We have reported that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training attenuates airway inflammation in mice sensitized/challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). The current study determined the effects of repeated bouts of aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in these mice. Mice were sensitized/challenged with OVA or saline and exercised at a moderate intensity 3 times/week for 4 weeks. At protocol completion, mice were analyzed for changes in AHR via mechanical ventilation. Results show that exercise decreased total lung resistance 60% in OVA-treated mice as compared with controls; exercise also decreased airway smooth muscle (ASM) thickness. In contrast, exercise increased circulating epinephrine levels 3-fold in saline- and OVA-treated mice. Because epinephrine binds β2-adrenergic receptors (AR), which facilitate bronchodilatation, the role of β2-AR in exercise-mediated improvements in AHR was examined. Application of the β2-AR antagonist butoxamine HCl blocked the effects of exercise on lung resistance in OVA-treated mice. In parallel, ASM cells were examined for changes in the protein expression of β2-AR and G-protein receptor kinase-2 (GRK-2); GRK-2 promotes β2-AR desensitization. Exercise had no effect on β2-AR expression in ASM cells of OVA-treated mice; however, exercise decreased GRK-2 expression by 50% as compared with controls. Exercise also decreased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production 5-fold, but had no effect on E prostanoid-1 (EP1) receptor expression within the lungs of OVA-treated mice; both PGE2 and the EP1 receptor have been implicated in β2-AR desensitization. Together, these data indicate that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training attenuates AHR via a mechanism that involves β2-AR.
asthma; airway hyperresponsiveness; exercise; β2-adrenergic receptor
Arginase overexpression contributes to airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in asthma. Arginase expression is further augmented in cigarette smoking asthmatics, suggesting that it may be upregulated by environmental pollution. Thus, we hypothesize that arginase contributes to the exacerbation of respiratory symptoms following exposure to air pollution, and that pharmacologic inhibition of arginase would abrogate the pollution-induced AHR.
To investigate the role of arginase in the air pollution-induced exacerbation of airways responsiveness, we employed two murine models of allergic airways inflammation. Mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) and challenged with nebulized PBS (OVA/PBS) or OVA (OVA/OVA) for three consecutive days (sub-acute model) or 12 weeks (chronic model), which exhibit inflammatory cell influx and remodeling/AHR, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the final challenge, mice were exposed to concentrated ambient fine particles plus ozone (CAP+O3), or HEPA-filtered air (FA), for 4 hours. After the CAP+O3 exposures, mice underwent tracheal cannulation and were treated with an aerosolized arginase inhibitor (S-boronoethyl-L-cysteine; BEC) or vehicle, immediately before determination of respiratory function and methacholine-responsiveness using the flexiVent®. Lungs were then collected for comparison of arginase activity, protein expression, and immunohistochemical localization.
Compared to FA, arginase activity was significantly augmented in the lungs of CAP+O3-exposed OVA/OVA mice in both the sub-acute and chronic models. Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining revealed that the increased activity was due to arginase 1 expression in the area surrounding the airways in both models. Arginase inhibition significantly reduced the CAP+O3-induced increase in AHR in both models.
This study demonstrates that arginase is upregulated following environmental exposures in murine models of asthma, and contributes to the pollution-induced exacerbation of airways responsiveness. Thus arginase may be a therapeutic target to protect susceptible populations against the adverse health effects of air pollution, such as fine particles and ozone, which are two of the major contributors to smog.
Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to allergens, airway oedema, increased mucus secretion, excess production of T helper-2 (Th2) cytokines, and eosinophil accumulation in the lungs. Corni fructus (CF) is a fruit of Cornus officinalis Sieb. Et. Zucc. (Cornaceae) and has been used in traditional Korean medicine as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and diuretic agent. To investigate the anti-asthmatic effects of CF and their underlying mechanism, we examined the influence of CF on the development of pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
In this study, BALB/c mice were systemically sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) by intraperitoneal (i.p.), intratracheal (i.t.) injections and intranasal (i.n.) inhalation of OVA. We investigated the effect of CF on airway hyperresponsiveness, pulmonary eosinophilic infiltration, various immune cell phenotypes, Th2 cytokine production, and OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) production.
The CF-treated groups showed suppressed eosinophil infiltration, allergic airway inflammation, and AHR via reduced production of interleuin (IL) -5, IL-13, and OVA-specific IgE.
Our data suggest that the therapeutic effects of CF in asthma are mediated by reduced production of Th2 cytokines (IL-5), eotaxin, and OVA-specific IgE and reduced eosinophil infiltration.
Corni fructus; Asthma; Eosinophil; IL-5; CCR3
CD8+ T cells participate in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic pulmonary inflammation that are characteristics of asthma. CXCL10 by binding to CXCR3 expressed preferentially on activated CD8+ T cells, attracts T cells homing to the lung. We studied the contribution and limitation of CXCR3 to AHR and airway inflammation induced by ovalbumin (OVA) using CXCR3 knockout (KO) mice.
Mice were sensitized and challenged with OVA. Lung histopathological changes, AHR, cellular composition and levels of inflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and lungs at mRNA and protein levels, were compared between CXCR3 KO mice and wild type (WT) mice.
Compared with the WT controls, CXCR3 KO mice showed less OVA-induced infiltration of inflammatory cells around airways and vessels, and less mucus production. CXCR3 KO mice failed to develop significant AHR. They also demonstrated significantly fewer CD8+ T and CD4+ T cells in BAL fluid, lower levels of TNFα and IL-4 in lung tissue measured by real-time RT-PCR and in BAL fluid by ELISA, with significant elevation of IFNγ mRNA and protein expression levels.
We conclude that CXCR3 is crucial for AHR and airway inflammation by promoting recruitment of more CD8+ T cells, as well as CD4+ T cells, and initiating release of proinflammatory mediators following OVA sensitization and challenge. CXCR3 may represent a novel therapeutic target for asthma.
chemokine receptor; CXCR3; CD8+ T lymphocyte; airway inflammation; airway hyperresponsiveness
The CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3) is expressed by eosinophils, mast cells, and Th2 cells. We used CCR3–/– mice to assess the role of CCR3 in a murine model of allergic skin inflammation induced by repeated epicutaneous sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA), and characterized by eosinophil skin infiltration, local expression of Th2 cytokines, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to inhaled antigen. Eosinophils and the eosinophil product major basic protein were absent from the skin of sham and OVA-sensitized CCR3–/– mice. Mast cell numbers and expression of IL-4 mRNA were normal in skin of CCR3–/– mice, suggesting that CCR3 is not important for infiltration of the skin by mast cells and Th2 cells. CCR3–/– mice produced normal levels of OVA-specific IgE, and their splenocytes secreted normal amounts of IL-4 and IL-5 following in vitro stimulation with OVA, indicating effective generation of systemic Th2 helper responses. Recruitment of eosinophils to lung parenchyma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was severely impaired in CCR3–/– mice, which failed to develop AHR to methacholine following antigen inhalation. These results suggest that CCR3 plays an essential role in eosinophil recruitment to the skin and the lung and in the development of AHR.
In an ovalbumin (OVA)-driven murine model of allergic pulmonary inflammation, we have shown previously that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training attenuates inflammatory responses, disease progression, and NF-κB activation within the sensitized lung. Glucocorticoids (GCs), potent anti-inflammatory agents, have been shown to alter transcriptional events that are important in asthmatic pathogenesis, such as NF-κB activation. Notably, exercise training can alter the production and signaling capacity of endogenous GCs. Because GCs exert their anti-inflammatory effects through binding to intracellular glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), we examined the role of the GR in facilitating the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise. Results show that, in exercised OVA-sensitized mice, treatment with the GR antagonist RU486 blocked the exercise-induced reductions in cellular infiltration of the airways (p < .05), KC and soluble VCAM-1 protein levels in the bronchoalveloar lavage fluid (p < .05), and NF-κB translocation and DNA binding within the lung to levels similar to those observed in sedentary OVA-sensitized mice. Importantly, RU486 treatment also blocked exercise-induced increases in GR nuclear translocation to the levels seen in sensitized control mice. Together, these results suggest that GR nuclear translocation and NF-κ activation play roles in mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise in allergen-mediated lung pathology.
Exercise; Asthma; Inflammation; Glucocorticoids; RU486; NF-κB
Chronic asthma is often associated with neutrophilic infiltration in the airways. Neutrophils contain elastase, a potent secretagogue in the airways, nonetheless the role for neutrophil elastase as well as neutrophilic inflammation in allergen-induced airway responses is not well defined. In this study, we have investigated the impact of neutrophil elastase inhibition on the development of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in previously sensitized and challenged mice.
BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged (primary) with ovalbumin (OVA). Six weeks later, a single OVA aerosol (secondary challenge) was delivered and airway inflammation and airway responses were monitored 6 and 48 hrs later. An inhibitor of neutrophil elastase was administered prior to secondary challenge.
Mice developed a two-phase airway inflammatory response after secondary allergen challenge, one neutrophilic at 6 hr and the other eosinophilic, at 48 hr. PAR-2 expression in the lung tissues was enhanced following secondary challenge, and that PAR-2 intracellular expression on peribronchial lymph node (PBLN) T cells was also increased following allergen challenge of sensitized mice. Inhibition of neutrophil elastase significantly attenuated AHR, goblet cell metaplasia, and inflammatory cell accumulation in the airways following secondary OVA challenge. Levels of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, and eotaxin in BAL fluid 6 hr after secondary allergen challenge were significantly suppressed by the treatment. At 48 hr, treatment with the neutrophil elastase inhibitor significantly reduced the levels of IL-13 and TGF-β1 in the BAL fluid. In parallel, in vitro IL-13 production was significantly inhibited in spleen cells from sensitized mice.
These data indicate that neutrophil elastase plays an important role in the development of allergic airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness, and would suggest that the neutrophil elastase inhibitor reduced AHR to inhaled methacholine indicating the potential for its use as a modulator of the immune/inflammatory response in both the neutrophil- and eosinophil-dominant phases of the response to secondary allergen challenge.
Neutrophil; Elastase; Airway; Hyperresponsiveness; Asthma
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in many aspects of the airway pathology in asthma. TNF-α blocking strategies are now being tried in asthma patients. This study investigated whether TNF-α blocking therapy inhibits airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in a mouse model of asthma. We also evaluated the effect of TNF-α blocking therapy on cytokine production and adhesion molecule expression.
Materials and Methods
Ovalbumin (OVA) sensitized BALB/c female mice were exposed to intranasal OVA administration on days 31, 33, 35, and 37. Mice were treated intraperitoneally with soluble TNF-α receptor (sTNFR) during the OVA challenge.
There were statistically significant decreases in the numbers of total cell and eosinophil in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) in the sTNFR treated group compared with the OVA group. However, sTNFR-treatment did not significantly decrease AHR. Anti-inflammatory effect of sTNFR was accompanied with reduction of T helper 2 cytokine levels including interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13 in BALF and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression in lung tissue.
These results suggest that sTNFR treatment can suppress the airway inflammation via regulation of Th2 cytokine production and adhesion molecule expression in bronchial asthma.
Asthma; soluble TNF-α receptor; airway inflammation
Allergic subjects produce relatively low amounts of IFN-γ, a pleiotropic Th-1 cytokine that downregulates Th2-associated airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness (AHR), the hallmarks of allergic asthma. Adenovirus-mediated IFN-γ gene transfer reduces AHR, Th2 cytokine levels and lung inflammation in mice, but its use would be limited by the frequency of gene delivery required; therefore, we tested chitosan/IFN-γ pDNA nanoparticles (CIN) for in situ production of IFN-γ and its in vivo effects.
CIN were administered to OVA-sensitized mice to investigate the possibility of using gene transfer to modulate ovalbumin (OVA)-induced inflammation and AHR.
Mice treated with CIN exhibit significantly lower AHR to methacholine challenge and less lung histopathology. Production of IFN-γ is increased after CIN treatment while the Th2-cytokines, IL-4 and IL-5, and OVA-specific serum IgE are reduced compared to control mice. AHR and eosinophilia are also significantly reduced by CIN therapy administered therapeutically in mice with established asthma. CIN was found to inhibit epithelial inflammation within 6 hours of delivery by inducing apoptosis of goblet cells. Experiments performed on STAT4-defective mice do not show reduction in AHR with CIN treatment, thus implicating STAT4 signaling in the mechanism of CIN action.
These results demonstrate that mucosal CIN therapy can effectively reduce established allergen-induced airway inflammation and AHR.
In a proportion of atopic asthmatics, exposure to a relevant antigen is followed by chronic inflammation in the airways leading to altered airway responsiveness (AR). However, the mechanisms underlying the development of airway hyperresponsiveness still remain unclear. To elucidate the relationship between IgE-mediated reactions and airway hyperresponsiveness, a murine model of passive sensitization and airway challenge with ovalbumin (OVA) was developed using anti-OVA IgE and IgG antibodies from murine B cell hybridomas. Passive sensitization by intravenous injection of anti-OVA IgE resulted in immediate cutaneous hypersensitivity and, after airway challenge with OVA on two consecutive days, increased AR in BALB/c and SJL mice. Increased numbers of eosinophils were observed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, in cells extracted from the lungs, and in the peribronchial areas of BALB/c mice passively sensitized with IgE and challenged through the airways compared with nonsensitized mice. Eosinophil peroxidase activity was also elevated in lung tissue from these mice. Passive sensitization with anti-OVA IgG1 but not IgG2a or IgG3 was similarly associated with development of skin test reactivity and increased AR after airway challenge, accompanied by an increase in eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. These data suggest that IgE/IgG1-mediated reactions together with local challenge with antigen can result in allergic inflammation resulting in altered airway function.
We have reported previously that moderate intensity aerobic exercise training attenuates airway inflammation in a murine asthma model. Recent studies implicate regulatory T (Treg) cells in decreasing asthma-related airway inflammation; as such, the current study examined the effect of exercise on Treg cell function in a murine asthma model. Mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) prior to the start of exercise training at a moderate intensity 3× / week for 4 wks; exercise was performed as treadmill running (13.5 m/min, 0% grade). Mice were OVA challenged repeatedly throughout the exercise protocol. At protocol completion, mice were analyzed for changes in the number and suppressive function of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ cells isolated from lungs, mediastinal lymph nodes, and spleens. Results show that exercise increased significantly the number of Foxp3+ cells within the lungs and mediastinal lymph nodes, but not the spleens, of OVA-treated mice as compared with sedentary controls. Exercise also enhanced the suppression function of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg cells derived from OVA-treated mice as compared with sedentary controls. Specifically, Treg cells from exercised, OVA-treated mice more effectively suppressed CD4+CD25− cell proliferation and Th2 cytokine production in vitro. Enhanced suppression was associated with increased protein levels of TGF-β and lesser amounts of IL-10 and IL-17; however, blocking TGF-β had no effect on suppressive functions. These data demonstrate that exercise-mediated increases in Treg cell function may play a role in the attenuation of airway inflammation. Further, these results indicate that moderate intensity aerobic exercise training may alter the Treg cell function within the asthmatic airway.
Treg; asthma; aerobic exercise; regulatory T cells
Chemokine receptor (CCR) 5 is expressed on dendritic cells, macrophages, CD8 cells, memory CD4 T cells, and stromal cells, and is frequently used as a marker of T helper type 1 cells. Interventions that abrogate CCR5 or interfere with its ligand binding have been shown to alter T helper type 2–induced inflammatory responses. The role of CCR5 on allergic airway responses is not defined. CCR5-deficient (CCR5−/−) and wild-type (CCR5+/+) mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) and allergic airway responses were monitored 48 hours after the last OVA challenge. Cytokine levels in lung cell culture supernatants were also assessed. CCR5−/− mice showed significantly lower airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and lower numbers of total cells, eosinophils, and lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid compared with CCR5+/+ mice after sensitization and challenge. The levels of IL-4 and IL-13 in BAL fluid of CCR5−/− mice were lower than in CCR5+/+ mice. Decreased numbers of lung T cells were also detected in CCR5−/− mice after sensitization and challenge. Transfer of OVA-sensitized T cells from CCR5+/+, but not transfer of CCR5−/− cells, into CCR5−/− mice restored AHR and numbers of eosinophils in BAL fluid after OVA challenge. Accordingly, the numbers of airway-infiltrating donor T cells were significantly higher in the recipients of CCR5+/+ T cells. Taken together, these data suggest that CCR5 plays a pivotal role in allergen-induced AHR and airway inflammation, and that CCR5 expression on T cells is essential to the accumulation of these cells in the airways.
rodent; T cells; cytokines; chemokines; lung
A previous study found that eosinophil infiltration and Th2 cell recruitment are important causes of chronic lung inflammation in asthma. The plant flavonoid acacetin is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect in vitro. This study aims to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of orally administered acacetin in ovalbumin- (OVA-) sensitized asthmatic mice and its underlying molecular mechanism. BALB/c mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal OVA injection. OVA-sensitized mice were fed acacetin from days 21 to 27. Acacetin treatment attenuated airway hyperresponsiveness and reduced eosinophil infiltration and goblet cell hyperplasia in lung tissue. Additionally, eotaxin-1- and Th2-associated cytokines were inhibited in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and suppressed the level of OVA-IgE in serum. Human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells were used to examine the effect of acacetin on proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and cell adhesion molecule production in vitro. At the molecular level, acacetin significantly reduced IL-6, IL-8, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and eotaxin-1 in activated BEAS-2B cells. Acacetin also significantly suppressed the ability of eosinophils to adhere to inflammatory BEAS-2B cells. These results suggest that dietary acacetin may improve asthma symptoms in OVA-sensitized mice.
Background and Objective. The features of asthma are airway inflammation, reversible airflow obstruction, and an increased sensitivity to bronchoconstricting agents, termed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), excess production of Th2 cytokines, and eosinophil accumulation in the lungs. To investigate the antiasthmatic potential of hesperidin as well as the underlying mechanism involved, we studied the inhibitory effect and anti-inflammatory effect of hesperidin (HPN) on the production of Th2 cytokines, eotaxin, IL-17, -OVA-specific IgE in vivo asthma model mice.
Methods. In this paper, BALB/c mice were systemically sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) followed intratracheally, intraperitoneally, and by aerosol allergen challenges. We investigated the effect of HPN on airway hyperresponsiveness, pulmonary eosinophilic infiltration, various immune cell phenotypes, Th2 cytokine production and OVA-specific IgE production in a mouse model of asthma. Results. In BALB/c mice, we found that HPN-treated groups had suppressed eosinophil infiltration, allergic airway inflammation, and AHR, and these occurred by suppressing the production of IL-5, IL-17, and OVA-specific IgE. Conclusions. Our data suggest that the therapeutic mechanism by which HPN effectively treats asthma is based on reductions of Th2 cytokines (IL-5), eotaxin, OVA-specific IgE production, and eosinophil infiltration via inhibition of GATA-3 transcription factor.
The pathogenesis of allergic airway inflammation in asthmatic patients is complex and characterized by cellular infiltrates and activity of many cytokines and chemokines. Both the transcription factor hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and chemokine CCL2 have been shown to play pivotal roles in allergic airway inflammation. The interrelationship between these two factors is not known. We hypothesized that the expression of HIF-1 and CCL2 may be correlated and that the expression of CCL2 may be under the regulation of HIF-1. Several lines of evidence are presented to support this hypothesis.
The effects of treating wild-type OVA (ovalbumin)-sensitized/challenged mice with ethyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (EDHB), which upregulate HIF, on CCL2 expression, were determined. Mice conditionally knocked out for HIF-1β was examined for their ability to mount an allergic inflammatory response and CCL2 expression in the lung after intratracheal exposure to ovalbumin. The association of HIF-1α and CCL2 levels was also measured in endobronchial biopsies and bronchial fluid of asthma patients after challenge.
We show that both HIF-1α and CCL2 were upregulated during an OVA (ovalbumin)-induced allergic response in mice. The levels of HIF-1α and CCL2 were significantly increased following treatment with a pharmacological agent which upregulates HIF-1α, ethyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (EDHB). In contrast, the expression levels of HIF-1α and CCL2 were decreased in the lungs of mice that have been conditionally knocked out for ARNT (HIF-1β) following sensitization with OVA when compared to levels in wild type mice. In asthma patients, the levels of HIF-1α and CCL2 increased after challenge with the allergen.
These data suggest that CCL2 expression is regulated, in part, by HIF-1 in the lung. These findings also demonstrate that both CCL2 and HIF-1 are implicated in the pathogenesis of allergic airway inflammation.
Allergic airway inflammation; Asthma; Hypoxia inducible factor-1; CCL2; Arylhydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator
Since airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic inflammatory changes are regarded as the primary manifestations of asthma, the main goals of asthma treatment are to decrease inflammation and maximize bronchodilation. These goals can be achieved with aerosol therapy. Intravenous administration of the anesthetic, ketamine, has been shown to trigger bronchial smooth muscle relaxation. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of ketamine may protect against lung injury. However, ketamine inhalation might yield the same or better results at higher airway and lower ketamine plasma concentrations for the treatment of asthma. Here, we studied the effect of ketamine inhalation on bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation in a Brown-Norway rat model of ovalbumin(OVA)-induced allergic asthma. Animals were actively sensitized by subcutaneous injection of OVA and challenged by repeated intermittent (thrice weekly) exposure to aerosolized OVA for two weeks. Before challenge, the sensitizened rats received inhalation of aerosol of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or aerosol of ketamine or injection of ketamine respectivity. Airway reactivity to acetylcholine (Ach) was measured in vivo, and various inflammatory markers, including Th2 cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), as well as induciable nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) in lungs were examined. Our results revealed that delivery of aerosolized ketamine using an ultrasonic nebulizer markedly suppressed allergen-mediated airway hyperreactivity, airway inflammation and airway inflammatory cell infiltration into the BALF, and significantly decreased the levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) in the BALF and expression of iNOS and the concentration of NO in the inflamed airways from OVA-treated rats. These findings collectively indicate that nebulized ketamine attenuated many of the central components of inflammatory changes and AHR in OVA-provoked experimental asthma, potentially providing a new therapeutic approach against asthma.
Chronic allergic asthma is the result of a Th2- biased immune status. Current asthma therapies control symptoms in some patients, but a long lasting therapy has not been established. ASHMI™, a Chinese herbal formula improved symptoms and lung function, and reduced Th2 responses in a controlled trial of patients with persistent moderate to severe asthma.
We evaluated the persistence of ASHMI™ beneficial effects following therapy in a murine model of persistent asthma and the immunological mechanisms underlying such effects. BALB/c mice sensitized intraperitoneally with ovalbumin (OVA) received 3 weekly intratracheal OVA challenges to induce airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and inflammation (OVA mice). Additional OVA mice were treated with ASHMI™ (OVA/ASHMI™) or water (OVA/Sham) for 4 weeks, and then challenged immediately and eight weeks post-therapy. In other experiments OVA mice received ASHMI™ treatment with concomitant neutralization of IFN-γ or TGF-β. Effects on airway responses, cytokine and OVA-specific IgE levels were determined 8 weeks post-therapy.
Prior to treatment, OVA mice exhibited AHR and pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation following OVA challenge, which was almost completely resolved immediately after completing treatment with ASHMI™ and did not re-occur following OVA re-challenge up to 8 wks post-therapy. Reduced allergen-specific IgE and Th2 cytokine levels, and increased IFN-γ levels also persisted at least 8 wks post-therapy. ASHMI™ effects were eliminated by neutralization of IFN-γ, but not TGF-β, during therapy.
ASHMI™ induced long-lasting post-therapy tolerance to antigen-induced inflammation and AHR. IFN-γ is a critical factor in ASHMI™ effects.
Allergic asthma; Mice; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Th-2 cytokines; Interferon-γ; IgE
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized by local and systemic Th2 responses to cutaneously introduced allergens and is a risk factor for asthma. Blockade of Th2 cytokines has been suggested as therapy for AD.
To examine the effect of the absence of IL-4 and IL-13 on the Th-17 response to epicutaneous (EC) sensitization in a mouse model of allergic skin inflammation with features of AD.
Wild-type (WT), IL-4KO, IL-13KO and IL-4/13 double KO (DKO) mice were subjected to EC sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA) or saline and airway challenged with OVA. Systemic immune responses to OVA, skin and airway inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) were examined.
OVA sensitized DKO mice exhibited impaired Th2 driven responses with undetectable OVA specific IgE and severely diminished eosinophil infiltration at sensitized skin sites, but intact dermal infiltration with CD4+ cells. DKO mice mounted an exaggerated IL-17A, but normal IFN-γ and IL-5 systemic responses. Airway challenge of these mice with OVA caused marked upregulation of IL-17 mRNA expression in the lungs, increased neutrophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), airway inflammation characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration with no detectable eosinophils, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine that were reversed by IL-17 blockade. IL-4, but not IL-13, was identified as the major Th2 cytokine that downregulates the IL-17 response in EC sensitized mice.
EC sensitization in the absence of IL-4/IL-13 induces an exaggerated Th17 response systemically, and in lungs following antigen challenge that results in airway inflammation and AHR.
Blockade of IL-4 may promote IL-17-mediated airway inflammation in AD.
IL-17; Th2 cytokines; atopic dermatitis; asthma
Maternal immune responses can promote allergy development in offspring, as shown in a model of increased susceptibility to asthma in babies of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and -challenged mother mice. We investigated whether inflammatory responses to air pollution particles (diesel exhaust particles, DEP) or control “inert” titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles are enhanced during pregnancy and whether exposure to particles can cause increased neonatal susceptibility to asthma. Pregnant BALB/c mice (or nonpregnant controls) received particle suspensions intranasally at Day 14 of pregnancy. Lung inflammatory responses were evaluated 48 hours after exposure. Offspring of particle- or buffer-treated mothers were sensitized and aerosolized with OVA, followed by assays of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic inflammation (AI). Nonpregnant females had the expected minimal response to “inert” TiO2. In contrast, pregnant mice showed robust and persistent acute inflammation after both TiO2 and DEP. Genomic profiling identified genes differentially expressed in pregnant lungs exposed to TiO2. Neonates of mothers exposed to TiO2 (and DEP, but not PBS) developed AHR and AI, indicating that pregnancy exposure to both “inert” TiO2 and DEP caused increased asthma susceptibility in offspring. We conclude that (1) pregnancy enhances lung inflammatory responses to otherwise relatively innocuous inert particles; and (2) exposures of nonallergic pregnant females to inert or toxic environmental air particles can cause increased allergic susceptibility in offspring.
maternal asthma; environmental particles; titanuim dioxide; diesel exhaust particles; susceptibility
Airway remodeling is the process of airway structural change that occurs in patients with asthma in response to persistent inflammation and leads to increasing disease severity. Drugs that decrease this persistent inflammation play a crucial role in managing asthma episodes. Mice sensitized (by intraperitoneal administration) and then challenged (by inhalation) with ovalbumin (OVA) develop an extensive eosinophilic inflammatory response, goblet cell hyperplasia, collagen deposition, airway smooth muscle thickening, and airway wall area increase, similar to pathologies observed in human asthma. We used OVA-sensitized/challenged mice as a murine model of chronic allergic airway inflammation with subepithelial fibrosis (i.e., asthma). In this OVA mouse model, mRNA and protein of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) are upregulated, a response similar to what has been observed in the pathogenesis of acute inflammation in human asthma. We hypothesized that MIF induces transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) synthesis, which has been shown to play an important role in asthma and airway remodeling. To explore the role of MIF in the development of airway remodeling, we evaluated the effects of an MIF small-molecule antagonist, (S,R)3-(4-hy-droxyphenyl)-4,5-dihydro-5-isoxazole acetic acid methyl ester (ISO-1), on pathologies associated with the airway-remodeling process in the OVA mouse model. We found that administration of ISO-1 significantly mitigated all symptoms caused by OVA treatment. In addition, the treatment of OVA-sensitized mice with the MIF antagonist ISO-1 significantly reduced TGF-β1 mRNA levels in pulmonary tissue and its protein level in bronchial alveolar lavage fluid supernatants. We believe the repression of MIF in the ISO-1 treatment group led to the significant suppression observed in the inflammatory responses associated with the allergen-induced lung inflammation and fibrosis in our murine asthma (OVA) model. Our results implicate a possible function of MIF in the pathogenesis of chronic asthma and suggest that MIF might be an important therapeutic target for airway remodeling.
Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1), a member of mitogen –activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase kinases (MAP3Ks) protein family, plays a crucial role in the induction of apoptosis and inflammation in some cell types. Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), inflammatory cell infiltration, and airway remodeling. In the present study, we examined whether ASK1 is involved in the induction of bronchial asthma using a mouse model of airway inflammation.
ASK1-deficient (ASK1−/−) and wild-type (WT) control mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) in saline intraperitoneally on consecutive 7 days. Eighteen days later, mice received intranasal administration of OVA aerosol and were assayed for AHR, cytokine production, cell proliferation, antibody (Ab) production, and lung tissue histopathology at 24 hours after the last serial OVA administration. Levels of Ab and cytokines were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Control WT mice showed inflammatory infiltrates in airways in response to OVA to a greater extent than ASK1−/− mice. The number of cells, especially eosinophils accumulating in airways, was reduced in ASK1−/− mice relative to control mice. OVA-induced AHR is also compromised in ASK1−/− mice. Anti-OVA IgE Ab production in ASK1−/− mice was substantially reduced, although levels of other isotypes were comparable to those in control mice. Levels of some Th2 cytokines (IL-5 and IL-13) and pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-a in BAL fluid from ASK1−/− mice were substantially diminished relative to control, although a comparable level of a typical Th2 cytokine IL-4 and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was produced. Although the BAL fluid TNF-a levels from ASK1−/− mice were severely diminished, lymph node cells from ASK1−/− mice produced comparable levels of TNF-a to WT in vitro. Intranasal administration of recombinant TNF-a caused a comparable increase in AHR between ASK1−/− and WT mice, whereas the TNF-a -induced accumulation of inflammatory cells was severely reduced in ASK1−/− mice.
ASK1 appears to be involved in the induction of OVA-induced bronchial asthma, probably through cytokine production such as TNF-a and IL-13. Moreover, TNF-a sensitivity in response to OVA is also regulated by ASK1.
The prevalence of allergic diseases such as asthma has increased markedly over the past few decades. To evaluate the possible mutual influence of helminth infection and allergy, the combined effects of experimental allergic airway inflammation and infection with Strongyloides venezuelensis on various parasitological and inflammatory indices were evaluated in the rat. A challenge of immunized rats with aerosolized ovalbumin (OVA) resulted in eosinophilic inflammation that peaked 48 h after the challenge and was accompanied by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to an intravenous acetylcholine challenge. S. venezuelensis infection concomitant with an OVA challenge of immunized rats resulted in prolonged pulmonary inflammation with increased eosinophil infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid but not in the lung tissue. These rats also showed a significant parasite burden reduction, especially during parasite migration through the lungs. However, the fecundity rates of worms that reached the intestine were similar in allergic and nonallergic animals. Despite airway inflammation, the increased responsiveness of the airways in the experimental asthma model was suppressed during parasite migration through the lungs (2 days). In contrast, parasite-induced AHR was unchanged 5 days after infection in immunized and challenged rats. In conclusion, infection with S. venezuelensis interfered with the onset of AHR following an antigen challenge of immunized rats. The ability of parasites to switch off functional airway responses is therapeutically relevant because we may learn from parasites how to modulate lung function and, hence, the AHR characteristic of asthmatic patients.
Rationale: Previous studies have demonstrated that dysregulated coagulation and fibrinolysis contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma.
Objective: The role of procoagulant factor X in a murine model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma was investigated.
Methods: Biochemical, cellular, and physiologic in vivo and in vitro approaches were used to determine effects of factor X on the asthmatic response in mice.
Measurements and Main Results: Factor X transcript levels and factor Xa activity were increased in lungs of asthmatic mice challenged with OVA, compared with controls treated with phosphate-buffered saline. Factor X was highly expressed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid macrophages from asthmatic mice. Treatment of mice with the factor Xa inhibitor fondaparinux during the last 4 wk of OVA challenge resulted in the attenuation of airway hyperresponsiveness but did not alter infiltration of inflammatory cells into the lung. There was a significant decrease in the thickness of the mucosal layer and in lung collagen deposition in fondaparinux-treated mice. In vitro investigations using human mucus-producing NCI-H292 cells indicated that exogenous factor Xa enhanced mucin production in a dose-dependent manner. Levels of amphiregulin, a protein that induces mucin production, were also increased in cells stimulated by factor Xa.
Conclusions: The results of this study introduce a novel participant in the asthmatic response and indicate that factor Xa functions in airway remodeling in asthma by stimulating mucin production, through regulation of amphiregulin expression and collagen deposition.
coagulation protein; airway hyperresponsiveness; mucus production; amphiregulin
The effect of targeted inactivation of the gene encoding N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase-1 (Ndst1), a key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of heparan sulfate (HS) chains, on the inflammatory response associated with allergic inflammation in a murine model of OVA-induced acute airway inflammation was investigated. OVA-exposed Ndst1f/fTekCre+ (mutant) mice deficient in endothelial and leukocyte Ndst1 demonstrated significantly decreased allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation characterized by a significant reduction in airway recruitment of inflammatory cells (eosinophils, macrophages, neutrophils, and lymphocytes), diminished IL-5, IL-2, TGF-β1, and eotaxin levels, as well as decreased expression of TGF-β1 and the angiogenic protein FIZZ1 (found in inflammatory zone 1) in lung tissue compared with OVA-exposed Ndst1f/fTekCre− wild-type littermates. Furthermore, murine eosinophils demonstrated significantly decreased rolling on lung endothelial cells (ECs) from mutant mice compared with wild-type ECs under conditions of flow in vitro. Treatment of wild-type ECs, but not eosinophils, with anti-HS Abs significantly inhibited eosinophil rolling, mimicking that observed with Ndst1-deficient ECs. In vivo, trafficking of circulating leukocytes in lung microvessels of allergen-challenged Ndst1-deficient mice was significantly lower than that observed in corresponding WT littermates. Endothelial-expressed HS plays an important role in allergic airway inflammation through the regulation of recruitment of inflammatory cells to the airways by mediating interaction of leukocytes with the vascular endothelium. Furthermore, HS may also participate by sequestering and modulating the activity of allergic asthma-relevant mediators such as IL-5, IL-2, and TGF-β1.
Chronic airway inflammation is a hallmark of asthma, an immune-based disease with great societal impact. Honokiol (HNK), a phenolic neurotransmitter receptor (GABAA) agonist purified from magnolia, has anti-inflammatory properties, including stabilization of inflammation in experimentally-induced arthritis. The present study tested the prediction that HNK could inhibit the chronic inflammatory component of allergic asthma. C57Bl/6 mice sensitized to and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) had increased airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine challenge and eosinophilia compared to naïve controls. HNK-treated mice showed a reduction in airway hyperresponsiveness as well as a significant decrease in lung eosinophilia. Histopathology studies revealed a marked drop in lung inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and collagen deposition with HNK treatment. Antigen recall responses from HNK-treated mice showed decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to OVA, including TNF-α, IL-6, Th1, and Th17-type cytokines, despite an increase in Th2-type cytokines. Regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β were also increased. Assessment of lung homogenates revealed a similar pattern of cytokines, with a noted increase in the number of FoxP3+ cells in the lung. HNK was able to alter B- and T-lymphocyte cytokine secretion in a GABAA dependent manner. These results indicate that symptoms and pathology of asthma can be alleviated even in the presence of increased Th2 cytokines, and that neurotransmitter agonists such as HNK have promise as a novel class of antiinflammatory agents in the treatment of chronic asthma.
Inflammation; mouse; cytokines; asthma