PURPOSE: Airways eosinophilia and increased IgE, characteristic features of asthma, result from a predominant Th2 response. In this study, we investigated the effect of CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) on the inhibition of airways eosinophilia in mice with established airway inflammation. We also investigated the immunological mechanisms involved. METHODS: Groups of BALB/c mice were sensitized intradermally with ovalbumin(OVA). At week 10, airway inflammation was induced by intranasal challenge of the mice with OVA. At week 14, the mice were challenged intranasally again with OVA in the presence and without the presence of CpG ODNs. Mice with saline administration served as negative controls. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids(BALF) were obtained and eosinophils were counted. Th1 and Th2 cytokines in the spleen cell cultures were measured by ELISA. Serum OVA-specific IgE and IgG2a antibodies were also measured by ELISA. RESULTS: BALF eosinophils were significantly inhibited in the CpG ODNs-treated mice(P<0.01). IgE and IgG2a levels increased significantly in both CpG ODNs-treated and untreated groups as compared to the negative control group; there was, however, no significant difference between the two groups four days after intranasal administration of CpG ODNs. Cytokine analysis revealed decreased production of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 and increased production of IL-12 in the CpG ODNs-treated group as compared to the untreated group. Interestingly, IFN-gamma levels were not upregulated in the CpG ODNs-treated group. CONCLUSION: CpG ODNs vaccination is a potentially useful approach for reversing airways eosinophilia in mice with established airways inflammation.