Mice deficient in the St3gal3 gene product α2,3 sialyltransferase (ST3Gal-III) exhibit enhanced allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation

Takumi Kiwamoto, Mary E. Brummet, Fan Wu, Mary G. Motari, David F. Smith, Ronald L. Schnaar, Zhou Zhu, Bruce S. Bochner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec)-F is a proapoptotic receptor on mouse eosinophils, but little is known about its natural tissue ligand. Objective We previously reported that the St3gal3 gene product α2,3 sialyltransferase (ST3Gal-III) is required for constitutive Siglec-F lung ligand synthesis. We therefore hypothesized that attenuation of ST3Gal-III will decrease Siglec-F ligand levels and enhance allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation. Methods C57BL/6 wild-type mice and St3gal3 heterozygous or homozygous deficient (St3gal3+/- and St3gal3 -/-) mice were used. Eosinophilic airway inflammation was induced through sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) and repeated airway OVA challenge. Siglec-F human IgG1 fusion protein (Siglec-F-Fc) was used to detect Siglec-F ligands. Lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were analyzed for inflammation, as well as various cytokines and chemokines. Serum was analyzed for allergen-specific immunoglobulin levels. Results Western blotting with Siglec-F-Fc detected approximately 500-kDa and approximately 200-kDa candidate Siglec-F ligands that were less abundant in St3gal3 +/- lung extracts and nearly absent in St3gal3-/- lung extracts. After OVA sensitization and challenge, Siglec-F ligands were increased in wild-type mouse lungs but less so in St3gal3 mutants, whereas peribronchial and BALF eosinophil numbers were greater in the mutants, with the following rank order: St3gal3-/- ≥ St3gal3+/- > wild-type mice. Levels of various cytokines and chemokines in BALF were not significantly different among these 3 types of mice, although OVA-specific serum IgG 1 levels were increased in St3gal3-/- mice. Conclusions After OVA sensitization and challenge, St3gal3+/- and St3gal3 -/- mice have more intense allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation and less sialylated Siglec-F ligands in their airways. One possible explanation for these findings is that levels of sialylated airway ligands for Siglec-F might be diminished in mice with attenuated levels of ST3Gal-III, resulting in a reduction in a natural proapoptotic pathway for controlling airway eosinophilia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247.e3
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • 6′-sulfated sialyl Lewis X
  • 6′-sulfated sialyl N-acetyl-D-lactosamine
  • Eosinophils
  • Siglec-F
  • St3gal3
  • apoptosis
  • asthma
  • glycan ligands
  • lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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