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
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.
CD86-CD28 interaction has been suggested as the principal costimulatory pathway for the activation and differentiation of naïve T cells in allergic inflammation. However, it remains uncertain whether this pathway also has an essential role in the effector phase. We sought to determine the contribution of CD86 on dendritic cells in the reactivation of allergen-specific Th2 cells.
We investigated the effects of the downregulation of CD86 by short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) on Th2 cytokine production in the effector phase in vitro and on asthma phenotypes in ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and -challenged mice.
Treatment of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) with CD86 siRNA attenuated LPS-induced upregulation of CD86. CD86 siRNA treatment impaired BMDCs’ ability to activate OVA-specific Th2 cells. Intratracheal administration of CD86 siRNA during OVA challenge downregulated CD86 expression in the airway mucosa. CD86 siRNA treatment ameliorated OVA-induced airway eosinophilia, airway hyperresponsiveness, and the elevations of OVA-specific IgE in the sera and IL-5, IL-13, and CCL17 in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, but not the goblet cell hyperplasia.
These results suggest that local administration of CD86 siRNA during the effector phase ameliorates lines of asthma phenotypes. Targeting airway dendritic cells with siRNA suppresses airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in an experimental model of allergic asthma.
Since airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and allergic inflammatory changes are regarded as the primary manifestations of asthma, the main goals of asthma treatment are to decrease inflammation and maximize bronchodilation. These goals can be achieved with aerosol therapy. Intravenous administration of the anesthetic, ketamine, has been shown to trigger bronchial smooth muscle relaxation. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of ketamine may protect against lung injury. However, ketamine inhalation might yield the same or better results at higher airway and lower ketamine plasma concentrations for the treatment of asthma. Here, we studied the effect of ketamine inhalation on bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation in a Brown-Norway rat model of ovalbumin(OVA)-induced allergic asthma. Animals were actively sensitized by subcutaneous injection of OVA and challenged by repeated intermittent (thrice weekly) exposure to aerosolized OVA for two weeks. Before challenge, the sensitizened rats received inhalation of aerosol of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or aerosol of ketamine or injection of ketamine respectivity. Airway reactivity to acetylcholine (Ach) was measured in vivo, and various inflammatory markers, including Th2 cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), as well as induciable nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) in lungs were examined. Our results revealed that delivery of aerosolized ketamine using an ultrasonic nebulizer markedly suppressed allergen-mediated airway hyperreactivity, airway inflammation and airway inflammatory cell infiltration into the BALF, and significantly decreased the levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) in the BALF and expression of iNOS and the concentration of NO in the inflamed airways from OVA-treated rats. These findings collectively indicate that nebulized ketamine attenuated many of the central components of inflammatory changes and AHR in OVA-provoked experimental asthma, potentially providing a new therapeutic approach against asthma.
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia, and may be mediated by T helper (Th) lymphocytes expressing a Th2 cytokine pattern. Interleukin (IL) 12 suppresses the expression of Th2 cytokines and their associated responses, including eosinophilia, serum immunoglobulin E, and mucosal mastocytosis. We have previously shown in a murine model that antigen- induced increases in airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia are CD4+ T cell dependent. We used this model to determine the ability of IL-12 to prevent antigen-induced increases in airway hyperresponsiveness, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) eosinophils, and lung Th2 cytokine expression. Sensitized A/J mice developed airway hyperresponsiveness and increased numbers of BAL eosinophils and other inflammatory cells after single or repeated intratracheal challenges with sheep red blood cell antigen. Pulmonary mRNA and protein levels of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 were increased after antigen challenge. Administration of IL-12 (1 microgram/d x 5 d) at the time of a single antigen challenge abolished the airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary eosinophilia and promoted an increase in interferon (IFN) gamma and decreases in IL-4 and IL-5 expression. The effects of IL-12 were partially dependent on IFN-gamma, because concurrent treatment with IL-12 and anti-IFN-gamma monoclonal antibody partially reversed the inhibition of airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia by IL-12. Treatment of mice with IL-12 at the time of a second antigen challenge also prevented airway hyperresponsiveness and significantly reduced numbers of BAL inflammatory cells, reflecting the ability of IL-12 to inhibit responses associated with ongoing antigen-induced pulmonary inflammation. These data show that antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation can be blocked by IL-12, which suppresses Th2 cytokine expression. Local administration of IL-12 may provide a novel immunotherapy for the treatment of pulmonary allergic disorders such as atopic asthma.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic airway inflammatory diseases. The clinical hallmarks of asthma include elevated serum levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR). Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is considered a carcinogen; however, it has also been used to treat diseases, such as syphilis, in traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Today, As2O3 is used as one of the standard therapies for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Previous studies have indicated that As2O3 can induce apoptosis in eosinophils. However, the effect of As2O3 on asthma has not been investigated. We used ovalbumin (OVA)-immunized mice as a model for asthma and treated mice with As2O3 at doses of 2.5 and 5 mg/kg. The mice were then monitored for OVA-specific IgE production, airway inflammatory cell infiltration and AHR. We found that administration of As2O3 in OVA-immunized mice abrogated airway eosinophil recruitment by downregulating eotaxin expression but did not alter serum IgE or IL-5 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Furthermore, the development of AHR and cellular infiltration into the airway were reduced by treating mice with As2O3. In vitro data suggested that low concentrations of As2O3 could induce only a small degree of apoptosis in primary pulmonary cells but could significantly inhibit the secretion of eotaxin by these cells. These results indicate that the administration of As2O3 to OVA-immunized mice can suppress lung allergic inflammatory responses. As2O3 might therefore have therapeutic potential in treating allergic airway inflammatory diseases.
arsenic trioxide; asthma; eosinophils
The bronchial asthma, a clinical complication of persistent inflammation of the airway and subsequent airway hyper-responsiveness, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. Several studies have shown that oxidative stress plays a key role in initiation as well as amplification of inflammation in airways. However, still there are no good anti-oxidant strategies available for therapeutic intervention in asthma pathogenesis. Most recent studies suggest that polyol pathway enzyme, aldose reductase (AR), contributes to the pathogenesis of oxidative stress–induced inflammation by affecting the NF-κB-dependent expression of cytokines and chemokines and therefore inhibitors of AR could be anti-inflammatory. Since inhibitors of AR have already gone through phase-III clinical studies for diabetic complications and found to be safe, our hypothesis is that AR inhibitors could be novel therapeutic drugs for the prevention and treatment of asthma. Hence, we investigated the efficacy of AR inhibition in the prevention of allergic responses to a common natural airborne allergen, ragweed pollen that leads to airway inflammation and hyper-responsiveness in a murine model of asthma.
Methods and Findings
Primary Human Small Airway Epithelial Cells (SAEC) were used to investigate the in vitro effects of AR inhibition on ragweed pollen extract (RWE)-induced cytotoxic and inflammatory signals. Our results indicate that inhibition of AR prevents RWE -induced apoptotic cell death as measured by annexin-v staining, increase in the activation of NF-κB and expression of inflammatory markers such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cycloxygenase (COX)-2, Prostaglandin (PG) E2, IL-6 and IL-8. Further, BALB/c mice were sensitized with endotoxin-free RWE in the absence and presence of AR inhibitor and followed by evaluation of perivascular and peribronchial inflammation, mucin production, eosinophils infiltration and airway hyperresponsiveness. Our results indicate that inhibition of AR prevents airway inflammation and production of inflammatory cytokines, accumulation of eosinophils in airways and sub-epithelial regions, mucin production in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and airway hyperresponsiveness in mice.
These results suggest that airway inflammation due to allergic response to RWE, which subsequently activates oxidative stress-induced expression of inflammatory cytokines via NF-κB-dependent mechanism, could be prevented by AR inhibitors. Therefore, inhibition of AR could have clinical implications, especially for the treatment of airway inflammation, a major cause of asthma pathogenesis.
Airway infiltration by eosinophils is a major characteristic of chronic asthma. CCL11 (eotaxin-1) is secreted by lung epithelial cells and functions as the major chemokine for eosinophil recruitment. Pseudotyped adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2/9, composed by the AAV2 rep and AAV9 cap genes, can efficiently target lung epithelial cells and might carry gene sequences with therapeutic potential for asthma. This study aimed to determine whether pseudotyped AAV2/9 virus carrying the small hairpin RNA targeting CCL11 and expressed by CMV/U6 promoter could reduce eosinophilia and asthmatic responses in mite allergen-sensitized mice. Mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal and challenged by intratracheal injection with recombinant Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 2 allergen (rDp2). AAV2/9 viral vectors were intratracheally injected three days before the first challenge. AAV2/9 sh47 virus significantly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, airway resistance, CCL11 levels, and eosinophilia in the lungs of sensitized mice. Th2 cytokines, including interleukins (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-10, were also significantly reduced in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of AAV2/9 sh47 virus-treated mice. Th2 cytokine levels were also reduced in rDp2-stimulated mediastinal lymphocytes in treated mice. However, serum levels of rDp2-specific IgG1 and IgE, as well as Th2 cytokine levels in rDp2-stimulated splenocyte culture supernatants, were comparable to the sensitized control group. The results suggest that AAV2/9 sh47 virus relieved local instead of systemic inflammatory responses. Therefore, the CMV/U6 promoter with AAV2/9 viral vector, which is preferable to target lung epithelia cells, might be applied as a novel therapeutic approach for asthma.
Wu and colleagues show that intratracheal injection of AAV2/9 vector encoding short hairpin RNA (shRNA) against CCL11 (AAV2/9 sh47) leads to a significant reduction of airway hyperresponsiveness and airway resistance in the lungs of allergen-sensitized mice. Serum levels of allergen-specific IgG1 and IgE, as well as helper T cell type 2 cytokine levels, were similar in the AAV2/9 and sensitized control groups, suggesting that this approach relieves local but not systemic inflammatory responses.
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
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) produced by two sphingosine kinase isoenzymes, SphK1 and SphK2, has been implicated in IgE-mediated mast cell responses. However, studies of allergic inflammation in isotype-specific SphK knockout mice have not clarified their contribution and the role that S1P plays in vivo in a mast cell and IgE-dependent mouse model of allergic asthma has not yet been examined.
We used an isoenzyme-specific SphK1 inhibitor, SK1-I, to investigate the contributions of S1P and SphK1 to mast cell dependent airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation in mice.
Allergic airway inflammation and AHR were examined in a mast cell-dependent mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma. C57BL/6 mice received intranasal delivery of SK1-I prior to sensitization and challenge with OVA or only prior to challenge.
SK1-I inhibited antigen-dependent activation of human and murine mast cells and suppressed activation of NF-κB, a master transcription factor that regulates expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. SK1-I treatment of mice sensitized to OVA in the absence of adjuvant, which develop mast cell-dependent allergic inflammation, significantly reduced OVA-induced AHR to methacholine; decreased numbers of eosinophils and levels of the cytokines IL-4, 5, 6, 13, IFN-γ, and TNF-α and the chemokines eotaxin, and CCL2 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; and decreased pulmonary inflammation as well as activation of NF-κB in the lungs.
S1P and SphK1 play important roles in mast cell-dependent, OVA-induced allergic inflammation and AHR, in part by regulating the NF-κB pathway.
sphingosine-1-phosphate; sphingosine kinase; mast cells; NF-kB; airway hyperresponsiveness; asthma
This study was conducted to determine if oral administration of the novel herbal medicine, MA, and its Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented product, MA128, have therapeutic properties for the treatment of asthma. Asthma was induced in BALB/c mice by systemic sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) followed by intratracheal, intraperitoneal, and aerosol allergen challenges. MA and MA128 were orally administered 6 times a week for 4 weeks. At 1 day after the last ovalbumin exposure, airway hyperresponsiveness was assessed and samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, lung cells, and serum were collected for further analysis. We investigated the effect of MA and MA128 on airway hyperresponsiveness, pulmonary eosinophilic infiltration, various immune cell phenotypes, Th2 cytokine production, OVA-specific IgE production, and Th1/Th2 cytokine production in this mouse model of asthma. In BALB/c mice, we found that MA and MA128 treatment suppressed eosinophil infiltration into airways and blood, allergic airway inflammation and AHR by suppressing the production of IL-5, IL-13, IL-17, Eotaxin, and OVA-specific IgE, by upregulating the production of OVA-specific Th1 cytokine (IFN-γ), and by downregulating OVA-specific Th2 cytokine (IL-4) in the culture supernatant of spleen cells. The effectiveness of MA was increased by fermentation with Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Pulmonary eosinophilia is one of the most consistent hallmarks of asthma. Infiltration of eosinophils into the lung in experimental asthma is dependent on the adhesion molecule vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) on endothelial cells. Ligation of VCAM-1 activates endothelial cell NADPH oxidase, which is required for VCAM-1-dependent leukocyte migration in vitro. To examine whether endothelial-derived NADPH oxidase modulates eosinophil recruitment in vivo, mice deficient in NADPH oxidase (CYBB mice) were irradiated and received wild-type hematopoietic cells to generate chimeric CYBB mice. In response to ovalbumin (OVA) challenge, the chimeric CYBB mice had increased numbers of eosinophils bound to the endothelium as well as reduced eosinophilia in the lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage. This occurred independent of changes in VCAM-1 expression, cytokine/chemokine levels (IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, IFNγ, or eotaxin), or numbers of T cells, neutrophils, or mononuclear cells in the lavage fluids or lung tissue of OVA-challenged mice. Importantly, the OVA-challenged chimeric CYBB mice had reduced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). The AHR in OVA-challenged chimeric CYBB mice was restored by bypassing the endothelium with intratracheal administration of eosinophils. These data suggest that VCAM-1 induction of NADPH oxidase in the endothelium is necessary for the eosinophil recruitment during allergic inflammation. Moreover, these studies provide a basis for targeting VCAM-1-dependent signaling pathways in asthma therapies.
endothelium; gp91 phox; eosinophils; VCAM-1
Eotaxin is a member of the C-C family of chemokines and is related during antigen challenge in a guinea pig model of allergic airway inflammation (asthma). Consistent with its putative role in eosinophilic inflammation, eotaxin induces the selective infiltration of eosinophils when injected into the lung and skin. Using a guinea pig lung cDNA library, we have cloned full-length eotaxin cDNA. The cDNA encodes a protein of 96 amino acids, including a putative 23-amino acid hydrophobic leader sequence, followed by 73 amino acids composing the mature active eotaxin protein. The protein-coding region of this cDNA is 73, 71, 50, and 48% identical in nucleic acid sequence to those of human macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP) 3, MCP-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP) 1 alpha, and RANTES, respectively. Analysis of genomic DNA suggested that there is a single eotaxin gene in guinea pig which is apparently conserved in mice. High constitutive levels of eotaxin mRNA expression were observed in the lung, while the intestines, stomach, spleen, liver, heart, thymus, testes, and kidney expressed lower levels. To determine if eotaxin mRNA levels are elevated during allergen-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation, ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea pigs were challenged with aerosolized antigen. Compared with the lungs from saline-challenged animals, eotaxin mRNA levels increased sixfold within 3 h and returned to baseline by 6 h. Thus, eotaxin mRNA levels are increased in response to allergen challenge during the late phase response. The identification of constitutive eotaxin mRNA expression in multiple tissues suggests that in addition to regulating airway eosinophilia, eotaxin is likely to be involved in eosinophil recruitment into other tissues as well as in baseline tissue homing.
Over 40% of chronic stable asthma patients have evidence of respiratory Mycoplasma pneumoniae (Mp) infection as detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), but not by serology and culture, suggesting a low-level Mp involved in chronic asthma. However, the role of such a low-level Mp infection in regulation of allergic inflammation remains unknown.
To determine the impact of a low-level Mp infection in mice with established airway allergic inflammation on allergic responses such as eosinophilia and chemokine eotaxin-2, and the underlying mechanisms (i.e., prostaglandin E2 [PGE2] pathway) since PGE2 inhalation before allergen challenge suppressed eosinophil infiltration in human airways.
BALB/c mouse models of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic asthma with an ensuing low-dose or high-dose Mp were used to assess IL-4 expression, BAL eosinophil, eotaxin-2 and PGE2 levels, and lung mRNA levels of microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1). Primary alveolar macrophages (pAMs) from naïve BALB/c mice were cultured to determine if Mp-induced PGE2 or exogenous PGE2 down-regulates IL-4/IL-13-induced eotaxin-2.
Low-dose Mp in allergic mice significantly enhanced IL-4 and eotaxin-2, and moderately promoted lung eosinophilia, whereas high-dose Mp significantly reduced lung eosinophilia and tended to decrease IL-4 and eotaxin-2. Moreover, in both OVA-naïve and allergic mice, lung mPGES-1 mRNA and BAL PGE2 levels were elevated in mice infected with high-dose, but not low-dose Mp. In pAMs, IL-4/IL-13 significantly increased eotaxin-2, which was reduced by Mp infection accompanied by dose-dependent PGE2 induction. Exogenous PGE2 inhibited IL-4/IL-13-induced eotaxin-2 in a dose-dependent manner.
This study highlights a novel concept on how differing bacterial loads in the lung modify the established allergic airway inflammation, and thus interact with an allergen to further induce Th2 responses. That is: Unlike high-level Mp, low-level Mp fails to effectively induce PGE2 to down-regulate allergic responses (e.g., eotaxin-2), thus maintaining or even worsening allergic inflammation in asthmatic airways.
asthma; Mycoplasma pneumoniae; eotaxin-2; PGE2; alveolar macrophages
Lovastatin is an effective inhibitor of cholesterol synthesis. A previous study demonstrated that lovastatin can also suppress airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in murine model of asthma. We aimed to investigate the effect of lovastatin on mucus secretion and inflammation-associated gene expression in the lungs of murine model of asthma.
Female BALB/c mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) by intraperitoneal injection, and orally administered lovastatin from days 14 to 27 post-injection. Gene expression in lung tissues was analyzed using real-time polymerase chain reaction. AHR and goblet cell hyperplasia were also examined. BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cells were used to evaluate the effect of lovastatin on the expression of cell adhesion molecules, chemokines, and proinflammatory cytokines in vitro.
We showed that lovastatin inhibits the expression of Th2-associated genes, including eotaxins and adhesion molecules, in the lungs of murine model of asthma. Mucin 5AC expression, eosinophil infiltration and goblet cell hyperplasia were significantly decreased in the lung tissue of murine model of asthma treated with lovastatin. Furthermore, lovastatin inhibited AHR and expression of Th2-associated cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. However, a high dose (40 mg/kg) of lovastatin was required to decrease specific IgE to OVA levels in serum, and suppress the expression of Th2-associated cytokines in splenocytes. Activated BEAS-2B cells treated with lovastatin exhibited reduced IL-6, eotaxins (CCL11 and CCL24), and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 protein expression. Consistent with this, lovastatin also suppressed the ability of HL-60 cells to adhere to inflammatory BEAS-2B cells.
These data suggest that lovastatin suppresses mucus secretion and airway inflammation by inhibiting the production of eotaxins and Th2 cytokines in murine model of asthma.
Asthma; cytokine; eosinophil; eotaxin; lovastatin; MUC5 AC
Asthma is characterized by bronchial inflammation causing increased airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia. The interaction between airway epithelium and inflammatory mediators plays a key role in the asthmatic pathogenesis. The in vitro study elucidated inhibitory effects of kaempferol, a flavonoid found in apples and many berries, on inflammation in human airway epithelial BEAS-2B cells. Nontoxic kaempferol at ≤20 μM suppressed the LPS-induced IL-8 production through the TLR4 activation, inhibiting eotaxin-1 induction. The in vivo study explored the demoting effects of kaempferol on asthmatic inflammation in BALB/c mice sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA). Mouse macrophage inflammatory protein-2 production and CXCR2 expression were upregulated in OVA-challenged mice, which was attenuated by oral administration of ≥10 mg/kg kaempferol. Kaempferol allayed the airway tissue levels of eotaxin-1 and eotaxin receptor CCR3 enhanced by OVA challenge. This study further explored the blockade of Tyk-STAT signaling by kaempferol in both LPS-stimulated BEAS-2B cells and OVA-challenged mice. LPS activated Tyk2 responsible for eotaxin-1 induction, while kaempferol dose-dependently inhibited LPS- or IL-8-inflamed Tyk2 activation. Similar inhibition of Tyk2 activation by kaempferol was observed in OVA-induced mice. Additionally, LPS stimulated the activation of STAT1/3 signaling concomitant with downregulated expression of Tyk-inhibiting SOCS3. In contrast, kaempferol encumbered STAT1/3 signaling with restoration of SOCS3 expression. Consistently, oral administration of kaempferol blocked STAT3 transactivation elevated by OVA challenge. These results demonstrate that kaempferol alleviated airway inflammation through modulating Tyk2-STAT1/3 signaling responsive to IL-8 in endotoxin-exposed airway epithelium and in asthmatic mice. Therefore, kaempferol may be a therapeutic agent targeting asthmatic diseases.
Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn) has long been used as a herbal medicine in Asia and Europe. It has been used for the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial weakness, tachycardia, hypertension and arteriosclerosis. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Crataegus pinnatifida ethanolic extracts (CPEE) on Th2-type cytokines, eosinophil infiltration, expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, and other factors, using an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced murine asthma model.
Airways of OVA-sensitized mice exposed to OVA challenge developed eosinophilia, mucus hypersecretion and increased cytokine levels. CPEE was applied 1 h prior to OVA challenge. Mice were administered CPEE orally at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg once daily on days 18–23. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected 48 h after the final OVA challenge. Levels of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 in BALF were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assays. Lung tissue sections 4 µm in thickness were stained with Mayer’s hematoxylin and eosin for assessment of cell infiltration and mucus production with PAS staining, in conjunction with ELISA, and Western blot analyses for the expression of MMP-9, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 protein expression. CPEE significantly decreased the Th2 cytokines including IL-4 and IL-5 levels, reduced the number of inflammatory cells in BALF and airway hyperresponsiveness, suppressed the infiltration of eosinophil-rich inflammatory cells and mucus hypersecretion and reduced the expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MMP-9 and the activity of MMP-9 in lung tissue of OVA-challenged mice.
These results showed that CPEE can protect against allergic airway inflammation and can act as an MMP-9 modulator to induce a reduction in ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression. In conclusion, we strongly suggest the feasibility of CPEE as a therapeutic drug for allergic asthma.
Persistent activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) has been associated with the development of asthma. Galangin, the active pharmacological ingredient from Alpinia galanga, is reported to have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties in vitro via negative regulation of NF-κB. This study aimed to investigate whether galangin can abrogate ovalbumin- (OVA-) induced airway inflammation by negative regulation of NF-κB. BALB/c mice sensitized and challenged with OVA developed airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and inflammation. Galangin dose dependently inhibited OVA-induced increases in total cell counts, eosinophil counts, and interleukin-(IL-) 4, IL-5, and IL-13 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and reduced serum level of OVA-specific IgE. Galangin also attenuated AHR, reduced eosinophil infiltration and goblet cell hyperplasia, and reduced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and vascular cell adhesion protein-1 (VCAM-1) levels in lung tissue. Additionally, galangin blocked inhibitor of κB degradation, phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB, and p65 nuclear translocation from lung tissues of OVA-sensitized mice. Similarly, in normal human airway smooth muscle cells, galangin blocked tumor necrosis factor-α induced p65 nuclear translocation and expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, eotaxin, CXCL10, and VCAM-1. These results suggest that galangin can attenuate ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway.
Allergic asthma is a dysregulation of the immune system which leads to the development of Th2 responses to innocuous antigens (allergens). Some infections and microbial components can re-direct the immune response toward the Th1 response, or induce regulatory T cells to suppress the Th2 response, thereby inhibiting the development of allergic asthma. Since Acinetobacter baumannii infection can modulate lung cellular and cytokine responses, we studied the effect of A. baumannii in modulating airway eosinophilia in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice were treated with live A. baumannii or phosphate buffered saline (PBS), then intranasally challenged with OVA. Compared to PBS, A. baumannii treatment significantly reduced pulmonary Th2 cytokine and chemokine responses to OVA challenge. More importantly, the airway inflammation in A. baumannii-treated mice was strongly suppressed, as seen by the significant reduction of the proportion and the total number of eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In addition, A. baumannii-treated mice diminished lung mucus overproduction and pathology. However, A. baumannii treatment did not significantly alter systemic immune responses to OVA. Serum OVA-specific IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a levels were comparable between A. baumannii- and PBS-treated mice, and tracheobronchial lymph node cells from both treatment groups produced similar levels of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in response to in vitro OVA stimulation. Moreover, it appears that TLR-4 and IFN-γ were not directly involved in the A. baumannii-induced suppression of airway eosinophilia. Our results suggest that A. baumannii inhibits allergic airway inflammation by direct suppression of local pulmonary Th2 cytokine responses to the allergen.
L-selectin is a cell adhesion molecule, which mediates leukocyte rolling on bronchopulmonary endothelium. Previous studies in a murine model of allergic airways disease have shown that L-selectin plays a role in the regulation of airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma via mechanisms independent of inflammation. Airway remodeling has been shown to modulate airway hyperresponsiveness independently of inflammation.
Our aim was to determine if L-selectin influenced airway hyperresponsiveness via modulation of structural changes as a result of airway remodeling.
A chronic ovalbumin-induced allergic airways disease model was applied to L-selectin-deficient mice and wild-type control mice. The development of airway inflammation was assessed by examining leukocyte influx into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Airway remodeling changes were determined via histology and morphometric analysis of lung tissue sections, and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness was assessed by invasive plethysmography.
Total cell counts, but not individual differential cell counts, were reduced in the ovalbumin-treated L-selectin-deficient mice compared to wildtype ovalbumin-treated mice. L-selectin-deficient mice had significantly reduced epithelial thickness and smooth muscle thickness. Airway hyperresponsiveness was abrogated in ovalbumin treated L-selectin-deficient mice compared to wild-type controls.
L-selectin plays an important role in regulating airway remodeling in an animal model of chronic allergic airways disease. Abrogated airway hyperresponsiveness may be related to reduced remodeling changes in L-selectin-deficient mice. L-selectin represents a potential target for novel asthma treatment for airway remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness.
asthma; L-selectin; airway hyperresponsiveness; airway remodeling
Glutathione S-transferase P1 is a Phase II cytoprotective and detoxifying enzyme that is widely expressed in human airways. The glutathione S-transferase P1 Ile105Val polymorphism has been linked with atopic disorders and asthma. Yet, little is known about the regulation of allergic inflammation by glutathione S-transferase P1 in human asthmatics.
To establish the effect of the glutathione S-transferase P1 Ile105Val polymorphism on allergen-induced airway inflammation and oxidant stress, and nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine and reactivity to specific allergen in mild human atopic asthmatics in vivo.
Five Val105/Val105, twelve Val105/Ile105, and twenty Ile105/Ile105 mild atopic asthmatics underwent methacholine challenge, inhaled allergen challenge, and endobronchial allergen provocation through a bronchoscope. A panel of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, F2-isoprostanes and isofuranes, markers of oxidative stress, thromboxane B2, and immunoglobulin E were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid at baseline and 24 hrs after allergen instillation.
Asthmatics with glutathione S-transferase P1 Val105/Val105 compared to asthmatics with the glutathione S-transferase P1 Val105/Ile105 and Ile105/Ile105 had greater generation of acute phase cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, CXCL8), IL-12, CCL11, thromboxane B2, and immunoglobulin E at 24 hrs after local allergen challenge. The GSTP1 genotype had no effect on airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine and the reactivity to specific allergen.
The glutathione S-transferase P1 Ile105Val polymorphism markedly modifies allergen-provoked airway inflammation in atopic asthmatics in vivo. Modulation of the biochemical milieu in response to allergen provides a mechanistic explanation for regulatory effects of glutathione S-transferase P1 polymorphism on airway pathophysiology, and may guide improvement of future therapeutic methods in human atopic asthmatics. These findings must me confirmed in a larger study population of asthmatics with various ethnicities.
Glutathione S-transferase P1; Ile105Val polymorphism; atopic asthma; allergen challenge; methacholine challenge; allergic inflammation; oxidant stress
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized by local and systemic Th2 responses to cutaneously introduced allergens and is a risk factor for asthma. Blockade of Th2 cytokines has been suggested as therapy for AD.
To examine the effect of the absence of IL-4 and IL-13 on the Th-17 response to epicutaneous (EC) sensitization in a mouse model of allergic skin inflammation with features of AD.
Wild-type (WT), IL-4KO, IL-13KO and IL-4/13 double KO (DKO) mice were subjected to EC sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA) or saline and airway challenged with OVA. Systemic immune responses to OVA, skin and airway inflammation, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) were examined.
OVA sensitized DKO mice exhibited impaired Th2 driven responses with undetectable OVA specific IgE and severely diminished eosinophil infiltration at sensitized skin sites, but intact dermal infiltration with CD4+ cells. DKO mice mounted an exaggerated IL-17A, but normal IFN-γ and IL-5 systemic responses. Airway challenge of these mice with OVA caused marked upregulation of IL-17 mRNA expression in the lungs, increased neutrophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), airway inflammation characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration with no detectable eosinophils, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine that were reversed by IL-17 blockade. IL-4, but not IL-13, was identified as the major Th2 cytokine that downregulates the IL-17 response in EC sensitized mice.
EC sensitization in the absence of IL-4/IL-13 induces an exaggerated Th17 response systemically, and in lungs following antigen challenge that results in airway inflammation and AHR.
Blockade of IL-4 may promote IL-17-mediated airway inflammation in AD.
IL-17; Th2 cytokines; atopic dermatitis; asthma
IL-22 is a Th17/Th22 cytokine that is increased in asthma. However, recent animal studies showed controversial findings in the effects of IL-22 in allergic asthma. To determine the role of IL-22 in ovalbumin-induced allergic inflammation we generated inducible lung-specific IL-22 transgenic mice. Transgenic IL-22 expression and signaling activity in the lung were determined. Ovalbumin (OVA)-induced pulmonary inflammation, immune responses, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) were examined and compared between IL-22 transgenic mice and wild type controls. Following doxycycline (Dox) induction, IL-22 protein was readily detected in the large (CC10 promoter) and small (SPC promoter) airway epithelial cells. IL-22 signaling was evidenced by phosphorylated STAT3. After OVA sensitization and challenge, compared to wild type littermates, IL-22 transgenic mice showed decreased eosinophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and in lung tissue, decreased mucus metaplasia in the airways, and reduced AHR. Among the cytokines and chemokines examined, IL-13 levels were reduced in the BAL fluid as well as in lymphocytes from local draining lymph nodes of IL-22 transgenic mice. No effect was seen on the levels of serum total or OVA-specific IgE or IgG. These findings indicate that IL-22 has immune modulatory effects on pulmonary inflammatory responses in allergen-induced asthma.
Chemokine receptor (CCR) 5 is expressed on dendritic cells, macrophages, CD8 cells, memory CD4 T cells, and stromal cells, and is frequently used as a marker of T helper type 1 cells. Interventions that abrogate CCR5 or interfere with its ligand binding have been shown to alter T helper type 2–induced inflammatory responses. The role of CCR5 on allergic airway responses is not defined. CCR5-deficient (CCR5−/−) and wild-type (CCR5+/+) mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) and allergic airway responses were monitored 48 hours after the last OVA challenge. Cytokine levels in lung cell culture supernatants were also assessed. CCR5−/− mice showed significantly lower airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and lower numbers of total cells, eosinophils, and lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid compared with CCR5+/+ mice after sensitization and challenge. The levels of IL-4 and IL-13 in BAL fluid of CCR5−/− mice were lower than in CCR5+/+ mice. Decreased numbers of lung T cells were also detected in CCR5−/− mice after sensitization and challenge. Transfer of OVA-sensitized T cells from CCR5+/+, but not transfer of CCR5−/− cells, into CCR5−/− mice restored AHR and numbers of eosinophils in BAL fluid after OVA challenge. Accordingly, the numbers of airway-infiltrating donor T cells were significantly higher in the recipients of CCR5+/+ T cells. Taken together, these data suggest that CCR5 plays a pivotal role in allergen-induced AHR and airway inflammation, and that CCR5 expression on T cells is essential to the accumulation of these cells in the airways.
rodent; T cells; cytokines; chemokines; lung
We have reported that a 24 kDa protein (22U homologous; As22U) of Anisakis simplex larvae could elicit several Th2-related chemokine gene expressions in the intestinal epithelial cell line which means that As22U may play a role as an allergen. In order to determine the contribution of As22U to allergic reactions, we treated mice with 6 times intra-nasal application of recombinant As22U (rAs22U). In the group challenged with rAs22U and ovalbumin (OVA), the number of eosinophils in the bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was significantly increased, as compared to the group receiving only OVA. In addition, mice treated with rAs22U and OVA showed significantly increased airway hyperresponsiveness. Thus, severe inflammation around the airway and immune cell recruitment was observed in mice treated with rAs22U plus OVA. The levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 cytokines in the BALF increased significantly after treatment with rAs22U and OVA. Similarly, the levels of anti-OVA specific IgE and IgG1 increased in mice treated with rAs22U and OVA, compared to those treated only with OVA. The Gro-α (CXCL1) gene expression in mouse lung epithelial cells increased instantly after treatment with rAs22U, and allergy-specific chemokines eotaxin (CCL11) and thymus-and-activation-regulated-chemokine (CCL17) gene expressions significantly increased at 6 hr after treatment. In conclusion, rAs22U may induce airway allergic inflammation, as the result of enhanced Th2 and Th17 responses.
Anisakis simplex; As22U; allergic airway inflammation; excretory secretory protein