The complex pathophysiology of lung allergic inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness
(BHR) that characterize asthma is achieved by the regulated accumulation and activation of
different leukocyte subsets in the lung. The development and maintenance of these processes
correlate with the coordinated production of chemokines. Here, we have assessed the role that
different chemokines play in lung allergic inflammation and BHR by blocking their activities
in vivo. Our results show that blockage of each one of these chemokines reduces both lung
leukocyte infiltration and BHR in a substantially different way. Thus, eotaxin neutralization reduces specifically BHR and lung eosinophilia transiently after each antigen exposure. Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-5 neutralization abolishes BHR not by affecting the accumulation of inflammatory leukocytes in the airways, but rather by altering the trafficking of the
eosinophils and other leukocytes through the lung interstitium. Neutralization of RANTES
(regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) receptor(s) with a receptor
antagonist decreases significantly lymphocyte and eosinophil infiltration as well as mRNA expression of eotaxin and RANTES. In contrast, neutralization of one of the ligands for RANTES receptors, macrophage-inflammatory protein 1α, reduces only slightly lung eosinophilia and BHR.
Finally, MCP-1 neutralization diminishes drastically BHR and inflammation, and this correlates
with a pronounced decrease in monocyte- and lymphocyte-derived inflammatory mediators.
These results suggest that different chemokines activate different cellular and molecular pathways
that in a coordinated fashion contribute to the complex pathophysiology of asthma, and that their
individual blockage results in intervention at different levels of these processes.
chemokines; allergic inflammation; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; eosinophilia; leukocytes
Background and Purpose
Although the ‘cromones’ (di-sodium cromoglycate and sodium nedocromil) are used to treat allergy and asthma, their ‘mast cell stabilising’ mechanism of pharmacological action has never been convincingly explained. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that these drugs act by stimulating the release of the anti-inflammatory protein Annexin-A1 (Anx-A1) from mast cells.
We used biochemical and immuno-neutralisation techniques to investigate the mechanism by which cromones suppress histamine and eicosanoid release from cord-derived human mast cells (CDMCs) or murine bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMDMCs) from wild type and Anx-A1 null mice.
CDMCs activated by IgE-FcRε1 crosslinking, released histamine and prostaglandin (PG) D2, which were inhibited (30–65%) by 5 min pre-treatment with cromoglycate (10 nM) or nedocromil (10 nM), as well as dexamethasone (2 nM) and human recombinant Anx-A1 (1–10 nM). In CDMCs cromones potentiated (2–5 fold) protein kinase C (PKC) phosphorylation and Anx-A1 phosphorylation and secretion (3–5 fold). Incubation of CDMCs with a neutralising anti-Anx-A1 monoclonal antibody reversed the cromone inhibitory effect.
Nedocromil (10 nM) also inhibited (40–60%) the release of mediators from murine bone marrow derived-mast cells from wild type mice activated by compound 48/80 and IgE-FcRε1 cross-linking, but were inactive in such cells when these were prepared from Anx-A1 null mice or when the neutralising anti-Anx-A1 antibody was present.
Conclusions and Implications
We conclude that stimulation of phosphorylation and secretion of Anx-A1 is an important component of inhibitory cromone actions on mast cells, which could explain their acute pharmacological actions in allergy. These findings also highlight a new pathway for reducing mediator release from these cells.
BACKGROUND--Nedocromil sodium, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is effective in the treatment of asthma. Its efficacy in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been investigated. METHODS--Fifty four non-allergic patients with COPD were randomised to 10 weeks of treatment with placebo or nedocromil sodium (4 x 8 mg/day) in a double blind study. RESULTS--Nedocromil sodium treatment had no effect on airway responsiveness to histamine, methacholine, and adenosine-5'-monophosphate, pulmonary function, and symptom scores. Both patients and clinicians favoured treatment with nedocromil sodium, however, and the number of dropouts (because of exacerbations) was fewer during treatment with the drug. CONCLUSIONS--Longer trials will be necessary to assess if nedocromil sodium can reduce the frequency of exacerbations and the decrease in pulmonary function, eventually leading to a better quality of life in patients with COPD.
Sodium cromoglycate and nedocromil sodium produced a dose dependent inhibition of histamine secretion from human pulmonary mast cells obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage and by enzymatic dissociation of lung parenchyma. Both compounds were significantly more active against the lavage cells than against the dispersed lung cells, and nedocromil sodium was an order of magnitude more effective than sodium cromoglycate against both cell types. Tachyphylaxis was observed with the parenchymal cells but not with the lavage cells. Nedocromil sodium and sodium cromoglycate also inhibited histamine release from the lavage cells of patients with sarcoidosis and extrinsic asthma.
Airway mycoplasma infection may be associated with asthma pathophysiology. However, the direct effects of mycoplasma infection on asthma remain unknown. Using a murine allergic-asthma model, we evaluated the effects of different timing of airway Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection on bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), lung inflammation, and the protein levels of Th1 (gamma interferon [IFN-γ]) and Th2 (interleukin 4 [IL-4]) cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. When mycoplasma infection occurred 3 days before allergen (ovalbumin) sensitization and challenge, the infection reduced the BHR and inflammatory-cell influx into the lung. This was accompanied by a significant induction of Th1 responses (increased IFN-γ and decreased IL-4 production). Conversely, when mycoplasma infection occurred 2 days after allergen sensitization and challenge, the infection initially caused a temporary reduction of BHR and then increased BHR, lung inflammation, and IL-4 levels. Our data suggest that mycoplasma infection could modulate both physiological and immunological responses in the murine asthma model. Our animal models may also provide a new means to understand the role of infection in asthma pathogenesis and give evidence for the asthma hygiene hypothesis.
Background: There are few data in asthma relating airway physiology, inflammation and remodelling and the relative effects of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment on these parameters. A study of the relationships between spirometric indices, airway inflammation, airway remodelling, and bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR) before and after treatment with high dose inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP 750 µg bd) was performed in a group of patients with relatively mild but symptomatic asthma.
Methods: A double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, parallel group study of inhaled FP was performed in 35 asthmatic patients. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and airway biopsy studies were carried out at baseline and after 3 and 12 months of treatment. Twenty two normal healthy non-asthmatic subjects acted as controls.
Results: BAL fluid eosinophils, mast cells, and epithelial cells were significantly higher in asthmatic patients than in controls at baseline (p<0.01). Subepithelial reticular basement membrane (rbm) thickness was variable, but overall was increased in asthmatic patients compared with controls (p<0.01). Multiple regression analysis explained 40% of the variability in BHR, 21% related to rbm thickness, 11% to BAL epithelial cells, and 8% to BAL eosinophils. The longitudinal data corroborated the cross sectional model. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second improved after 3 months of treatment with FP with no further improvement at 12 months. PD20 improved throughout the study. BAL inflammatory cells decreased following 3 months of treatment with no further improvement at 12 months (p<0.05 v placebo). Rbm thickness decreased in the FP group, but only after 12 months of treatment (mean change –1.9, 95% CI –3 to –0.7 µm; p<0.01 v baseline, p<0.05 v placebo). A third of the improvement in BHR with FP was associated with early changes in inflammation, but the more progressive and larger improvement was associated with the later improvement in airway remodelling.
Conclusion: Physiology, airway inflammation and remodelling in asthma are interrelated and improve with ICS. Changes are not temporally concordant, with prolonged treatment necessary for maximal benefit in remodelling and PD20. Determining the appropriate dose of inhaled steroids only by reference to symptoms and lung function, as specified in current international guidelines, and even against indices of inflammation may be over simplistic. The results of this study support the need for early and long term intervention with ICS, even in patients with relatively mild asthma.
Both atopy and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) are characteristic features of asthma. They are also found among non-asthmatic subjects, including allergic rhinitis patients and the general population. Atopy and BHR in asthma are closely related. Atopy induces airway inflammation as an IgE response to a specific allergen, which causes or amplifies BHR. Moreover, significant evidence of the close relationship between atopy and BHR has been found in non-asthmatic subjects. In this article, we discuss the relationship between atopy and BHR in the general population, asthmatic subjects, and those with allergic rhinitis. This should widen our understanding of the pathophysiology of atopy and BHR.
Allergic rhinitis; asthma; atopy; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; patients; population
Allergic rhinitis and asthma are conditions of airway inflammation that often coexist.
In susceptible individuals, exposure of the nose and lungs to allergen elicits early phase and late phase responses. Contact with antigen by mast cells results in their degranulation, the release of selected mediators, and the subsequent recruitment of other inflammatory cell phenotypes. Additional proinflammatory mediators are released, including histamine, prostaglandins, cysteinyl leukotrienes, proteases, and a variety of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. Nasal biopsies in allergic rhinitis demonstrate accumulations of mast cells, eosinophils, and basophils in the epithelium and accumulations of eosinophils in the deeper subepithelium (that is, lamina propria). Examination of bronchial tissue, even in mild asthma, shows lymphocytic inflammation enriched by eosinophils. In severe asthma, the predominant pattern of inflammation changes, with increases in the numbers of neutrophils and, in many, an extension of the changes to involve smaller airways (that is, bronchioli). Structural alterations (that is, remodeling) of bronchi in mild asthma include epithelial fragility and thickening of its reticular basement membrane. With increasing severity of asthma there may be increases in airway smooth muscle mass, vascularity, interstitial collagen, and mucus-secreting glands. Remodeling in the nose is less extensive than that of the lower airways, but the epithelial reticular basement membrane may be slightly but significantly thickened.
Inflammation is a key feature of both allergic rhinitis and asthma. There are therefore potential benefits for application of anti-inflammatory strategies that target both these anatomic sites.
There are increasing evidences that allergic rhinitis (AR) may influence the clinical course of asthma. We conducted methacholine challenge test and nasal eosinophils on nasal smear to patients with allergic rhinitis in order to investigate the mechanism of connecting upper and lower airway inflammation in 35 patients with AR during exacerbation. The methacholine concentration causing a 20% fall in FEV1 (PC20) was used as thresholds of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). Thresholds of 25 mg/dL or less were assumed to indicate BHR. All patients had normal pulmonary function. Significant differences in BHR were detected in the comparison of patients with cough or postnasal drip and without cough or postnasal drip. There were significant differences of PC20 between patients with cough or postnasal drip and those without cough or postnasal drip (3.41+/-3.59 mg/mL vs 10.2+/-1.2 mg/mL, p=0.001). The levels of total IgE were higher in patients with seasonal AR than in patients with perennial AR with exacerbation (472.5+/-132.5 IU/L vs. 389.0+/-70.9 IU/L, p<0.05). Nasal eosinophils were closely related to log PC20 (r=-0.65, p<0.01). These findings demonstrated that nasal eosinophilic inflammation might contribute to BHR in patients with AR.
Using biochemical, epifluorescence and electron microscopic techniques in a U937 model system, we investigated the effect of anti-allergic drugs di-sodium cromoglycate and sodium nedocromil on the trafficking and release of the anti-inflammatory protein Annexin-A1 (Anx-A1) when this was triggered by glucocorticoid (GC) treatment. GCs alone produced a rapid (within 5 min) concentration-dependent activation of PKCα/β (Protein Kinase C; EC 188.8.131.52) and phosphorylation of Anx-A1 on Ser27. Both phosphoproteins accumulated at the plasma membrane and Anx-A1 was subsequently externalised thereby inhibiting thromboxane (Tx) B2 generation. When administered alone, cromoglycate or nedocromil had little effect on this pathway however, in the presence of a fixed sub-maximal concentration of GCs, increasing amounts of the cromoglycate-like drugs caused a striking concentration-dependent enhancement of Anx-A1 and PKCα/β phosphorylation, membrane recruitment and Anx-A1 release from cells resulting in greatly enhanced inhibition of TxB2 generation. GCs also stimulated phosphatase accumulation at the plasma membrane of U937 cells. Both cromoglycate and nedocromil inhibited this enzymatic activity as well as that of a highly purified PP2A phosphatase preparation. We conclude that stimulation by the cromoglycate-like drugs of intracellular Anx-A1 trafficking and release (hence inhibition of eicosanoid release) is secondary to inhibition of a phosphatase PP2A (phosphoprotein phosphatase; EC 184.108.40.206), which probably forms part of a control loop to limit Anx-A1 release. These experiments provide a basis for a novel mechanism of action for the cromolyns, a group of drugs that have long puzzled investigators.
Sodium nedocromil; Glucocorticoids; Okadaic acid; PKC; PP2A phosphatase
The relationship between sensitisation to helminths and atopy, bronchial-hyperresponsiveness and allergic diseases may differ depending on many factors, including the genes of the population studied. We sought to examine this relationship in an African cohort.
Urban Xhosa children were tested for ascaris IgE levels, bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) by methacholine challenge, atopic sensitisation (skin tests to aeroallergens) and allergic disease (asthma, eczema and rhinitis) assessed by questionnaire.
Ascaris sensitisation was strongly associated with BHR but not with asthma, eczema or rhinitis. There was a dose-response relationship between increasing class of ascaris IgE and increased BHR (Prevalence ratio (PR) 1.75; CI 1.09-2.82). Higher levels of ascaris IgE were seen in those with BHR. Ascaris IgE was associated with atopic sensitisation to aeroallergens. There was a dose-response relationship between increasing class of ascaris IgE and sensitisation to one or more allergen (PR 1.65; CI, 1.27-2.13), sensitisation to house dust mites (HDM) (PR 1.79; CI, 1.29-2.46) and grass (PR 2.66; CI, 1.24-5.71) and number of positive skin prick tests (PR 1.78; CI, 1.27-2.49). Presence of any sensitisation to ascaris was associated with more than doubling the prevalence of HDM sensitisation (41.5 vs 18.5%) and almost quadrupling the prevalence of grass sensitisation (10.8 vs 2.8%).
Ascaris sensitisation was strongly associated with BHR and with atopy, but not with allergic diseases. Possible explanations might be that the type of ascaris infection that causes high levels of ascaris IgE in this genetic population may also favour the development of atopy or that atopics in Africa have upregulation of their defence system against parasitic infection. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive.
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is typically measured by bronchial challenge tests that employ direct stimulation by methacholine or indirect stimulation by adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP). Some studies have shown that the AMP challenge test provides a better reflection of airway inflammation, but few studies have examined the relationship between the AMP and methacholine challenge tests in children with asthma. We investigated the relationship between AMP and methacholine testing in children and adolescents with atopic asthma.
The medical records of 130 children with atopic asthma (mean age, 10.63 years) were reviewed retrospectively. Methacholine and AMP test results, spirometry, skin prick test results, and blood tests for inflammatory markers (total IgE, eosinophils [total count, percent of white blood cells]) were analyzed.
The concentration of AMP that induces a 20% decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] (PC20) of methacholine correlated with the PC20 of AMP (r2=0.189, P<0.001). No significant differences were observed in the levels of inflammatory markers (total eosinophil count, eosinophil percentage, and total IgE) between groups that were positive and negative for BHR to methacholine. However, significant differences in inflammatory markers were observed in groups that were positive and negative for BHR to AMP (log total eosinophil count, P=0.023; log total IgE, P=0.020, eosinophil percentage, P<0.001). In contrast, body mass index (BMI) was significantly different in the methacholine positive and negative groups (P=0.027), but not in the AMP positive and negative groups (P=0.62). The PC20 of methacholine correlated with FEV1, FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC), and maximum mid-expiratory flow (MMEF) (P=0.001, 0.011, 0.001, respectively), and the PC20 of AMP correlated with FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and MMEF (P=0.008, 0.046, 0.001, respectively).
Our results suggest that the AMP and methacholine challenge test results correlated well with respect to determining BHR. The BHR to AMP more likely implicated airway inflammation in children with atopic asthma. In contrast, the BHR to methacholine was related to BMI.
AMP; atopic asthma; bronchial hyper-responsiveness; methacholine
Rationale: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease that affects more than 300 million individuals worldwide. Asthma is caused by interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is a hallmark of asthma and results from increased sensitivity of the airways to physical or chemical stimulants. BHR and asthma are linked to chromosome 5q31-q33.
Objectives: To identify a gene for BHR on chromosome 5q31-q33.
Methods: In 200 Dutch families with asthma, linkage analysis and fine mapping were performed, and the Protocadherin 1 gene (PCDH1) was identified. PCDH1 was resequenced in 96 subjects from ethnically diverse populations to identify novel sequence variants. Subsequent replication studies were undertaken in seven populations from The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, including two general population samples, two family samples, and three case-control samples. PCDH1 mRNA and protein expression was investigated using polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry.
Measurements and Main Results: In seven out of eight populations (n = 6,168) from The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States, PCHD1 gene variants were significantly associated with BHR (P values, 0.005–0.05) This association was present in both families with asthma and general populations. PCDH1 mRNA and protein were expressed in airway epithelial cells and in macrophages.
Conclusions: PCDH1 is a novel gene for BHR in adults and children. The identification of PCDH1 as a BHR susceptibility gene may suggest that a structural defect in the integrity of the airway epithelium, the first line of defense against inhaled substances, contributes to the development of BHR.
bronchial hyperresponsiveness; asthma genetics; protocadherin-1; cell adhesion; airway epithelium
Bronchial asthma is recognized as a highly prevalent health problem in the developed and developing world with significant social and economic consequences. Increased asthma severity is not only associated with enhanced recurrent hospitalization and mortality but also with higher social costs. The pathogenetic background of allergic-atopic bronchial asthma is characterized by airway inflammation with infiltration of several cells (mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, and T-helper (Th)2 lymphocytes). However, in atopic asthma the trigger factors for acute attacks and chronic worsening of bronchial inflammation are aeroallergens released by pollens, dermatophagoides, and pets, which are able to induce an immune response by interaction with IgE antibodies. Currently anti-inflammatory treatments are effective for most asthma patients, but there are asthmatic subjects whose disease is not completely controlled by inhaled or systemic corticosteroids and who account for a significant portion of the healthcare costs of asthma. A novel therapeutic approach to asthma and other allergic respiratory diseases involves interference in the action of IgE, and this antibody has been viewed as a target for novel immunological drug development in asthma. Omalizumab is a humanized recombinant monoclonal anti-IgE antibody approved for treatment of moderate to severe IgE-mediated (allergic) asthma. This non-anaphylactogenic anti-IgE antibody inhibits IgE functions, blocking free serum IgE and inhibiting their binding to cellular receptors. By reducing serum IgE levels and IgE receptor expression on inflammatory cells in the context of allergic cascade, omalizumab represents a new class of mast cells stabilizing drugs; it is a novel approach to the treatment of atopic asthma. Omalizumab therapy is well tolerated and significantly improves symptoms and disease control, reducing asthma exacerbations and the need to use high dosage of inhaled corticosteroids. Moreover, omalizumab improves quality of life of patients with severe persistent allergic asthma which is inadequately controlled by currently available asthma medications. In conclusion omalizumab may fulfil an important need in patients with moderate to severe asthma.
airway hyper-reactivity; asthma; allergic respiratory diseases; atopic respiratory diseases; anti-IgE therapy; hypersensitivity; monoclonal anti-IgE antibody; omalizumab
Background: Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is characteristic of asthmatic airways, is induced by airway inflammation, and is reduced by inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). The time course for the onset and cessation of the effect of ICS on BHR is unclear. The effect of inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP) on BHR in patients with mild persistent asthma was assessed using time intervals of hours, days and weeks.
Methods: Twenty six asthmatic patients aged 21–59 years were selected for this randomised, double blind, parallel group study. The effect of 250 µg inhaled FP (MDI) administered twice daily was compared with that of placebo on BHR assessed using a dosimetric histamine challenge method. The dose of histamine inducing a decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) by 15% (PD15FEV1) was measured before and 6, 12, 24 and 72 hours, and 2, 4 and 6 weeks after starting treatment, and 48 hours, 1 week and 2 weeks after cessation of treatment. Doubling doses of changes in PD15FEV1 were calculated and area under the curve (AUC) statistics were used to summarise the information from individual response curves.
Results: The increase in PD15FEV1 from baseline was greater in the FP group than in the placebo group; the difference achieved significance within 72 hours and remained significant until the end of treatment. In the FP group PD15FEV1 was 1.85–2.07 doubling doses above baseline between 72 hours and 6 weeks after starting treatment. BHR increased significantly within 2 weeks after cessation of FP treatment.
Conclusions: A sustained reduction in BHR to histamine in patients with mild asthma was achieved within 3 days of starting treatment with FP at a daily dose of 500 µg. The effect tapered within 2 weeks of cessation of treatment.
Background: Evidence for the effectiveness of topical treatments, in providing symptomatic relief from ocular allergy, remains uncertain.
Aims: To assess the effectiveness and relative efficacy of topical treatments for the management of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
Design of study: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Setting: A literature search of the Cochrane Library, Medline, and EMBASE bibliographic databases.
Method: Double-masked randomised controlled trials were identified, that compared the use of topical mast cell stabilisers (sodium cromoglycate, nedocromil, lodoxamide) with placebo, topical antihistamines with placebo, and topical mast cell stabilisers with topical antihistamines.
Results: A meta-analysis of six trials showed that patients using sodium cromoglycate were 17 times (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4 to 78) more likely to perceive benefit compared with those using a placebo, although this estimate may be partially influenced by publication bias. Five trials indicated that those patients using nedocromil were 1.8 times (95% CI = 1.3 to 2.6) more likely to perceive their allergy to be moderately or totally controlled than those using a placebo. Four trials showed that those using antihistamines were 1.3 times (95% CI = 0.8 to 2.2) more likely to perceive a ‘good’ treatment effect than those using mast cell stabilisers, although this beneficial effect was not statistically significant. Limited evidence suggests that antihistamines might have a faster therapeutic effect compared to mast cell stabilisers.
Conclusion: Overall, these findings confirm the benefit of topical mast cell stabilisers and antihistamines over placebo for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis. There is, however, insufficient evidence to recommend the use of one type of medication over another. Treatment preferences should therefore be based on convenience of use (with reduced frequency of instillation for some preparations), patient preference, and costs, especially as important side effects were not reported with any medication.
clinical trials; conjunctivitis; conjunctivitis; allergic; meta-analysis; review, systematic; topical administration
In six patients with extrinsic bronchial asthma the inhalation of prostaglandin (PG) F2 alpha in a small dosage produced significant bronchoconstriction, whereas PGE2 produced bronchodilatation. In these patients cholinergic blockade with atropine partially inhibited the PGF2 alpha-induced bronchoconstriction, but the alpha-receptor-blocking drug thymoxamine and sodium cromoglycate did not. These results suggest that the effect of PGF2 alpha is mediated through cholinergic receptors in the airways, and this effect is grossly exaggerated in asthma. The failure to inhibit PGF2 alpha-induced bronchoconstriction with sodium cromoglycate and the observation of an inhibitory effect of sodium cromoglycate in both allergic and exercise asthma suggest that locally formed PGF2 alpha may not be the main factor in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma.
Glucocorticoid function is dependent on efficient translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) from the cytoplasm to the nucleus of cells. Importin-13 (IPO13) is a nuclear transport receptor that mediates nuclear entry of GR. In airway epithelial cells, inhibition of IPO13 expression prevents nuclear entry of GR and abrogates anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids. Impaired nuclear entry of GR has been documented in steroid-non-responsive asthmatics. We hypothesize that common IPO13 genetic variation influences the anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of asthma, as measured by change in methacholine airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR-PC20).
10 polymorphisms were evaluated in 654 children with mild-to-moderate asthma participating in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP), a clinical trial of inhaled anti-inflammatory medications (budesonide and nedocromil). Population-based association tests with repeated measures of PC20 were performed using mixed models and confirmed using family-based tests of association.
Among participants randomized to placebo or nedocromil, IPO13 polymorphisms were associated with improved PC20 (i.e. less AHR), with subjects harboring minor alleles demonstrating an average 1.51–2.17 fold increase in mean PC20 at 8-months post-randomization that persisted over four years of observation (p = 0.01–0.005). This improvement was similar to that among children treated with long-term inhaled corticosteroids. There was no additional improvement in PC20 by IPO13 variants among children treated with inhaled corticosteroids.
IPO13 variation is associated with improved AHR in asthmatic children. The degree of this improvement is similar to that observed with long-term inhaled corticosteroid treatment, suggesting that IPO13 variation may improve nuclear bioavailability of endogenous glucocorticoids.
Anti-inflammatory actions of two anti-allergic drugs, alone or with dexamethasone (Dex) were examined in two models, because inflammation is claimed to be important for allergic events, especially for asthma. Cromoglycate and nedocromil were tested in ischaemic- and histamineinduced paw oedema models of mice. These antiallergic drugs (1–100 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to suppress these oedemata, but enhanced the suppressions by a low dose of dexamethasone (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.) at 3–8 h after Dex injection. The mode of effects by anti-allergic drugs resembled that of a natural antioxidant (α-tocopherol, β-carotene etc.), and was different from that of an immunosuppressant like FK506. The enhancing potencies of the two anti-allergic drugs were similar at 6 h after Dex in both oedemata, and were diminished by superoxide dismutase (SOD) or catalase (i.p.). Cycloheximide completely abolished suppressions. Nedocromil, but not cromoglycate, inhibits inflammatory events. Therefore, there are common unknown actions by which the two anti-allergics enhance suppression by Dex. A possible mechanism of this action was supposed to enhance the superoxide and/or hydrogen peroxide-dependent glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signalling in the target cells.
Airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC) play a key role in bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). A major component of the signaling cascade leading to ASMC contraction is calcium. So far, agonist-induced Ca2+-signaling in asthma has been studied by comparing innate properties of inbred rat or mouse strains, or by using selected mediators known to be involved in asthma. T-bet knock-out (KO) mice show key features of allergic asthma such as a shift towards TH2-lymphocytes and display a broad spectrum of asthma-like histological and functional characteristics. In this study, we aimed at investigating whether Ca2+-homeostasis of ASMC is altered in T-bet KO-mice as an experimental model of asthma.
Lung slices of 100 to 200 μm thickness were obtained from T-bet KO- and wild-type mice. Airway contraction in response to acetylcholine (ACH) was measured by video-microscopy and Ca2+-signaling in single ASMC of lung slices was assessed using two-photon-microscopy.
Airways from T-bet KO-mice showed increased baseline airway tone (BAT) and BHR compared to wild-type mice. This could be mimicked by incubation of lung slices from wild-type mice with IL-13. The increased BAT was correlated with an increased incidence of spontaneous changes in intracellular Ca2+-concentrations, whereas BHR correlated with higher ACH-induced Ca2+-transients and an increased proportion of ASMC showing Ca2+-oscillations. Emptying intracellular Ca2+-stores using caffeine or cyclopiazonic acid induced higher Ca2+-elevations in ASMC from T-bet KO- compared to wild-type mice.
Altered Ca2+-homeostasis of ASMC contributes to increased BAT and BHR in lung slices from T-bet KO-mice as a murine asthma model. We propose that a higher Ca2+-content of the intracellular Ca2+-stores is involved in the pathophysiology of these changes.
Growing evidence shows that interleukin 13 (IL-13) may play an essential role in the development of airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR), two defining features of asthma. Although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown, a number of reports have shown that IL-13 may exert its deleterious effects in asthma by directly acting on airway resident cells, including epithelial cells and airway smooth muscle cells. In this report, we hypothesize that IL-13 may participate in the pathogenesis of asthma by activating a set of "pro-asthmatic" genes in airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells.
Microarray technology was used to study the modulation of gene expression of airway smooth muscle by IL-13 and IL-13R130Q. TaqMan™ Real Time PCR and flow cytometry was used to validate the gene array data.
IL-13 and the IL-13 polymorphism IL-13R130Q (Arg130Gln), recently associated with allergic asthma, seem to modulate the same set of genes, which encode many potentially interesting proteins including vascular cellular adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, IL-13Rα2, Tenascin C and Histamine Receptor H1, that may be relevant for the pathogenesis of asthma.
The data supports the hypothesis that gene modulation by IL-13 in ASM may be essential for the events leading to the development of allergic asthma.
Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is considered a hallmark of asthma. Other methods are helpful in epidemiological respiratory health studies including Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FENO) and Eosinophils Percentage (EP) in nasal lavage fluid measuring markers for airway inflammation along with the Forced Oscillatory Technique measuring Airway resistance (AR). Can their outcomes discriminate profiles of respiratory health in healthy subjects starting apprenticeship in occupations with a risk of asthma?
Rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma-like symptoms, FEV1 and AR post-Methacholine Bronchial Challenge (MBC) test results, FENO measurements and EP were all investigated in apprentice bakers, pastry-makers and hairdressers not suffering from asthma. Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) was simultaneously conducted in relation to these groups and this generated a synthetic partition (EI). Associations between groups of subjects based on BHR and EI respectively, as well as risk factors, symptoms and investigations were also assessed.
Among the 441 apprentice subjects, 45 (10%) declared rhinoconjunctivitis-like symptoms, 18 (4%) declared asthma-like symptoms and 26 (6%) suffered from BHR. The mean increase in AR post-MBC test was 21% (sd = 20.8%). The median of FENO values was 12.6 ppb (2.6-132 range). Twenty-six subjects (6.7%) had EP exceeding 14%. BHR was associated with atopy (p < 0.01) and highest FENO values (p = 0.09). EI identified 39 subjects with eosinophilic inflammation (highest values of FENO and eosinophils), which was associated with BHR and atopy.
Are any of the identified markers predictive of increased inflammatory responsiveness or of development of symptoms caused by occupational exposures? Analysis of population follow-up will attempt to answer this question.
Asthma, seen primarily as an inflammatory disease with secondary airway hyper-responsiveness, causes symptoms through contraction of the airway's smooth muscles. The management of chronic asthma relies on bronchodilators for symptomatic relief of bronchospasm, while primary therapy is used to either prevent or reverse the inflammatory component of the disease. Anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategies include environmental control (where relevant), sodium cromoglycate (where appropriate), and both inhaled and oral glucocorticosteroids. Management of acute severe asthma is similar; bronchodilators are used to ”buy time” while systemic corticosteroids control the inflammatory process.
bronchial asthma; respiratory system
BACKGROUND: Assessing bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) is a main diagnostic criterion of asthma. Provocation testing is not readily available in general practice, but peak expiratory flow (PEF) is. Several guidelines promote the use of PEF variability as a diagnostic tool for BHR. This study tested the agreement between histamine challenge testing and PEF variability, and the consequences for diagnosing asthma. AIM: To investigate the possibility of assessing BHR by PEF variability, using a histamine provocation test as a reference. METHOD: Subjects with signs of symptoms indicating asthma (persistent or recurrent respiratory symptoms or signs of reversible bronchial obstruction) (n = 323) were studied. They had been identified in a population screening for asthma. A histamine provocation test and PEF variability were assessed over a three-week period. Asthma was defined as signs or symptoms together with a reversible airflow obstruction or BHR to the histamine challenge test. BHR was defined as a PC20 histamine of < or = 8 mg/ml or a PEF variability of > or = 15%. Overall correlation between PC20 and PEF variability was calculated using Spearman's rho. Furthermore, a decision tree was constructed to clarify the role of BHR in diagnosing asthma. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients had a reversibility in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) of > or = 9% predicted, 131 patients showed a PC20 of < or = 8 and 11 patients had a PEF variability of > or = 15%. Overall correlation was poor at only -0.27 (P < 0.0001). One hundred and fourteen of the 131 patients diagnosed as having asthma when the histamine challenge test was used were not diagnosed by PEF variability. CONCLUSION: PEF variability cannot replace bronchial provocation testing in assessing BHR. This indicates that PEF variability and bronchial provocation do not measure the same aspects of BHR. If BHR testing is required in diagnosing asthma, a bronchial provocation test has to be used in general practice as well.
Nedocromil sodium (FPL 59002) is a pyranoquinoline dicarboxylic acid that has been developed for the management of bronchial asthma. We report the results of a double blind group comparative trial in which the disodium salt of nedocromil delivered by pressurised aerosol and a placebo were compared in the management of patients with a diagnosis of bronchial asthma who entered the double blind period on a minimum dose of beclomethasone dipropionate. In almost all the assessments of clinical activity nedocromil sodium was shown to be more effective than placebo. These include improvements in diary card symptom scores, reduction in concomitant use of a bronchodilator aerosol, and patients' and investigators' assessments of efficacy. Unwanted effects were few and mild. No patients were withdrawn from the trial.