OBJECTIVES: As an alternative therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections with P. aeruginosa of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, chicken yolk antibodies (IgY) could be used. The most significant advantage of IgY, in contrast to mammalian IgG, consists in the fact, that when bound to the antigen, they usually do not induce inflammatory reaction. In addition, the simplicity of egg production and the ease of IgY preparation makes this kind of antibody an excellent tool for passive immunization. Thus, the aim of our project was to study the effect of IgY and its Fab fragment on the potential induction of pro-inflammatory reactions in lung epithelial cells.
METHODS: Chicken IgY were prepared from pooled egg yolks. Fab fragmens of IgY were purified from the papain digest of IgY using DEAE-Sephacel ion exchange chromatography. Their purity was verified by SDS electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gel. Immortalized human cell lines, CuFi (CF patient) and NuLi (healthy subject), and A549 (human adenocarcinoma cells) were exposed to IgY, Fab, OVA, LPS (positive control), PBS (negative control), and human and goat IgG for 24 hours. The concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and GM-CSF were determined in cell media using the BioPlex method, which enables the quantification of multiple analytes simultaneously in one sample.
RESULTS: Our results show that i) the Fab fragment induced levels of some proinflammatory cytokines, when compared to the PBS control, whereas ii) chicken IgYs did not induce any notable production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in contrast to intense effect of LPS on TNF-α and GM-CSF. In summary, our data show that levels of all cytokines are comparable with physiological values in human serum except of IL-1β, which concentration in cell medium was markedly elevated by Fab fragment.
CONCLUSIONS: The present data indicate that IgY are not inflammatory for lung cells and thus they are possibly applicable for prevention of airway bacterial infections.