Characterization of CD19+ CD23+ B2 Lymphocytes in the Allergic Airways of BALB/c Mice in Response to the Inhalation of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia§

Sumit Ghosh*, Scott A. Hoselton, Jane M. Schuh
Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA.

© 2011 Ghosh et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA; Tel: 701-231-8289; Fax: 701-231-9692; E-mail:
§ The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of North Dakota State University


Fungal sensitization in patients with asthma often indicates an unusual disease course in which traditional asthma treatments have little effect and in which morbidity is particularly severe. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), inflammatory infiltrates, smooth muscle hyperplasia, and irreversible fibrotic remodeling of the bronchial architecture are features of allergic fungal asthma. The systemic production of IgE has long been associated with the immunopathogenesis of allergic asthma; however, the role of B lymphocytes and their products in the response to fungal allergens remains unclear. In the present study, we hypothesize that B lymphocytes are recruited to the allergic lung to impact the allergic response. Using a murine fungal aeroallergen model to mimic the human syndrome, we characterized the B cell population in the lung after fungal challenge and found that CD19+CD23+ B2 lymphocyte numbers are increased in the allergic lung in a dynamic process. IgA, IgG2a, and IgE were prominent in the serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of allergic animals. It was evident that a tissue-centric production of these antibodies was possible. IgA-, IgG-, and IgEproducing cells from the allergic lung were identified by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. This study shows for the first time that CD19+CD23+ B2 lymphocyte numbers change in the lung in a dynamic process after inhalation of fungal conidia and their increase has a significant impact on the Ab production in the pulmonary compartment in the context of fungal allergy.

Keywords: Fungal Asthma, Murine Model, Ab Production, B Lymphocytes.