Despite changes in the epidemiology of bronchopulmonary dysplasia [BPD], longer term morbidity, particularly in the form of airway dysfunction, remains a substantial problem in former preterm infants. The stage for this respiratory morbidity may begin as early as the transition from fetal to neonatal life. Newer therapeutic approaches for BPD should be directed toward minimizing this longer term respiratory morbidity. Neonatal animal models focused primarily on hyperoxic exposure may provide important insights into the pathogenesis of longer term airway hyperreactivity in this population.
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; neonatal airway function; pediatric asthma
This paper reports development of an integrated fiber-optic microfluidic device for measuring muscular force of small nematode worms with high sensitivity, high data reliability, and simple device structure. A moving nematode worm squeezed through multiple detection points (DPs) created between a thinned single mode fiber (SMF) cantilever and a sine-wave channel with open troughs. The SMF cantilever was deflected by the normal force imposed by the worm, reducing optical coupling from the SMF to a receiving multimode fiber (MMF). Thus, multiple force data could be obtained for the worm-SMF contacts to verify to each other, improving data reliability. A noise equivalent displacement of the SMF cantilever was 0.28 μm and a noise equivalent force of the device was 143 nN. We demonstrated the workability of the device to detect muscular normal forces of the parasitic nematodes Oesophagotomum dentatum L3 larvae on the SMF cantilever. Also, we used this technique to measure force responses of levamisole-sensitive (SENS) and resistant (LERV) O. dentatum isolates in response to different doses of the anthelmintic drug, levamisole. The results showed that both of the isolates generated a larger muscular normal force when exposed to a higher concentration of levamisole. We also noticed muscular force phenotype differences between the SENS and LERV worms: the SENS muscles were more sensitive to levamisole than the LEVR muscles. The ability to quantify the muscular forces of small nematode worms will provide a new approach for screening mutants at single animal resolution. Also, the ability to resolve small differences in muscular forces in different environmental conditions will facilitate phenotyping different isolates of nematodes. Thus, the present technology can potentially benefit and advance the current whole animal assays.
Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNO); Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD); Neonate; Prematurity; S-nitrosylation; S-nitrosothiol (SNO); Ethyl Nitrite (ENO)
We sought to characterize a novel cohort of patients with lung disease, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibody positivity, without rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or other connective tissue disease (CTD).
The study sample included 74 subjects with respiratory symptoms, evaluated January 2008–January 2010 and found to have a positive anti-CCP antibody but no evidence for RA or other CTD. Each underwent serologic testing, pulmonary physiology testing, and thoracic high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan as part of routine clinical evaluation.
The majority of subjects were women, and most were former cigarette smokers. Four distinct radiographic phenotypes were identified: isolated airways disease (54%), isolated interstitial lung disease (ILD) (14%), mixed airways disease and ILD (26%), and combined pulmonary fibrosis with emphysema (7%). This cohort had a predominance of airways disease, either in isolation or along with a usual interstitial pneumonia-pattern of ILD. Among subjects with high-titer anti-CCP positivity (n=33), three developed the articular manifestations of RA during a median follow-up of 449 days.
We have described a unique cohort of patients with anti-CCP antibody positivity and lung disease in the absence of existing RA or other CTD. The lung phenotypic characteristics of this cohort resemble those of established RA and a few of these patients have developed articular RA within a short period of follow-up. The implications of a positive anti-CCP antibody among patients with lung disease but not RA are not yet known, but we believe requires further investigation.
Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide; Rheumatoid arthritis; Interstitial lung disease; Lung diseases
Short palate, lung and nasal epithelium clone 1 (SPLUNC1) is enriched in normal airway lining fluid, but is significantly reduced in airway epithelium exposed to a Th2 cytokine milieu. The role of SPLUNC1 in modulating airway allergic inflammation (e.g., eosinophils) remains unknown. We used SPLUNC1 knockout (KO) and littermate wild-type (C57BL/6 background) mice and recombinant SPLUNC1 protein to determine the impact of SPLUNC1 on airway allergic/eosinophilic inflammation, and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. An acute ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge protocol was used to induce murine airway allergic inflammation (e.g., eosinophils, eotaxin-2, and Th2 cytokines). Our results showed that SPLUNC1 in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of OVA-challenged wild-type mice was significantly reduced (P < 0.05), which was negatively correlated with levels of lung eosinophilic inflammation. Moreover, SPLUNC1 KO mice demonstrated significantly higher numbers of eosinophils in the lung after OVA challenges than did wild-type mice. Alveolar macrophages isolated from OVA-challenged SPLUNC1 KO versus wild-type mice had higher concentrations of baseline eotaxin-2 that was amplified by LPS (a known risk factor for exacerbating asthma). Human recombinant SPLUNC1 protein was applied to alveolar macrophages to study the regulation of eotaxin-2 in the context of Th2 cytokine and LPS stimulation. Recombinant SPLUNC1 protein attenuated LPS-induced eotaxin-2 production in Th2 cytokine–pretreated murine macrophages. These findings demonstrate that SPLUNC1 inhibits airway eosinophilic inflammation in allergic mice, in part by reducing eotaxin-2 production in alveolar macrophages.
SPLUNC1; asthma; alveolar macrophage; Th2 cytokines; eotaxin-2
To test the hypothesis that preterm infants randomized to a low vs high O2 saturation target range have a higher incidence of intermittent hypoxemia.
A subcohort of 115 preterm infants with high resolution pulse oximetry enrolled in the Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Oxygenation Randomized Trial were randomized to low (85%-89%) or high (91%-95%) O2 saturation target ranges. Oxygen saturation was monitored until 36 weeks postmenstrual age or until the infant was breathing room air without respiratory support for ≥72 hours.
The low target O2 saturation group had a higher rate of intermittent hypoxemia (≤80% for ≥10 seconds and ≤3 minutes) prior to 12 days and beyond 57 days of life (P < .05). The duration shortened (P < .0001) and the severity increased (P < .0001) with increasing postnatal age with no differences between target saturation groups. The higher rate of intermittent hypoxemia events in the low target group was associated with a time interval between events of <1 minute.
A low O2 saturation target was associated with an increased rate of intermittent hypoxemia events that was dependent on postnatal age. The duration and severity of events was comparable between target groups. Further investigation is needed to assess the role of intermittent hypoxemia and their timing on neonatal morbidity.
Fleas are significant ectoparasites of small animals. They can be a severe irritant to animals and serve as a vector for a number of infectious diseases. In this article, we discuss the pharmacological characteristics of four insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists used as fleacides in dogs and cats, which include three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, nitenpyram, and dinotefuran) and spinosad. Insect nAChR agonists are one of the most important new classes of insecticides, which are used to control sucking insects both on plants and on companion animals. These new compounds provide a new approach for practitioners to safely and effectively eliminate fleas.
Fleas; neonicotinoids; spinosad; fleacides; nicotinic receptors
Levamisole and pyrantel are old (1965) but useful anthelmintics that selectively activate nematode acetylcholine ion-channel receptors; they are used to treat roundworm infections in humans and animals. Interest in their actions has surged, giving rise to new knowledge and technical advances, including an ability to reconstitute receptors that reveal more details of modes of action/resistance. We now know that the receptors are plastic and may form diverse species-dependent subtypes of receptor with different sensitivities to individual cholinergic anthelmintics. Understanding the biology of the levamisole receptors is expected to inform other studies on anthelmintics (ivermectin and emodepside) that act on ion-channels.
Levamisole; nematode; acetylcholine; ion channel receptor; subtypes; oocyte expression; anthelmintic; resistance
Gene identification and sequence determination are critical requirements for many biological, genomic, and bioinformatic studies. With the advent of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, such determinations are predominantly accomplished in silico for organisms for which the genome is known or for which there exists substantial gene sequence information. Without detailed genomic/gene information, in silico sequence determination is not straightforward, and full coding sequence determination typically involves time- and labor-intensive PCR-based amplification and cloning methods.
An improved method was developed with which to determine full length gene coding sequences in silico using de novo assembly of RNA-Seq data. The scheme improves upon initial contigs through contig-to-gene identification by BLAST nearest–neighbor comparison, and through single-contig refinement by iterative-binning and -assembly of reads. Application of the iterative method produced the gene identification and full coding sequence for 9 of 12 genes and improved the sequence of 3 of the 12 genes targeted by benzimidazole, macrocyclic lactone, and nicotinic agonist classes of anthelminthic drugs in the swine nodular parasite Oesophagostomum dentatum. The approach improved upon the initial optimized assembly with Velvet that only identified full coding sequences for 2 genes.
Our reiterative methodology represents a simplified pipeline with which to determine longer gene sequences in silico from next generation sequence data for any nematode for which detailed genetic/gene information is lacking. The method significantly improved upon an initial Velvet assembly of RNA-Seq data that yielded only 2 full length sequences. The identified coding sequences for the 11 target genes enables further future examinations including: (i) the use of recombinant target protein in functional assays seeking a better understanding of the mechanism of drug resistance, and (ii) seeking comparative genomic and transcriptomic assessments between parasite isolates that exhibit varied drug sensitivities.
Transcriptome; In silico sequence; Nematode; Anthelminthic; Drug resistance
Perinatal sepsis and inflammation trigger lung and brain injury in preterm infants, and associated apnea of prematurity. We hypothesized that endotoxin exposure in the immature lung would upregulate proinflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in the medulla oblongata and be associated with impaired respiratory control. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 0.1 mg/kg) or saline was administered intratracheally to rat pups and medulla oblongatas were harvested for quantifying expression of mRNA for proinflammatory cytokines. LPS-exposure significantly increased medullary mRNA for IL-1β and IL-6, and vagotomy blunted this increase in IL-1β, but not IL-6. Whole-body flow plethysmography revealed that LPS-exposed pups had an attenuated ventilatory response to hypoxia both before and after carotid sinus nerve transection. Immunochemical expression of IL-1β within the nucleus of the solitary tract and area postrema was increased after LPS-exposure. In summary, intratracheal endotoxin-exposure in rat pups is associated with upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines in the medulla oblongata that is vagally-mediated for IL-1β and associated with an impaired hypoxic ventilatory response.
Intermittent hypoxic episodes are typically a consequence of immature respiratory control and remain a troublesome challenge for the neonatologist. Furthermore, their frequency and magnitude are underestimated by clinically employed pulse oximeter settings. In extremely low birth weight infants the incidence of intermittent hypoxia progressively increases over the first 4 weeks of postnatal life, with a subsequent plateau followed by a slow decline beginning at weeks 6–8. Such episodic hypoxia/reoxygenation has the potential to sustain a proinflammatory cascade with resultant multisystem morbidity. This morbidity includes retinopathy of prematurity and impaired growth, as well as possible longer-term cardiorespiratory instability and poor neurodevelopmental outcome. Therapeutic approaches for intermittent hypoxic episodes comprise determination of optimal baseline saturation and careful titration of supplemental inspired oxygen, as well as xanthine therapy to prevent apnea of prematurity. In conclusion, characterization of the pathophysiologic basis for such intermittent hypoxic episodes and their consequences during early life is necessary to provide an evidence-based approach to their management.
Intermittent hypoxic episodes; Pulse oximetry; Extremely low birth weight infants
Impaired airway mucosal immunity can contribute to increased respiratory tract infections in asthmatic patients, but the involved molecular mechanisms have not been fully clarified. Airway epithelial cells serve as the first line of respiratory mucosal defense to eliminate inhaled pathogens through various mechanisms, including Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathways. Our previous studies suggest that impaired TLR2 function in TH2 cytokine–exposed airways might decrease immune responses to pathogens and subsequently exacerbate allergic inflammation. IL-1 receptor–associated kinase M (IRAK-M) negatively regulates TLR signaling. However, IRAK-M expression in airway epithelium from asthmatic patients and its functions under a TH2 cytokine milieu remain unclear.
We sought to evaluate the role of IRAK-M in IL-13–inhibited TLR2 signaling in human airway epithelial cells. Methods: We examined IRAK-M protein expression in epithelia from asthmatic patients versus that in normal airway epithelia. Moreover, IRAK-M regulation and function in modulating innate immunity (eg, TLR2 signaling) were investigated in cultured human airway epithelial cells with or without IL-13 stimulation.
IRAK-M protein levels were increased in asthmatic airway epithelium. Furthermore, in primary human airway epithelial cells, IL-13 consistently upregulated IRAK-M expression, largely through activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway. Specifically, phosphoinositide 3-kinase activation led to c-Jun binding to human IRAK-M gene promoter and IRAK-M upregulation. Functionally, IL-13–induced IRAK-M suppressed airway epithelial TLR2 signaling activation (eg, TLR2 and human β-defensin 2), partly through inhibiting activation of nuclear factor κB.
Our data indicate that epithelial IRAK-M overexpression in TH2 cytokine–exposed airways inhibits TLR2 signaling, providing a novel mechanism for the increased susceptibility of infections in asthmatic patients.
IL-13; IL-1 receptor–associated kinase M; Toll-like receptor 2; airway epithelial cells
Prolonged exposure of immature lungs to hyperoxia contributes to neonatal lung injury and airway hyperreactivity. We have previously demonstrated that neonatal exposure of rat pups to ≥95% O2 impairs airway relaxation due to disruption of nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling. Objective: We now hypothesize that these impaired relaxation responses are secondary to hyperoxia-induced upregulation of arginase, which competes with NO synthase for L-arginine.
Rat pups were exposed to moderate neonatal hyperoxia (50% O2) or room air for 7 days from birth. In additional hyperoxic and room air groups, exogenous L-arginine (300 mg/kg/day i.p.) or arginase inhibitor (Nω-hydroxy-nor-arginine, 30 mg/kg/day i.p.) were administered daily. After 7 days, animals were anesthetized and sacrificed either for preparation of lung parenchymal strips or lung perfusion.
In response to electrical field stimulation (EFS), bethanechol-preconstricted lung parenchymal strips from hyperoxic pups exhibited significantly reduced relaxation compared to room air controls. Supplementation of L-arginine or arginase blockade restored hyperoxia-induced impairment of relaxation. Expression of arginase I in airway epithelium was increased in response to hyperoxia but reduced by arginase blockade. Arginase activity was also significantly increased in hyperoxic lungs as compared to room air controls and reduced following arginase blockade. EFS-induced production of NO was decreased in hyperoxia-exposed airway smooth muscle and restored by arginase blockade.
These data suggest that NO-cGMP signaling is disrupted in neonatal rat pups exposed to even moderate hyperoxia due to increased arginase activity and consequent decreased bioavailability of the substrate L-arginine. We speculate that supplementation of arginine and/or inhibition of arginase may be a useful therapeutic tool to prevent or treat neonatal lung injury.
Bronchodilation; Epithelium; L-Arginine; Nitric oxide production; Nω-hydroxy-nor-arginine; Lung strips; Oxygen
Infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae in asthma can occur both acutely and chronically with an associated Th2 inflammatory response and/or increased numbers of bronchial mast cells. Mast cells have previously been shown to promote mycoplasma clearance in mice; however, it is unknown whether mast cells would aid M. pneumoniae clearance under allergic conditions.
Our aim was to determine the impact of allergic inflammation on mast cell-mediated lung M. pneumoniae clearance. Furthermore, as we have previously demonstrated an essential role for IL-6 in lung M. pneumoniae clearance we also investigated the role of mast cell-derived IL-6.
Mast cell deficient WBB6F1/J-KitW/KitW-v mice were challenged with ovalbumin to induce airway inflammation prior to M. pneumoniae infection. The role of mast cell-derived IL-6 in bacterial clearance was further investigated by reconstitution of mast cell deficient mice with IL-6-/- mast cells.
Allergic mast cell deficient mice exhibited increased lung M. pneumoniae burden compared to control littermates. Intravenous adoptive transfer of wild type and IL-6-/- mast cells significantly improved M. pneumoniae clearance in mast cell deficient mice. Acutely after M. pneumoniae infection, allergen-challenged mast cell deficient mice had increased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α in the BAL fluid. The total number of neutrophils was also increased in mast cell deficient mice.
Our results establish that mast cells aid host defense against M. pneumoniae in an allergic setting and that while IL-6 is necessary for lung M. pneumoniae clearance, mast cell-derived IL-6 is not required.
Asthma; host defense; innate immunity; mast cells; Mycoplasma pneumoniae
Preterm infants are subject to fluctuations in blood gas status associated with immature respiratory control. Intermittent hypoxia during early postnatal life has been shown to increase chemoreceptor sensitivity and destabilize the breathing pattern; however, intermittent hypercapnia remains poorly studied. Therefore, to test the hypothesis that intermittent hypercapnia results in altered respiratory control, we examined the effects of daily exposure to intermittent hypercapnia on the ventilatory response to subsequent hypercapnic and hypoxic exposure in neonatal rat pups. Exposure cycles consisted of 5 min of intermittent hypercapnia (5% CO2, 21% O2, balance N2) followed by 10 min of normoxia. Rat pups were exposed to 18 exposure cycles each day for 1 week, from postnatal day 7 to 14. We analyzed diaphragm electromyograms (EMGs) from pups exposed to subsequent acute hypercapnic (5% CO2) and hypoxic (12% O2) challenges. In response to a subsequent hypercapnia challenge, there was no significant difference in the ventilatory response between control and intermittent hypercapnia-exposed groups. In contrast, intermittent hypercapnia-exposed rat pups showed an enhanced ventilatory response to hypoxic challenge with an increase in minute EMG to 118 ± 14% of baseline versus 107 ± 13% for control pups (p < 0.05). We speculate that prior hypercapnic exposure may increase peripheral chemoreceptor response to subsequent hypoxic exposures and result in perturbed neonatal respiratory control.
Hypoxia; Hypercapnia; Neonatal apnea; Chemoreceptors
Oligonucleotides (ONs) are an emerging class of drugs being developed for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases including the treatment of respiratory diseases by the inhalation route. As a class, their toxicity on human lungs has not been fully characterized, and predictive toxicity biomarkers have not been identified. To that end, identification of sensitive methods and biomarkers that can detect toxicity in humans before any long term and/or irreversible side effects occur would be helpful. In light of the public's greater interests, the Inhalation Subcommittee of the Oligonucleotide Safety Working Group (OSWG) held expert panel discussions focusing on the potential toxicity of inhaled ONs and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different monitoring techniques for use during the clinical evaluation of inhaled ON candidates. This white paper summarizes the key discussions and captures the panelists' perspectives and recommendations which, we propose, could be used as a framework to guide both industry and regulatory scientists in future clinical research to characterize and monitor the short and long term lung response to inhaled ONs.
Airway bacterial infections are a major problem in lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. Increased Th2 cytokines, such as IL-13, are observed in lung diseases and may contribute to bacterial infections. How Th2 cytokines affect bacterial infection remains unknown. MUC18, an adhesion molecule shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma, has been recently identified in airway epithelial cells of patients with COPD. We investigated MUC18 regulation by IL-13 and the role of MUC18 in bacterial adherence to epithelial cells. Human airway tissues, brushed bronchial epithelial cells from normal subjects and subjects with asthma, and epithelial cell lines (e.g., HEK293 cells) were used to study the regulation of MUC18 by IL-13 and the involvement of MUC18 in bacterial (e.g., Mycoplasma pneumoniae [Mp] and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae [NTHi]) adherence to epithelial cells. Asthmatic bronchial epithelium expressed higher levels of MUC18 than normal bronchial epithelium. IL-13 increased MUC18 in cultured bronchial epithelial cells from normal subjects and particularly from subjects with asthma. IL-13–induced MUC18 expression may be modulated in part through transcription factor specificity protein 1. Overexpression of human MUC18 in HEK293 cells increased cell-associated Mp and NTHi levels. Moreover, MUC18 was shown to directly interact with Mp and NTHi. These results for the first time show that an allergic airway milieu (e.g., IL-13) increases MUC18 expression, which may contribute to increased bacterial infection/colonization in asthma and other lung diseases.
airway epithelial cells; MUC18; IL-13; bacteria
No consensus exists for adjusting inhaled corticosteroid therapy in patients with asthma. Approaches include adjustment at outpatient visits guided by physician assessment of asthma control (symptoms, rescue therapy, pulmonary function), based on exhaled nitric oxide, or on a day-to-day basis guided by symptoms.
To determine if adjustment of inhaled corticosteroid therapy based on exhaled nitric oxide or day-to-day symptoms is superior to guideline-informed, physician assessment–based adjustment in preventing treatment failure in adults with mild to moderate asthma.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A randomized, parallel, 3-group, placebo-controlled, multiply-blinded trial of 342 adults with mild to moderate asthma controlled by low-dose inhaled corticosteroid therapy (n=114 assigned to physician assessment–based adjustment [101 completed], n=115 to biomarker-based [exhaled nitric oxide] adjustment [92 completed], and n=113 to symptom-based adjustment [97 completed]), the Best Adjustment Strategy for Asthma in the Long Term (BASALT) trial was conducted by the Asthma Clinical Research Network at 10 academic medical centers in the United States for 9 months between June 2007 and July 2010.
For physician assessment–based adjustment and biomarker-based (exhaled nitric oxide) adjustment, the dose of inhaled corticosteroids was adjusted every 6 weeks; for symptom-based adjustment, inhaled corticosteroids were taken with each albuterol rescue use.
Main Outcome Measure
The primary outcome was time to treatment failure.
There were no significant differences in time to treatment failure. The 9-month Kaplan-Meier failure rates were 22% (97.5% CI, 14%-33%; 24 events) for physician assessment–based adjustment, 20% (97.5% CI, 13%-30%; 21 events) for biomarker-based adjustment, and 15% (97.5% CI, 9%-25%; 16 events) for symptom-based adjustment. The hazard ratio for physician assessment–based adjustment vs biomarker-based adjustment was 1.2 (97.5% CI, 0.6-2.3). The hazard ratio for physician assessment–based adjustment vs symptom-based adjustment was 1.6 (97.5% CI, 0.8-3.3).
Among adults with mild to moderate persistent asthma controlled with low-dose inhaled corticosteroid therapy, the use of either biomarker-based or symptom-based adjustment of inhaled corticosteroids was not superior to physician assessment–based adjustment of inhaled corticosteroids in time to treatment failure.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00495157
With increasing resistance to anti-parasitic drugs, it has become more important to detect and recognize phenotypes of resistant isolates. Molecular methods of detecting resistant isolates are limited at present. Here, we introduce a microfluidic bioassay to measure phenotype using parameters of nematode locomotion. We illustrate the technique on larvae of an animal parasite Oesophagostomum dentatum. Parameters of sinusoidal motion such as propagation velocity, wavelength, wave amplitude, and oscillation frequency depended on the levamisole-sensitivity of the isolate of parasitic nematode. The levamisole-sensitive isolate (SENS) had a mean wave amplitude of 135 μm, which was larger than 123 μm of the levamisole-resistant isolate (LEVR). SENS had a mean wavelength of 373 μm, which was less than 393 μm of LEVR. The mean propagation velocity of SENS, 149 μm s−1, was similar to LEVR, 143 μm s−1. The propagation velocity of the isolates was inhibited by levamisole in a concentration-dependent manner above 0.5 μM. The EC50 for SENS was 3 μM and the EC50 for LEVR was 10 μM. This microfluidic technology advances present-day nematode migration assays and provides a better quantification and increased drug sensitivity. It is anticipated that the bioassay will facilitate study of resistance to other anthelmintic drugs that affect locomotion.
microfluidics; bioassay; Oesophagostomum dentatum; levamisole resistance; phenotype
This review summarizes work on central neurotransmission, chemoreception and CNS control of cholinergic outflow to the airways. First, we describe the neural transmission of bronchoconstrictive signals from airway afferents to the airway-related vagal preganglionic neurons (AVPNs) via the nucleus of the solitary tract (nTS) and, second, we characterize evidence for a modulatory effect of excitatory glutamatergic, and inhibitory GABAergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic pathways on AVPN output. Excitatory signals arising from bronchopulmonary afferents and/or the peripheral chemosensory system activate second order neurons within the nTS, via a glutamate-AMPA (alpha-amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) receptor signaling pathway. These nTS neurons, using the same neurotransmitter-receptor unit, transmit information to the AVPNs, which in turn convey the central command through descending fibers and airway intramural ganglia to airway smooth muscle, submucosal secretory glands, and the vasculature. The strength and duration of this reflex-induced bronchoconstriction is modulated by GABAergic-inhibitory inputs. In addition, central noradrenergic and serotonergic inhibitory pathways appear to participate in the regulation of cholinergic drive to the tracheobronchial system. Down-regulation of these inhibitory influences results in a shift from inhibitory to excitatory drive, which may lead to increased excitability of AVPNs, heightened airway responsiveness, greater cholinergic outflow to the airways and consequently bronchoconstriction. In summary, centrally coordinated control of airway tone and respiratory drive serve to optimize gas exchange and work of breathing under normal homeostatic conditions. Greater understanding of this process should enhance our understanding of its disruption under pathophysiologic states.
Airways; Airway reflex responses; Nucleus tractus solitarius; AVPNs; Glutamatergic pathways: Glutamate; AMPA receptors; NMDA receptors; GABAergic microcircuitry: GABAA receptors; Serotonergic pathways; Adrenergic pathways; Parallel control of airways and respiration
Smoking tobacco is a leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but although the majority of COPD cases can be directly related to smoking, only a quarter of smokers actually develop the disease. A potential reason for the disparity between smoking and COPD may involve an individual's ability to mount a protective adaptive response to cigarette smoke (CS). Glutathione (GSH) is highly concentrated in the lung epithelial lining fluid (ELF) and protects against many inhaled oxidants. The changes in GSH that occur with CS are not well investigated; therefore the GSH adaptive response that occurs with a commonly utilized CS exposure was examined in mice.
Mice were exposed to CS for 5 h after which they were rested in filtered air for up to 16 h. GSH levels were measured in the ELF, bronchoalveolar lavage cells, plasma, and tissues. GSH synthesis was assessed by measuring γ-glutamylcysteine ligase (GCL) activity in lung and liver tissue.
GSH levels in the ELF, plasma, and liver were decreased by as much as 50% during the 5 h CS exposure period whereas the lung GSH levels were unchanged. Next, the time course of rebound in GSH levels after the CS exposure was examined. CS exposure initially decreased ELF GSH levels by 50% but within 2 h GSH levels rebound to about 3 times basal levels and peaked at 16 h with a 6-fold increase and over repeat exposures were maintained at a 3-fold elevation for up to 2 months. Similar changes were observed in tissue GCL activity which is the rate limiting step in GSH synthesis. Furthermore, elevation in ELF GSH levels was not arbitrary since the CS induced GSH adaptive response after a 3d exposure period prevented GSH levels from dropping below basal levels.
CS exposures evoke a powerful GSH adaptive response in the lung and systemically. These data suggests there may be a sensor that sets the ELF GSH adaptive response to prevent GSH levels from dipping below basal levels. Factors that disrupt GSH adaptive responses may contribute to the pathophysiology of COPD.
Rationale: Cross-talk between glucocorticoid receptors and histone deacetylases (HDACs) under steroid-insensitive conditions has not been explored.
Objectives: To evaluate expression and interaction of HDACs with glucocorticoid receptor isoforms in bronchoalveolar lavage and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from steroid-resistant versus steroid-sensitive patients with asthma.
Methods: Expression of HDACs 1 through 11 was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction in primary cells and in the DO11.10 cell line, designed to overexpress glucocorticoid receptor β. Glucocorticoid receptor β expression was inhibited in bronchoalveolar lavage cells by small interfering RNA. Human HDAC2 promoter fragments were cloned into a luciferase reporter vector, and transiently transfected with glucocorticoid receptor α– and β–encoding plasmids into the cells. Luciferase activity was then assayed in response to glucocorticoids.
Measurements and Main Results: Levels of HDAC2 mRNA, but not other histone deacetylases, were significantly decreased in bronchoalveolar lavage cells but not in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from steroid-resistant patients with asthma. Overexpression of glucocorticoid receptor β in DO11.10 cells selectively reduced HDAC2 mRNA and protein levels. Silencing of glucocorticoid receptor β in bronchoalveolar lavage cells from patients with asthma significantly increased HDAC2 mRNA. Luciferase activity assays with HDAC2 promoter reporter constructs identified two glucocorticoid-inducible regions in the HDAC2 promoter. Promoter activity was increased more than fourfold in dexamethasone-treated cells cotransfected with glucocorticoid receptor α. Cotransfection of glucocorticoid receptor β abolished this effect in a dose-dependent manner.
Conclusions: Glucocorticoid receptor β controls expression of histone deacetylase 2 by inhibiting glucocorticoid response elements in its promoter. This highlights a novel mechanism by which glucocorticoid receptor β promotes steroid insensitivity (Li et al.: J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009;123:S146; and Li et al.: J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125:AB104).
glucocorticoid receptor β; asthma; glucocorticoid response element; gene expression regulation
Inquiries into the relationships between viral respiratory illnesses and the inception and exacerbation of asthma are being facilitated by recent advances in research approaches and technology. In this article, we identify important knowledge gaps and future research questions, and we discuss how new investigational tools, including improved respiratory virus detection techniques, will permit current and future researchers to define these relationships and the host, virus, developmental, and environmental mechanisms that regulate them. A better understanding of these processes should facilitate the development of improved strategies for the prevention and treatment of virus-induced wheezing illnesses and asthma exacerbations and, possibly, the ultimate goal of discovering effective approaches for the primary prevention of asthma.
viral respiratory infections; asthma; wheezing; asthma onset; asthma exacerbations; respiratory viruses; rhinovirus; respiratory syncytial virus; allergy
Cholinergic anthelmintics (like levamisole) are important drugs but resistance with reduced responses by the parasite to these compounds is a concern. There is a need to study and understand mechanisms that affect the amplitude of the responses of parasites to these drugs. In this paper, we study interactions of levamisole and ryanodine receptors on contractions of Ascaris suum body muscle flaps. In our second paper, we extend these observations to examine electrophysiological interactions of levamisole, ryanodine receptors (RyRs) and AF2. We report that the maximum force of contraction, gmax, was dependent on the extracellular concentration of calcium but the levamisole EC50(0.8 μM) was not. The relationship between maximum force of contraction and extracellular calcium was described by the Michaelis-Menten equation with a Km of 1.8 mM. Ryanodine inhibited gmax without effect on EC50; ryanodine inhibited only 44% of the maximum contraction (Ki of 40 nM), revealing a ryanodine-insensitive component in the levamisole excitation-contraction pathway. Dantrolene had the same effect as ryanodine but was less potent. The neuropeptide AF2 (1 μM) decreased the levamisole EC50 to 0.2 μM without effect on gmax; 0.1 μM ryanodine and 100 μM dantrolene, inhibited the gmax of the AF2-potentiated levamisole response. High concentrations of caffeine, 30 mM, produced weak contraction of the body flap preparation. Caffeine behaved like ryanodine in that it inhibited the maximum force of contraction, gmax, without effects on the levamisole EC50. Thus, RyRs play a modulatory role in the levamisole-excitation contraction pathway by affecting the maximum force of contraction without an effect on levamisole EC50. The levamisole-excitation contraction coupling is graded and has at least two pathways: one sensitive to ryanodine and one not.
Ascaris suum; levamisole; contraction; ryanodine; caffeine; AF2