Severe asthma with fungal sensitization (SAFS) defines a subset of human asthmatics with allergy to 1 or more fungal species and difficult-To-control asthma. We have previously reported that human asthmatics sensitized to fungi have worse lung function and a higher degree of atopy, which was associated with higher IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. IL-1RA further demonstrated a significant negative association with bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Here, we show that IL-1α and IL-1β are elevated in both bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and sputum from human asthmatics sensitized to fungi, implicating an association with IL-1α, IL-1β, or IL-1RA in fungal asthma severity. In an experimental model of fungal-Associated allergic airway inflammation, we demonstrate that IL-1R1 signaling promotes type 1 (IFN, CXCL9, CXCL10) and type 17 (IL-17A, IL-22) responses that were associated with neutrophilic inflammation and increased airway hyperreactivity. Each of these were exacerbated in the absence of IL-1RA. Administration of human recombinant IL-1RA (Kineret/anakinra) during fungal-Associated allergic airway inflammation improved airway hyperreactivity and lowered type 1 and type 17 responses. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-1R1 signaling contributes to fungal asthma severity via immunopathogenic type 1 and type 17 responses and can be targeted for improving allergic asthma severity.
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