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
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.
The relationship between airway structural changes (remodeling) and airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is unclear. Asthma guidelines suggest treating persistent asthma with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting β-agonists (LABA). We examined the link between physiological function and structural changes following treatment fluticasone and salmeterol separately or in combination in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
BALB/c mice were sensitized to intraperitoneal ovalbumin (OVA) followed by six daily inhalation exposures. Treatments included 9 daily nebulized administrations of fluticasone alone (6 mg/ml), salmeterol (3 mg/ml), or the combination fluticasone and salmeterol. Lung impedance was measured following methacholine inhalation challenge. Airway inflammation, epithelial injury, mucus containing cells, and collagen content were assessed 48 hours after OVA challenge. Lungs were imaged using micro-CT.
Results and Discussion
Treatment of allergic airways disease with fluticasone alone or in combination with salmeterol reduced AHR to approximately naüve levels while salmeterol alone increased elastance by 39% compared to control. Fluticasone alone and fluticasone in combination with salmeterol both reduced inflammation to near naive levels. Mucin containing cells were also reduced with fluticasone and fluticasone in combination with salmeterol.
Fluticasone alone and in combination with salmeterol reduces airway inflammation and remodeling, but salmeterol alone worsens AHR: and these functional changes are consistent with the concomitant changes in mucus metaplasia.
Osteopontin (OPN) contributes to the development of T helper 1 (Th1)-mediated immunity and Th1-associated diseases. However, the role of OPN in bronchial asthma is unclear. Corticosteroids reduce airway inflammation, as reflected by the low eosinophil and T-cell counts, and the low level of cytokine expression. We investigated OPN production and the inhibitory effects of corticosteroids on OPN production in a murine model of allergic asthma.
BALB/c mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal injections of ovalbumin (OVA) with alum. Some mice received daily injections of dexamethasone (DEX) or phosphate-buffered saline for 1 week. All OVA-challenged mice were exposed to aerosolized 1% OVA for 30 min an hour after these injections. After the OVA challenge, the mice were killed, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung tissue were examined.
The levels of OPN protein in BAL fluid and OPN mRNA in lung tissue increased after OVA challenge. Most OPN-expressing cells were CD11c+ cells and some were T cells. DEX decreased the levels of OPN protein in the BAL fluid, and those of OPN mRNA and OPN protein in lung tissue.
OPN may play an important role in allergic bronchial asthma. Corticosteroids inhibit OPN production in mice with allergic asthma. The beneficial effect of corticosteroids in bronchial asthma is partly due to their inhibitory effects on OPN production.
Osteopontin; Corticosteroid; Mouse; Dendritic cells; CD11c; Bronchial asthma
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.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) modulate development, inflammation, and repair in lungs. Tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) interact with MMPs, controlling the intensity and nature of the response to injury. Absence of MMP-9, -2, and -8 activities is associated with altered lung inflammation during allergic sensitization. To test the hypothesis that the absence of TIMP-1 enhances allergic lung inflammation, airway hyperreactivity (AHR), and lung remodeling in asthma, we studied TIMP-1 null (TIMP-1 KO) mice and their WT controls using an ovalbumin (OVA) asthma model. TIMP-1 KO mice, compared to WT controls, developed an asthma phenotype characterized by AHR, pronounced cellular lung infiltrates, greater reduction in lung compliance, enhanced Th2 cytokine mRNA and protein expression, and altered collagen lung content associated with enhanced MMP-9 activity. Our findings support the hypothesis that TIMP-1 plays a protective role by preventing AHR and modulating inflammation, remodeling, and cytokine expression in an animal model of asthma.
Asthma; Bronchial hyperreactivity; TIMP-1; MMPs; Airway remodeling; Intercellular matrix
An increasing prevalence of allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma, has been noted worldwide. Allergic asthma strongly correlates with airway inflammation caused by the unregulated production of cytokines secreted by allergen-specific type-2 T helper (Th2) cells. This study aims to explore the therapeutic effect of the airway gene transfer of IL-12, IL-10 and TGF-β on airway inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
BALB/c mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) by intraperitoneal injections with OVA and challenged by nebulized OVA. Different cytokine gene plasmids or non-coding vector plasmids were instilled daily into the trachea up to one day before the inhalatory OVA challenge phase.
Intratracheal administration of IL-10, IL-12 or TGF-β can efficiently inhibit antigen-induced airway hyper-responsiveness and is able to largely significantly lower the number of eosinophils and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of ovalbumin (OVA) sensitized and challenged mice during the effector phase. Furthermore, the effect of IL-10 plasmids is more remarkable than any other cytokine gene plasmid. On the other hand, local administration of IL-4 gene plasmids before antigen challenge can induce severe airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) and airway eosinophilia.
Our data demonstrated that anti- inflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-10, have the therapeutic potential for the alleviation of airway inflammation in murine model of 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
A subset of patients with stable asthma has prominent neutrophilic and reduced eosinophilic inflammation, which is associated with attenuated airways hyper-responsiveness (AHR). Haemophilus influenzae has been isolated from the airways of neutrophilic asthmatics; however, the nature of the association between infection and the development of neutrophilic asthma is not understood. Our aim was to investigate the effects of H. influenzae respiratory infection on the development of hallmark features of asthma in a mouse model of allergic airways disease (AAD). BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) and intranasally challenged with OVA 12–15 days later to induce AAD. Mice were infected with non-typeable H. influenzae during or 10 days after sensitization, and the effects of infection on the development of key features of AAD were assessed on day 16. T-helper 17 cells were enumerated by fluorescent-activated cell sorting and depleted with anti-IL-17 neutralizing antibody. We show that infection in AAD significantly reduced eosinophilic inflammation, OVA-induced IL-5, IL-13 and IFN-γ responses and AHR; however, infection increased airway neutrophil influx in response to OVA challenge. Augmented neutrophilic inflammation correlated with increased IL-17 responses and IL-17 expressing macrophages and neutrophils (early, innate) and T lymphocytes (late, adaptive) in the lung. Significantly, depletion of IL-17 completely abrogated infection-induced neutrophilic inflammation during AAD. In conclusion, H. influenzae infection synergizes with AAD to induce Th17 immune responses that drive the development of neutrophilic and suppress eosinophilic inflammation during AAD. This results in a phenotype that is similar to neutrophilic asthma. Infection-induced neutrophilic inflammation in AAD is mediated by IL-17 responses.
Approximately 50% of asthmatics have non-eosinophilic inflammation, and 20% of these patients have severe neutrophilic inflammation and increased IL-8 levels. These so-called neutrophilic asthmatics have persistent airway colonization with bacteria, and Haemophilus influenzae is one of the bacteria most commonly isolated. However, how H. influenzae is associated with the pathogenesis of neutrophilic asthma is unknown. In this study we used mouse models to investigate the relationship between H. influenzae infection and allergic airways disease (AAD). We showed that infection promoted the development of hallmark features of neutrophilic asthma. Infection suppressed Th2 cytokines, eosinophilic inflammation, and AHR in AAD, while increasing neutrophilic inflammation and IL-17 responses. Importantly, inhibition of IL-17 during AAD reduced airway neutrophils and neutrophil chemokines, suggesting that infection drives the development of neutrophilic inflammation through an IL-17-mediated mechanism. This provides novel insights into the mechanisms that may underpin infection-induced neutrophilic asthma. These data also suggest that treatments targeting infection may lead to improved management of neutrophilic asthma.
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
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.
Rationale: Asthma is characterized by increases in airway resistance, pulmonary remodeling, and lung inflammation. The cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β has been shown to have a central role in asthma pathogenesis and in mouse models of allergic airway disease.
Objectives: To determine the contribution of TGF-β to airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), we examined the time course, source, and isoform specificity of TGF-β production in an in vivo mouse asthma model. To then elucidate the function of TGF-β in AHR, inflammation, and pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the effects of blocking TGF-β signaling with neutralizing antibody.
Methods: Mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) to establish allergic airway disease. TGF-β activity was neutralized by intranasal administration of monoclonal antibody.
Measurements and Main Results: TGF-β1 protein levels were increased in OVA-challenged lungs versus naive controls, and airway epithelial cells were shown to be a likely source of TGF-β1. In addition, TGF-β1 levels were elevated in OVA-exposed IL-5–null mice, which fail to recruit eosinophils into the airways. Neutralization of TGF-β1 with specific antibody had no significant effect on airway inflammation and eosinophilia, although anti–TGF-β1 antibody enhanced OVA-induced AHR and suppressed pulmonary fibrosis.
Conclusions: These data show that TGF-β1 is the main TGF-β isoform produced after OVA challenge, with a likely cellular source being the airway epithelium. The effects of blocking TGF-β1 signaling had differential effects on AHR, fibrosis, and inflammation. While TGF-β neutralization may be beneficial to abrogating airway remodeling, it may be detrimental to lung function by increasing AHR.
lung; mice; hypersensitivity; cytokines
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
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.
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
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.
Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway is linked to the development of asthma. Anti-malarial drug artesunate is a semi-synthetic derivative of artemisinin, the principal active component of a medicinal plant Artemisia annua, and has been shown to inhibit PI3K/Akt activity. We hypothesized that artesunate may attenuate allergic asthma via inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Female BALB/c mice sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) developed airway inflammation. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was assessed for total and differential cell counts, and cytokine and chemokine levels. Lung tissues were examined for cell infiltration and mucus hypersecretion, and the expression of inflammatory biomarkers. Airway hyperresponsiveness was monitored by direct airway resistance analysis. Artesunate dose-dependently inhibited OVA-induced increases in total and eosinophil counts, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13 and eotaxin levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. It attenuated OVA-induced lung tissue eosinophilia and airway mucus production, mRNA expression of E-selectin, IL-17, IL-33 and Muc5ac in lung tissues, and airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. In normal human bronchial epithelial cells, artesunate blocked epidermal growth factor-induced phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream substrates tuberin, p70S6 kinase and 4E-binding protein 1, and transactivation of NF-κB. Similarly, artesunate blocked the phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream substrates in lung tissues from OVA-challenged mice. Anti-inflammatory effect of artesunate was further confirmed in a house dust mite mouse asthma model.
Artesunate ameliorates experimental allergic airway inflammation probably via negative regulation of PI3K/Akt pathway and the downstream NF-κB activity. These findings provide a novel therapeutic value for artesunate in the treatment of allergic asthma.
Airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is usually produced within days of first antigen exposure in mouse models of asthma. Furthermore, continual antigen challenge eventually results in the resolution of the AHR phenotype. Human asthma also waxes and wanes with time, suggesting that studying the time course of AHR in the allergic mouse would offer insights into the variation in symptoms seen in asthmatics.
Mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) on days 0 and 14. As assessed by airway resistance (Rn), lung elastance (H) and tissue damping (G), AHR was measured post an OVA inhalation on day 21 (Short Challenge group), after three days of OVA inhalation on day 25 (Standard Challenge group) and following an OVA inhalation on day 55 in mice previously challenged on days 21–23 (Recall Challenge group). Bronchoalveolar lavage was analyzed for inflammatory cells, cytokines and protein.
AHR in the Short Challenge group was characterized by an increase in Rn and neutrophil accumulation in the lavage. AHR in the Standard Challenge group was characterized by increases in H and G but by only a modest response in Rn, while inflammation was eosinophilic. In the Standard Challenge protocol, mice lacking fibrinogen were no different from control in their AHR response. AHR in the Recall Challenge group was characterized by increases only in G and H and elevated numbers of both neutrophils and eosinophils. Lavage cytokines were only elevated in the Recall Challenge group. Lavage protein was significantly elevated in all groups.
The phenotype in allergically inflamed mice evolves distinctly over time, both in terms of the nature of the inflammation and the location of the AHR response. The study of mouse models of AHR might be better served by focusing on this variation rather than simply on a single time point at which AHR is maximal.
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
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
Deficient suppression of T cell responses to allergen by CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells has been observed in patients with allergic disease. Our current experiments used a mouse model of airway inflammation to examine the suppressive activity of allergen-specific CD4+CD25+ T cells in vivo. Transfer of ovalbumin (OVA) peptide–specific CD4+CD25+ T cells to OVA-sensitized mice reduced airway hyperreactivity (AHR), recruitment of eosinophils, and T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine expression in the lung after allergen challenge. This suppression was dependent on interleukin (IL) 10 because increased lung expression of IL-10 was detected after transfer of CD4+CD25+ T cells, and regulation was reversed by anti–IL-10R antibody. However, suppression of AHR, airway inflammation, and increased expression of IL-10 were still observed when CD4+CD25+ T cells from IL-10 gene–deficient mice were transferred. Intracellular cytokine staining confirmed that transfer of CD4+CD25+ T cells induced IL-10 expression in recipient CD4+ T cells, but no increase in IL-10 expression was detected in airway macrophages, dendritic cells, or B cells. These data suggest that CD4+CD25+ T cells can suppress the Th2 cell–driven response to allergen in vivo by an IL-10–dependent mechanism but that IL-10 production by the regulatory T cells themselves is not required for such suppression.
Deficient suppression of T cell responses to allergen by CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells has been observed in patients with allergic disease. Our current experiments used a mouse model of airway inflammation to examine the suppressive activity of allergen-specific CD4+CD25+ T cells in vivo. Transfer of ovalbumin (OVA) peptide-specific CD4+CD25+ T cells to OVA-sensitized mice reduced airway hyperreactivity (AHR), recruitment of eosinophils, and T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine expression in the lung after allergen challenge. This suppression was dependent on interleukin (IL) 10 because increased lung expression of IL-10 was detected after transfer of CD4+CD25+ T cells, and regulation was reversed by anti-IL-10R antibody. However, suppression of AHR, airway inflammation, and increased expression of IL-10 were still observed when CD4+CD25+ T cells from IL-10 gene-deficient mice were transferred. Intracellular cytokine staining confirmed that transfer of CD4+CD25+ T cells induced IL-10 expression in recipient CD4+ T cells, but no increase in IL-10 expression was detected in airway macrophages, dendritic cells, or B cells. These data suggest that CD4+CD25+ T cells can suppress the Th2 cell-driven response to allergen in vivo by an IL-10-dependent mechanism but that IL-10 production by the regulatory T cells themselves is not required for such suppression.
Airway inflammation plays a central role in the pathogenesis of asthma. However, the precise contribution of all cell types in the development and maintenance of airway hyperreactivity and histopathology during allergic inflammation remains unclear. After sensitization of mice in the periphery, challenge by multiple intratracheal (i.t.) instillations of ovalbumin (OVA) results in eosinophilia, mononuclear cell infiltration, and airway epithelial changes analogous to that seen in asthma (Blyth, D.I., M.S. Pedrick, T.J. Savage, E.M. Hessel, and D. Fattah. 1996. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 14:425–438). To investigate further the nature of the cellular infiltrate, lungs from OVA-versus saline-treated mice were processed for histology and immunohistochemistry. One of the most striking features observed was the formation of germinal centers within the parenchyma of the inflamed lungs. In addition, follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) bearing OVA on their plasma membranes appeared and, adjacent to these sites, OVA-specific IgG1-, IgE-, and IgA-producing plasma cells emerged. To confirm that antigen-specific immunoglobulins (Ig) were being produced within the parenchyma, plasma cell number and antibody production were quantitated in vitro after isolation of cells from the lung. These assays confirmed that the isotypes observed in situ were a secreted product. As IgE-dependent mechanisms have been implicated as being central to the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma, airway hyperresponsiveness was evaluated. The mice undergoing lung inflammation were hyperresponsive, while the control group remained at baseline. These data demonstrate that antigen-driven differentiation of B cells via induction of an FDC network and germinal centers occurs in the parenchyma of inflamed lungs. These germinal centers would then provide a local source of IgEsecreting plasma cells that contribute to the release of factors mediating inflammatory processes in the lung.
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
Whilst BCG inhibits allergic airway responses in murine models, IL-18 has adversary effects depending on its environment. We therefore constructed a BCG strain producing murine IL-18 (BCG-IL-18) and evaluated its efficiency to prevent an asthma-like reaction in mice. BALB/cByJ mice were sensitized (day (D) 1 and D10) by intraperitoneal injection of ovalbumin (OVA)-alum and primary (D20–22) and secondary (D62, 63) challenged with OVA aerosols. BCG or BCG-IL-18 were intraperitonealy administered 1 hour before each immunization (D1 and D10). BCG-IL-18 and BCG were shown to similarly inhibit the development of AHR, mucus production, eosinophil influx, and local Th2 cytokine production in BAL, both after the primary and secondary challenge.
These data show that IL-18 did not increase allergic airway responses in the context of the mycobacterial infection, and suggest that BCG-IL-18 and BCG are able to prevent the development of local Th2 responses and therefore inhibit allergen-induced airway responses even after restimulation.