen-specific Th2 responses in a murine model of severe atopic asthma. Other DC-based vaccination strategies should be evaluated in order to prevent the development of allergic disorders.

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