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
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
Leukotrienes (LTs) play a central role in asthma. Low- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (AE) reduces asthmatic inflammation in clinical studies and in experimental models. This study investigated whether AE attenuates LT pathway activation in an ovalbumin (OVA) model of asthma.
Sixty-four male, BALB/c mice were distributed into Control, Exercise (Exe), OVA, and OVA + Exe groups. Treadmill training was performed at moderate intensity, 5×/week, 1 h/session for 4 weeks. Quantification of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cellularity, leukocytes, airway remodeling, interleukin (IL)-5, IL-13, cysteinyl leukotriene (CysLT), and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) in BAL was performed. In addition, quantitative analyses on peribronchial leukocytes and airway epithelium for LT pathway agents: 5-lypoxygenase (5-LO), LTA4 hydrolase (LTA4H), CysLT1 receptor, CysLT2 receptor, LTC4 synthase, and LTB4 receptor 2 (BLT2) were performed. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine (MCh) was assessed via whole body plethysmography.
AE decreased eosinophils (p < 0.001), neutrophils (p > 0.001), lymphocytes (p < 0.001), and macrophages (p < 0.01) in BAL, as well as eosinophils (p < 0.01), lymphocytes (p < 0.001), and macrophages (p > 0.001) in airway walls. Collagen (p < 0.01), elastic fibers (p < 0.01), mucus production (p < 0.01), and smooth muscle thickness (p < 0.01), as well as IL-5 (p < 0.01), IL-13 (p < 0.01), CysLT (p < 0.01), and LTB4 (p < 0.01) in BAL were reduced. 5-LO (p < 0.05), LTA4H (p < 0.05), CysLT1 receptor (p < 0.001), CysLT2 receptor (p < 0.001), LTC4 synthase (p < 0.001), and BLT2 (p < 0.01) expression by peribronchial leukocytes and airway epithelium were reduced. Lastly, AHR to MCh 25 mg/mL (p < 0.05) and 50 mg/mL (p < 0.01) was reduced.
Moderate-intensity AE attenuated asthma phenotype and LT production in both pulmonary leukocytes and airway epithelium of OVA-treated mice.
airway inflammation; asthma; cytokines; exercise immunology; leukotrienes
Airway smooth muscle (ASM) is a key target cell in allergen-induced asthma known to contribute to airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and chronic airway remodeling. Changes in ASM calcium homeostasis have been shown to contribute to AHR although the mechanisms and Ca2+ signal effectors are incompletely understood. In the present study we tested the function of ASM multifunctional protein kinase Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) isoforms CaMKIIδ and CaMKIIγ in allergen-induced AHR and airway remodeling in vivo. Using a murine model of atopic asthma we demonstrate CaMKIIδ protein is up-regulated in ASM derived from ovalbumin (OVA)-treated animals compared to controls. A genetic approach to conditionally knockout smooth muscle CaMKIIδ and CaMKIIγ in separate Cre-loxp systems was validated, and using this loss-of function approach, the function of these CaMKII isoforms was tested in ovalbumin (OVA)-induced airway remodeling and AHR. OVA treatment in control mice had no effect on ASM remodeling in this model of AHR and CaMKIIδ knockouts had no independent effects on ASM content. However, at 1day post final OVA challenge, OVA-induced AHR were eliminated in the CaMKIIδ knockouts. OVA-induced peribronchial inflammation and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) levels of the Th2 cytokine IL-13 were significantly decreased in the CaMKIIδ knockouts. Unexpectedly, we found increased peribronchial eosinophils in the smooth muscle CaMKIIδ knockouts compared to control animals at 1 day post final challenge, suggesting that lack of ASM CaMKIIδ delays the progression of AHR rather than inhibiting it. Indeed, when AHR was determined at 7 day post final OVA challenge, CaMKIIδ knockouts showed robust AHR while AHR was fully resolved in OVA-challenged control mice. These in vivo studies demonstrate a role for smooth muscle CaMKIIδ in promoting airway inflammation and AHR and suggest a complex signaling role for CaMKIIδ in regulating ASM function. These studies confirm the diverse roles of ASM cells as immune effectors that control AHR and calls for further studies into CaMKIIδ-mediated signaling in ASM cells during disease.
Th2 immune responses are linked primarily to mild and moderate asthma, while Th17 cells, Interleukin-17A (IL-17) and neutrophilia have been implicated in more severe forms of disease. How Th2-dependent allergic reactions are influenced by Th17 and IL-17-γδ T cells is poorly understood. In murine models, under some conditions, IL-17 promotes Th2-biased airway inflammatory responses. However, IL-17-γδ T cells have been implicated in the inhibition and resolution of allergic airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness (AHR).
We compared airway responses in Balb/c mice sensitized to OVA with (and without) a Th2-skewing aluminum-based adjuvant and the IL-17 skewing, complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA). AHR was measured invasively by flexiVent, while serum OVA-IgE was quantified by an enzyme immunoassay. Airway inflammatory and cytokine profiles, and cellular sources of IL-17 were assessed from bronchoalveolar lavage and/or lungs. The role of γδ T cells in these responses was addressed in OVA/CFA sensitized mice using a γδ T cell antibody.
Following OVA challenge, all mice exhibited mixed eosinophilic/neutrophilic airway inflammatory profiles and elevated serum OVA-IgE. Whereas OVA/alum sensitized mice had moderate inflammation and AHR, OVA/CFA sensitized mice had significantly greater inflammation but lacked AHR. This correlated with a shift in IL-17 production from CD4+ to γδ T cells. Additionally, OVA/CFA sensitized mice, given a γδ TCR stimulatory antibody, showed increased frequencies of IL-17-γδ T cells and diminished airway reactivity and eosinophilia.
Thus, the conditions of antigen sensitization influence the profile of cells that produce IL-17, the balance of which may then modulate the airway inflammatory responses, including AHR. The possibility for IL-17-γδ T cells to reduce AHR and robust eosinophilic inflammation provides evidence that therapeutic approaches focused on stimulating and increasing airway IL-17-γδ T cells may be an effective alternative in treating steroid resistant, severe asthma.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12931-014-0090-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Asthma; Interleukin-17; γδ T cell; Adjuvant; Complete Freund’s adjuvant
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.
Epidemiological studies have already shown that females are dominant in terms of the sex ratio of adult asthma prevalence and severe asthma. It has also been reported that female mice are more susceptible to the development of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) than males. However, there have been few reports of studies on sex difference in the pathogenesis of severe asthma, especially airway remodeling in an animal model. In this study, we investigated sex difference in formation of airway remodeling using a long-term antigen challenged asthma model.
Following ovalbumin (OVA)/alum intraperitoneal injection, male or female mice (BALB/c) were challenged with aerosolized 1% OVA on 3 days/week for 5 weeks, and we investigated the sex difference in AHR, airway inflammation, as well as airway remodeling.
In OVA-sensitized and -challenged (OVA/OVA) female mice, AHR, the number of eosinophils and lymphocytes, as well as Th2 cytokines and growth factors in BAL fluid were increased compared with OVA/OVA male mice. On the other hand, there is no significant difference in the level of eotaxin in BAL fluid. The histological features of airway remodeling, including goblet cell hyperplasia, subepithelial fibrosis and myofibroblast hypertrophy, were also increased in OVA/OVA female mice. Moreover, serum total and OVA-specific IgE were significantly elevated in OVA/OVA female mice.
These results indicate that female mice are dominant in terms of forming airway remodeling as compared with male mice. The involvement of sex difference for sensitization and growth factor release in lung tissue based on inflammatory cell infiltration is indicated for the mechanism of sex difference of airway remodeling.
Obesity is a known risk factor for allergic asthma. It has been recognized as a key player in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory disorders via activation of macrophages, which is also vital to the development of allergic asthma. We investigated the mechanism of obesity-related asthma and whether treating obesity through exercise or diet ameliorates the severity of asthma in the obesity-related asthma model. We generated diet-induced obesity (DIO) in C57BL/6 mice by high-fat-feeding and ovalbumin-induced asthma (lean-OVA or DIO-OVA). The DIO-OVA mice were then treated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α neutralizing antibody as a TNF-α blockade or a Cl2MDP-containing liposome to induce an alveolar macrophage deficiency. To treat obesity, the DIO-OVA mice were under dietary restrictions or exercised. The pathophysiological and immunological responses were analyzed. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), serum IgE and TNF-α levels in the lung tissue increased in the DIO-OVA mice compared to the lean-OVA mice. Both the TNF-α blockade and depletion of alveolar macrophages in the DIO-OVA mice decreased AHR compared to the DIO-OVA mice. Treating obesity by exercise or through dietary means also reduced pulmonary TNF-α levels and AHR in the DIO-OVA mice. These results suggest that restoring normal body weight is an appropriate strategy for reducing TNF-α levels, and controlling inflammation may help improve asthma severity and control in obesity-related asthma.
S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) serves as a reservoir for nitric oxide (NO) and thus is a key homeostatic regulator of airway smooth muscle tone and inflammation. Decreased levels of GSNO in the lungs of asthmatics have been attributed to increased GSNO catabolism via GSNO reductase (GSNOR) leading to loss of GSNO- and NO- mediated bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory actions. GSNOR inhibition with the novel small molecule, N6022, was explored as a therapeutic approach in an experimental model of asthma.
Female BALB/c mice were sensitized and subsequently challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). Efficacy was determined by measuring both airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) upon methacholine (MCh) challenge using whole body plethysmography and pulmonary eosinophilia by quantifying the numbers of these cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Several other potential biomarkers of GSNOR inhibition were measured including levels of nitrite, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), and inflammatory cytokines, as well as DNA binding activity of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB). The dose response, onset of action, and duration of action of a single intravenous dose of N6022 given from 30 min to 48 h prior to MCh challenge were determined and compared to effects in mice not sensitized to OVA. The direct effect of N6022 on airway smooth muscle tone also was assessed in isolated rat tracheal rings.
N6022 attenuated AHR (ED50 of 0.015 ± 0.002 mg/kg; Mean ± SEM) and eosinophilia. Effects were observed from 30 min to 48 h after treatment and were comparable to those achieved with three inhaled doses of ipratropium plus albuterol used as the positive control. N6022 increased BALF nitrite and plasma cGMP, while restoring BALF and plasma inflammatory markers toward baseline values. N6022 treatment also attenuated the OVA-induced increase in NFκB activation. In rat tracheal rings, N6022 decreased contractile responses to MCh.
The significant bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory actions of N6022 in the airways are consistent with restoration of GSNO levels through GSNOR inhibition. GSNOR inhibition may offer a therapeutic approach for the treatment of asthma and other inflammatory lung diseases. N6022 is currently being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of inflammatory lung disease.
Asthma; Inflammation; Mouse; Ovalbumin; S-nitrosoglutathione reductase; S-nitrosoglutathione; Nitric oxide; N6022; NFκB
Rationale: There is conflicting information about the development and resolution of airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) after repeated airway exposure to allergen in sensitized mice.
Methods: Sensitized BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were exposed to repeated allergen challenge on 3, 7, or 11 occasions. Airway function in response to inhaled methacholine was monitored; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid inflammatory cells were counted; and goblet cell metaplasia, peribronchial fibrosis, and smooth muscle hypertrophy were quantitated on tissue sections. Bone marrow–derived dendritic cells were generated after differentiation of bone marrow cells in the presence of growth factors.
Results: Sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) in alum, followed by three airway exposures to OVA, induced lung eosinophilia, goblet cell metaplasia, mild peribronchial fibrosis, and peribronchial smooth muscle hypertrophy; increased levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-13, granulocyte-macrophage colony–stimulating factor, transforming growth factor-β1, eotaxin-1, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted), and OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE; and resulted in AHR. After seven airway challenges, development of AHR was markedly decreased as was the production of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Levels of IL-10 in both strains and the level of IL-12 in BALB/c mice increased. After 11 challenges, airway eosinophilia and peribronchial fibrosis further declined and the cytokine and chemokine profiles continued to change. At this time point, the number of myeloid dendritic cells and expression of CD80 and CD86 in lungs were decreased compared with three challenges. After 11 challenges, intratracheal instillation of bone marrow–derived dendritic cells restored AHR and airway eosinophilia.
Conclusions: These data suggest that repeated allergen exposure leads to progressive decreases in AHR and allergic inflammation, through decreases in myeloid dendritic cell numbers.
airway hyperresponsiveness; chronic asthma; cytokine; dendritic cells; eosinophil
Airway inflammation and airway remodeling are the key contributors to airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), a characteristic feature of asthma. Both processes are regulated by Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-β. Caveolin 1 (Cav1) is a membrane bound protein that binds to a variety of receptor and signaling proteins, including the TGF-β receptors. We hypothesized that caveolin-1 deficiency promotes structural alterations of the airways that develop with age will predispose to an increased response to allergen challenge.
AHR was measured in Cav1-deficient and wild-type (WT) mice 1 to 12 months of age to examine the role of Cav1 in AHR and the relative contribution of inflammation and airway remodeling. AHR was then measured in Cav1-/- and WT mice after an ovalbumin-allergen challenge performed at either 2 months of age, when remodeling in Cav1-/- and WT mice was equivalent, and at 6 months of age, when the Cav1-/- mice had established airway remodeling.
Cav1-/- mice developed increased thickness of the subepithelial layer and a correspondingly increased AHR as they aged. In addition, allergen-challenged Cav1-/- mice had an increase in AHR greater than WT mice that was largely independent of inflammation. Cav1-/- mice challenged at 6 months of age have decreased AHR compared to those challenged at 2 months with correspondingly decreased BAL IL-4 and IL-5 levels, inflammatory cell counts and percentage of eosinophils. In addition, in response to OVA challenge, the number of goblet cells and α-SMA positive cells in the airways were reduced with age in response to OVA challenge in contrast to an increased collagen deposition further enhanced in absence of Cav1.
A lack of Cav1 contributed to the thickness of the subepithelial layer in mice as they aged resulting in an increase in AHR independent of inflammation, demonstrating the important contribution of airway structural changes to AHR. In addition, age in the Cav1-/- mice is a contributing factor to airway remodeling in the response to allergen challenge.
The effect of aging on several pathologic features of allergic-asthma (pulmonary inflammation, eosinophilia, mucus-hypersecretion), and their relationship with airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is not well characterized.
To evaluate lung inflammation, mucus-metaplasia and AHR in relationship to age in murine models of allergic-asthma comparing young and older mice.
Young (6-week) and older (6-, 12- 18-month) BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). AHR and bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) total inflammatory cell count and differential were measured. To evaluate mucus-metaplasia, quantitative PCR for the major airway mucin-associated gene, MUC-5AC, from lung tissue was measured, and lung tissue sections stained with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) for goblet-cell enumeration. Lung tissue cytokine gene expression was determined by qPCR, and systemic cytokine protein levels by ELISA from spleen-cell cultures. Antigen-specific serum IgE was determined by ELISA.
AHR developed in both aged and young OVA-sensitized/challenged mice (OVA-mice), and was more significantly increased in young OVA-mice than in aged OVA-mice. However, BALF eosinophil numbers were significantly higher, and lung histology showed greater inflammation in aged OVA-mice than in young OVA-mice. MUC-5AC expression and numbers of PAS+ staining bronchial epithelial cells were significantly increased in the aged OVA-mice. All aged OVA-mice had increased IL-5 and IFN-γ mRNA expression in the lung and IL-5 and IFN-γ protein levels from spleen cell cultures compared to young OVA-mice. OVA-IgE was elevated to a greater extent in aged OVA-mice.
Although pulmonary inflammation and mucus-metaplasia after antigen sensitization/challenge occurred to a greater degree in older mice, the increase in AHR was significantly less compared with younger OVA-mice. Antigen treatment produced a unique cytokine profile in older mice (elevated IFN-γ and IL-5) compared with young mice (elevated IL-4 and IL-13). Thus, the airway response to inflammation is lessened in aging animals, and may represent age-associated events leading to different phenotypes in response to antigen provocation.
Aging; murine; asthma; airway hyperresponsiveness; eosinophil; inflammation
Loki zupa (Luooukezupa) decoction, consisting of the roots of Hyssopuscuspidatus Boriss (Shenxiangcao) and Irishalophila Pall root (Yuanweigen), is commonly used in Uygur medicine to treat asthma. However, the mode of action of this material has yet to be elucidated. This study aims to investigate the effects of Loki zupa decoction on the airway inflammation of an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma mouse model.
Mice were divided into normal control (NC), asthma (A), high, medium and low doses of Loki zupa decoction (L 14.0, L 7.0, L 3.5), water extract (LW), n-butanol extract (LN), ethyl acetate extract (LE) and dexamethasone (DEX) groups. Antiasthmatic model was induced by OVA sensitization and challenged using BALB/c mice. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) toward methacholine (Mch) was assessed using Buxco equipment. Lung inflammation was measured by hematoxylin and eosin staining and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cell count and classification. Inflammatory cytokines in BALF and serum were analyzed by Bio-Plex assay, and mRNA levels were investigated by qPCR analysis. The roots of H. Boriss (250 g) and I. Pall (250 g) were decocted, concentrated and diluted to 14.0, 7.0 and 3.5 g crude herb/kg body weight. The LW, LN and LE of the Loki zupa decoction were prepared and diluted to a dose equivalent to 7 g of crude herb/kg body weight.
Loki zupa decoction and its extracts significantly attenuated the AHR towards Mch (all P < 0.05). Treatment with Loki zupa decoction and its extracts relieved the infiltration of inflammatory cells in and around the airways, and reduced the total white blood cell (all P < 0.05), neutrophil (all P < 0.05), monocyte (all P < 0.05) and eosinophil (all P < 0.05) counts in the BALF. The BALF samples collected from the mice treated with the Loki zupa decoction and its extracts had lower levels of IL-1β (all P < 0.05), TNF-α (all P < 0.05), IL-2 (all P < 0.05), IL-4 (P = 0.047) and IL-5 (all P < 0.05). The serum samples of these mice also had lower IL-1β (all P < 0.05), TNF-α (all P < 0.05), IL-4 (all P < 0.05) and IL-5 (all P < 0.05) levels and higher levels of IFN-γ (P < 0.001) compared with the OVA-induced asthma mouse model. qPCR analysis revealed that Loki zupa decoction and its extracts inhibited mRNA expression of IL-4 (all P < 0.05), IL-5 (all P < 0.05) and IL-13 (all P < 0.05) and promoted mRNA expression of IFN-γ (all P < 0.05) in asthmatic mice.
Loki zupa decoction reduced AHR, attenuated airway inflammation, promoted Th1 and suppressed Th2 cell functions in an OVA-induced asthma mouse model.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13020-016-0094-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
4-1BB (CD 137) is a costimulatory molecule expressed on activated T-cells. Repression by 4-1BB is thought to attenuate Th2-mediated allergic reactions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 4-1BB on allergic airway inflammation in a murine asthma model.
BALB/c mice were sensitized to and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). Hu.4-1BB-Fc was administered 1 day before the first OVA sensitization or 1 day after the second OVA sensitization. Following antigen challenge, airway responsiveness to methacholine was assessed and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was analyzed. Total immunoglobulin (Ig) E, OVA-specific IgE, IgG1, and IgG2a levels in sera were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lung pathology was also evaluated.
In mice treated with Hu.4-1BB-Fc before the first OVA sensitization, there was a marked decrease in airway hyperresponsiveness, total cell count, and eosinophil count in the BAL fluid. In addition, Hu.4-1BB-Fc treatment decreased serum OVA-specific IgG1 levels and increased serum IgG2a level significantly compared with the corresponding levels in mice sensitized to and challenged with OVA. Hu.4-1BB-Fc-treated mice also showed suppressed peribronchial and perivascular inflammatory cell infiltration. In contrast, treatment with Hu.4-1BB-Fc 1 day after sensitization had no effect on airway hyperresponsiveness and showed less suppression of inflammation in lung tissue.
Administration of Hu.4-1BB-Fc can attenuate airway inflammation and hyperreactivity in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation. In addition, administration before sensitization may be more effective. These findings suggest that 4-1BB may be a useful therapeutic molecule against asthma.
4-1BB (CD137); Asthma; Allergic inflammation; Airway hyperresponsiveness; Mouse
Allergic asthma is a lifelong airway condition that affects people of all ages. In recent decades, asthma prevalence continues to increase globally, with an estimated number of 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease. Although inhaled corticosteroids and β-adrenergic receptor agonists are the primary therapeutic avenues that effectively reduce asthma symptoms, profound side effects may occur in patients with long-term treatments. Therefore, development of new therapeutic strategies is needed as alternative or supplement to current asthma treatments. Sesamin is a natural polyphenolic compound with strong anti-oxidative effects. Several studies have reported that sesamin is effective in preventing hypertension, thrombotic tendency, and neuroinflammation. However, it is still unknown whether sesamin can reduce asthma-induced allergic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Our study has revealed that sesamin exhibited significant anti-inflammatory effects in ovalbumin (OVA)-induced murine asthma model. We found that treatments with sesamin after OVA sensitization and challenge significantly decreased expression levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-13, and serum IgE. The numbers of total inflammatory cells and eosinophils in BALF were also reduced in the sesamin-treated animals. Histological results demonstrated that sesamin attenuated OVA-induced eosinophil infiltration, airway goblet cell hyperplasia, mucus occlusion, and MUC5AC expression in the lung tissue. Mice administered with sesamin showed limited increases in AHR compared with mice receiving vehicle after OVA challenge. OVA increased phosphorylation levels of IκB-α and nuclear expression levels of NF-κB, both of which were reversed by sesamin treatments. These data indicate that sesamin is effective in treating allergic asthma responses induced by OVA in mice.
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
Long-term and unresolved airway inflammation and airway remodeling, characteristic features of chronic asthma, if not treated could lead to permanent structural changes in the airways. Aldose reductase (AR), an aldo-sugar and lipid aldehyde metabolizing enzyme, mediates allergen-induced airway inflammation in mice, but its role in the airway remodeling is not known. In the present study, we have examined the role of AR on airway remodeling using ovalbumin (OVA)-induced chronic asthma mouse model and cultured human primary airway epithelial cells (SAECs) and mouse lung fibroblasts (mLFs).
Airway remodeling in chronic asthma model was established in mice sensitized and challenged twice a week with OVA for 6 weeks. AR inhibitor, fidarestat, was administered orally in drinking water after first challenge. Inflammatory cells infiltration in the lungs and goblet cell metaplasia, airway thickening, collagen deposition and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) in response to increasing doses of methacholine were assessed. The TGFβ1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in SAECs and changes in mLFs were examined to investigate AR-mediated molecular mechanism(s) of airway remodeling.
In the OVA-exposed mice for 6 wks inflammatory cells infiltration, levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, goblet cell metaplasia, collagen deposition and AHR were significantly decreased by treatment with AR inhibitor, fidarestat. Further, inhibition of AR prevented TGFβ1-induced altered expression of E-cadherin, Vimentin, Occludin, and MMP-2 in SAECs, and alpha-smooth muscle actin and fibronectin in mLFs. Further, in SAECs, AR inhibition prevented TGFβ1- induced activation of PI3K/AKT/GSK3β pathway but not the phosphorylation of Smad2/3.
Our results demonstrate that allergen-induced airway remodeling is mediated by AR and its inhibition blocks the progression of remodeling via inhibiting TGFβ1-induced Smad-independent and PI3K/AKT/GSK3β-dependent pathway.
As passive environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure in nonsmokers can increase both asthma symptoms and the frequency of asthma exacerbations, we utilized a mouse model, in which ovalbumin (OVA) + ETS induce significantly increased levels of eosinophilic airway inflammation and remodeling compared to either stimulus alone, to determine whether a Toll-like receptor-9 (TLR-9) agonist could reduce levels of airway inflammation, airway remodeling and airway hyperreactivity (AHR).
Mice treated with or without a TLR-9 agonist were sensitized to OVA and challenged with OVA + ETS for 1 month. AHR to methacholine was assessed in intubated and ventilated mice. Lung Th2 cytokines and TGF-β1 were measured by ELISA. Lungs were processed for histology and immunohistology to quantify eosinophils, mucus, peribronchial fibrosis and smooth muscle changes using image analysis.
Administration of a TLR-9 agonist to mice coexposed to chronic ETS and chronic OVA allergen significantly reduced levels of eosinophilic airway inflammation, mucus production, peribronchial fibrosis, the thickness of the peribronchial smooth muscle layer, and AHR. The reduced airway remodeling in mice treated with the TLR-9 agonist was associated with significantly reduced numbers of peribronchial MBP+ and peribronchial TGF-β1+ cells, and with significantly reduced levels of lung Th2 cytokines [interleukin-5 and interleukin-13] and TGF-β1.
These studies demonstrate that TLR-9-based therapies inhibit airway inflammation, remodeling and AHR in mice coexposed to ETS and allergen who exhibit enhanced airway inflammation and remodeling.
Toll-like receptor-9; Airway hyperreactivity; Airway inflammation; Airway remodeling; Eosinophils
This study investigates the role of adrenal-derived catecholamines and corticosterone on the inhibition by rolipram, a phosphodiesterase (PDE)-4 inhibitor, of pulmonary eosinophilia and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in allergic mice.The following experimental groups were studied in mice sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA): normal, adrenalectomized, propranolol (β-adrenoceptor antagonist) and metyrapone (corticosterone synthesis inhibitor) treated. These interventions were studied both in the absence and in the presence of rolipram. Eosinophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and AHR to methacholine were measured 24 h after OVA challenge.Treatment of sensitized mice with rolipram (0.3–10 mg kg−1, p.o.), inhibited pulmonary eosinophilia and the AHR to methacholine in OVA-challenged mice.Adrenalectomy increased the number of eosinophils in the BAL of OVA-challenged mice but had no effect on AHR to methacholine. Adrenalectomy attenuated both the rolipram-induced inhibition of BAL eosinophilia and AHR to methacholine in OVA challenged mice. Propranolol (10 mg kg−1, p.o.) had no effect on the inhibition of eosinophilia by rolipram but attenuated the inhibition of AHR to methacholine in OVA challenged mice. On the other hand, metyrapone (10 mg kg−1, p.o.) attenuated the inhibition of eosinophilia by rolipram but had no effect on the inhibition of AHR to methacholine in OVA challenged mice. Metyrapone-treatment alone increased the number of eosinophils in the BAL of OVA-challenged mice.These results identify an important role for adrenal-derived catecholamines and corticosterone on the inhibition of pulmonary eosinophilia and AHR by rolipram in allergic mice.
Adrenals; airway; catecholamines; eosinophils; hyperresponsiveness; metyrapone; phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor; rolipram
Leukotriene E4 (LTE4) that plays a key role in airway inflammation is expressed on platelets and eosinophils. We investigated whether blocking of the P2Y12 receptor can suppress eosinophilic inflammation in a mouse model of asthma because platelets and eosinophils share this receptor to be activated. BALB/c mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal injection of ovalbumin (OVA), followed by OVA nebulization. On each challenge day, clopidogrel, a P2Y12 antagonist was administered 30 min. before each challenge. Forty‐eight hours after the last OVA challenge, mice were assessed for airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), cell composition and cytokine levels, including chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5), in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. EOL cells were treated with LTE4, with or without clopidogrel treatment, and intracellular and extracellular eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) expressions were measured to find the inhibiting function of P2Y12 antagonist on eosinophilic activation. The levels of P2Y12 expression were increased markedly in the lung homogenates of OVA‐sensitized and ‐challenged mice after platelet depletion. Administration of clopidogrel decreased AHR and the number of airway inflammatory cells, including eosinophils, in BAL fluid following OVA challenge. These results were associated with decreased levels of Th2 cytokines and CCL5. Histological examination showed that inflammatory cells as well as mucus‐containing goblet cells were reduced in clopidogrel‐administered mice compared to vehicle‐treated mice. Clopidogrel inhibited extracellular ECP secretion after LTE4 stimulation in EOL‐1 cells. Clopidogrel could prevent development of AHR and airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma. P2Y12 can be a novel therapeutic target to the suppression of eosinophils in asthma.
asthma; clopidogrel; eosinophil; leukotriene E4; P2Y12 receptor
Asthma is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, and remodeling. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors have been reported to regulate inflammatory responses in many cells. In this study, we examined the effects of intranasal rosiglitazone on airway remodeling in a chronic asthma model.
We developed a mouse model of airway remodeling, including smooth muscle thickening, in which ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were repeatedly exposed to intranasal OVA administration twice per week for 3 months. Mice were treated intranasally with rosiglitazone with or without an antagonist during OVA challenge. We determined airway inflammation and the degree of airway remodeling by smooth muscle actin area and collagen deposition.
Mice chronically exposed to OVA developed sustained eosinophilic airway inflammation, compared with control mice. Additionally, the mice developed features of airway remodeling, including thickening of the peribronchial smooth muscle layer. Administration of rosiglitazone intranasally inhibited the eosinophilic inflammation significantly, and, importantly, airway smooth muscle remodeling in mice chronically exposed to OVA. Expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) was increased in the OVA group and decreased in the rosiglitazone group. Co-treatment with GW9660 (a rosiglitazone antagonist) and rosiglitazone increased the expression of TLR-4 and NF-κB.
These results suggest that intranasal administration of rosiglitazone can prevent not only air way inf lammation but also air way remodeling associated with chronic allergen challenge. This beneficial effect is mediated by inhibition of TLR-4 and NF-κB pathways.
Asthma; Remodeling; Rosiglitazone; Smooth muscle
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.
Korean ginseng is a well-known medicinal herb that has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases, including asthma. Ginseng can be classified as white ginseng (WG) or red ginseng (RG), according to processing conditions. In this study, the authors compared the efficacies of these two ginseng types in a mouse model of acute asthma.
To produce the acute asthma model, BALB/c mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) and aluminum hydroxide, and then challenged with OVA. WG and RG extracts were administered to mice orally. The influences of WG and RG on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), immune cell distributions in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), IgG1, and IgG2a in serum were investigated. Cytokine production by lymphocytes isolated from peribronchial lymph nodes and histopathological changes was also examined.
In OVA-sensitized mice, both WG and RG reduced AHR and suppressed immune cell infiltration in bronchoalveolar regions. BALF OVA-specific IgE levels were significantly lower in RG-treated OVA-sensitized mice than in the OVA-sensitized control group. WG and RG also suppressed inflammatory cytokine production by peribronchial lymphocytes. Histopathological findings showed reduced inflammatory cell infiltration and airway remodeling (e.g., epithelial hyperplasia) in WG- and RG-treated OVA mice compared with OVA controls.
In this study, WG and RG showed antiasthmatic effects in an OVA-sensitized mouse model, and the efficacies of RG were found to be better than those of WG.
asthma; Korean ginseng; red ginseng; white ginseng
During the course of establishing an animal model of chronic asthma, we tried to elucidate the time sequence of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), airway inflammation, airway remodeling, and associated cytokines. Seven-week-old female BALB/c mice were studied as a chronic asthma model using ovalbumin (OVA). After sensitization, mice were exposed twice weekly to aerosolized OVA, and were divided into three groups depending on the duration of 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks. At each time point, airway responsiveness, inflammatory cells, cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF), serum OVA-specific IgE, IgG1, IgG2a, and histological examination were carried out. AHR to methacholine, increased levels of OVA-specific IgG1 and IgG2a, and goblet cell hyperplasia were continuously sustained at each time point of weeks. In contrast, we observed a time-dependent decrease in serum OVA-specific IgE, BALF eosinophils, BALF cytokines such as IL-13, transforming growth factor-beta1, and a time-dependent increase in BALF promatrix metalloproteinase-9 and peribronchial fibrosis. In this OVA-induced chronic asthma model, we observed airway remodelings as well as various cytokines and inflammatory cells being involved in different time-dependent manners. However, increased airway fibrosis did not directly correlate with a further increase in airway hyperresponsiveness.
Asthma; Disease Models, Animal; Mice; Bronchial Hyperreactivity; Chronic Disease
To determine the roles of breast regression protein-39 (BRP-39) in regulating dendritic cell maturation and in pathology of acute asthma.
Mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) were prepared, and infected with adenovirus over-expressing BRP-39. Ovalbumin (OVA)-induced murine model of acute asthma was made in female BALB/c mice by sensitizing and challenging with chicken OVA and Imject Alum. The transfected BMDCs were adoptively transferred into OVA-treated mice via intravenous injection. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), inflammation and pulmonary histopathology were characterized.
The expression of BRP-39 mRNA and protein was significantly increased in lung tissues of OVA-treated mice. The BMDCs infected with adenovirus BRP-39 exhibited greater maturation and higher activity in vitro. Adoptive transfer of the cells into OVA-treated mice significantly augmented OVA-induced AHR and eosinophilic inflammation. Meanwhile, BRP-39 further enhanced the production of OVA-induced Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, but significantly attenuated OVA-induced IFN-γ production in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
In OVA-induced murine model of acute asthma, BRP-39 is over-expressed in lung tissue and augments Th2 inflammatory response and AHR. BRP-39 promotes dendritic cell maturation in vitro. Therefore, BRP-39 may be a potential therapeutic target of asthma.
asthma; ovalbumin; bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs); breast regression protein-39 (BRP-39); YKL-40; Th2 inflammation; airway hyperresponsiveness; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid