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1.  Proceedings of the Canadian society of allergy and clinical immunology annual scientific meeting 2015 
Côté, Marie-Ève | Boulay, Marie-Ève | Plante, Sophie | Chakir, Jamila | Boulet, Louis-Philippe | Ahmed, Hanan | Ospina, Maria-Beatriz | Sideri, Kyriaki | Vliagoftis, Harissios | Johnson, Sara F. | Woodgate, Roberta L. | Cros, Guilhem | Teira, Pierre | Cellot, Sonia | Bittencourt, Henrique | Decaluwe, Helene | Vachon, Marie France | Duval, Michel | Haddad, Elie | Kim, Vy H. D. | Pham-Huy, Anne | Grunebaum, Eyal | Oliveria, John-Paul | Phan, Stephanie | Tenn, Mark W. | Tworek, Damian | Smith, Steven G. | Baatjes, Adrian J. | Obminski, Caitlin D. | Munoz, Caroline E. | Scime, Tara X. | Sehmi, Roma | Gauvreau, Gail M. | Salter, Brittany M. | Smith, Steven G. | Obminski, Caitlin D. | Munoz, Caroline E. | Schlatman, Abbey | Scime, Tara X. | Watson, Rick | Sherkat, Roya | Khoshnevisan, Razieh | Sheikhbahaei, Saba | Betschel, Stephen | Warrington, Richard | Schellenberg, Robert | Fein, Michael N. | Pelletier, Jean-Philippe | Kan, Manstein | Labrosse, Roxane | Mak, Raymond | Loh, James | Kanani, Amin | Nowak, Dominik A. | Keith, Paul K. | Pannozzo, Daniel | Lima, Hermenio C. | Pham, Diana | Pham, Hoang | Alvarez, Gonzalo G. | Bencze, Istvan T. | Sharma, Krishna B. | Smith, Mark | Aaron, Shawn | Block, Jennifer | Keays, Tara | Leech, Judith | Schneidermen, David | Cameron, Jodi | Forgie, Jennifer | Ring, Alicia | O’Quinn, John W. | Santucci, Stephanie | Yang, William H. | Gaudet, Ena | Aaron, Shawn | Voisin, Mathew R. | Borici-Mazi, Rozita | Vostretsova, Kateryna | Stark, Donald F. | Yeboah, Elizabeth | Martin-Rhee, Michelle | Gula, Cheryl | Cheng, Clare | Paltser, Geoff | Dery, Alizée | Clarke, Ann | Nadeau, Kari | Harada, Laurie | Weatherall, Kimberley | Greenwood, Celia | Daley, Denise | Asai, Yuka | Ben-Shoshan, Moshe | Ling, Ling | Ospina, Maria B. | Protudjer, Jennifer L. P. | Vetander, Mirja | van Hage, Marianne | Olén, Ola | Wickman, Magnus | Bergström, Anna | Teoh, Timothy | Mill, Christopher | Wong, Tiffany | Baerg, Ingrid | Alexander, Angela | Hildebrand, Kyla J. | Dean, John | Kuzeljevic, Boris | Chan, Edmond S. | Argeny, Jonathan | Gona-Hoepler, Mia | Fucik, Petra | Nachbaur, Edith | Gruber, Saskia | Crameri, Reto | Glaser, Andreas | Szépfalusi, Zsolt | Rhyner, Claudio | Eiwegger, Thomas | Plunkett, Greg | Mire, Brad | Yazicioglu, Mehtap | Can, Ceren | Ciplak, Gokce | Cook, Victoria E. | Portales-Casamar, Elodie | Nashi, Emil P. | Gabrielli, Sofianne | Primeau, Marie-Noel | Lejtenyi, Christine | Netchiporouk, Elena | Dery, Alizee | Shand, Greg | Hoe, Erica | Liem, Joel | Ko, Jason K. | Huang, David J. T. | Mazza, Jorge A. | McHenry, Mary | Otley, Anthony | Watson, Wade | Kraft, John N. | Paina, Mihaela | Darwish Hassan, Ahmed A. | Heroux, Delia | Crawford, Lynn | Gauvreau, Gail | Denburg, Judah | Pedder, Linda | Chad, Zave | Sussman, Gordon | Hébert, Jacques | Frankish, Charles | Olynych, Timothy | Cheema, Amarjit | Del Carpio, Jaime | Harrison, Rachel | Torabi, Bahar | Medoff, Elaine | Mill, Jennifer | Quirt, Jaclyn A. | Wen, Xia | Kim, Jonathan | Herrero, Angel Jimenez | Kim, Harold L. | Grzyb, Magdalena J. | Primeau, Marie-Noël | Azad, Meghan B. | Lu, Zihang | Becker, Allan B. | Subbarao, Padmaja | Mandhane, Piushkumar J. | Turvey, Stuart E. | Sears, Malcolm R. | Boucher-Lafleur, Anne-Marie | Gagné-Ouellet, Valérie | Jacques, Éric | Laprise, Catherine | Chen, Michael | McGovern, Toby | Adner, Mikael | Martin, James G. | Cosic, Nela | Ntanda, Henry | Giesbrecht, Gerald | Kozyrskyj, Anita | Letourneau, Nicole | Dawod, Bassel | Marshall, Jean | De Schryver, Sarah | Halbrich, Michelle | La Vieille, Sebastian | Eisman, Harley | Alizadehfar, Reza | Joseph, Lawrence | Morris, Judy | Feldman, Laura Y. | Thacher, Jesse D. | Kull, Inger | Melén, Erik | Pershagen, Göran | Protudjer, Jennifer L. P. | Hosseini, Ali | Hackett, Tillie L. | Hirota, Jeremy | McNagny, Kelly | Wilson, Susan | Carlsten, Chris | Huq, Saiful | Chooniedass, Rishma | Gerwing, Brenda | Huang, Henry | Lefebvre, Diana | Becker, Allan | Khamis, Mona M. | Awad, Hanan | Allen, Kevin | Adamko, Darryl J. | El-Aneed, Anas | Kim, Young Woong | Gliddon, Daniel R. | Shannon, Casey P. | Singh, Amrit | Hickey, Pascal L. C. | Ellis, Anne K. | Neighbour, Helen | Larche, Mark | Tebbutt, Scott J. | Ladouceur, Erika | Stewart, Miriam | Evans, Josh | Masuda, Jeff | To, Teresa | King, Malcolm | Larouche, Miriam | Liang, Liming | Legere, Stephanie A. | Haidl, Ian D. | Legaré, Jean-Francois | Marshall, Jean S. | Sears, Malcolm | Moraes, Theo J. | Ratjen, Felix | Gustafsson, Per | Lou, Wendy | North, Michelle L. | Lee, Elizabeth | Omana, Vanessa | Thiele, Jenny | Brook, Jeff | Rahman, Tanvir | Lejtenyi, Duncan | Fiter, Ryan | Piccirillo, Ciriaco | Mazer, Bruce | Simons, Elinor | Hildebrand, Kyla | Turvey, Stuart | DeMarco, Mari | Le Cao, Kim-Anh | Gauvreau, Gail M. | Mark FitzGerald, J. | O’Byrne, Paul M. | Stiemsma, Leah T. | Arrieta, Marie-Claire | Cheng, Jasmine | Dimitriu, Pedro A. | Thorson, Lisa | Yurist, Sophie | Lefebvre, Diana L. | Mandhane, Piush | McNagny, Kelly M. | Kollmann, Tobias | Mohn, William W. | Brett Finlay, B. | Tran, Maxwell M. | Lefebvre, Diana L. | Ramasundarahettige, Chinthanie F. | Dai, Wei Hao | Mandhane, Piush J. | Tworek, Damian | O’Byrne, Seamus N. | O’Byrne, Paul M. | Denburg, Judah A. | Walsh, Laura | Soliman, Mena | Steacy, Lisa M. | Adams, Daniel E. | Warner, Linda | Mauro, Mary Ann | Mamonluk, Robby | Yang, ChenXi | Conway, Ed M.
Table of contents
A1 Role of fibrocytes in allergic rhinitis
Marie-Ève Côté, Marie-Ève Boulay, Sophie Plante, Jamila Chakir, Louis-Philippe Boulet
A2 Patterns of aeroallergens sensitization in Northern Alberta
Hanan Ahmed, Maria-Beatriz Ospina, Kyriaki Sideri, Harissios Vliagoftis
A3 Addressing acceptable risk for adolescents with Food-Induced Anaphylaxis (FIA)
Sara F. Johnson, Roberta L. Woodgate
A4 Outcomes of matched related and unrelated bone marrow transplantation after reduced-toxicity conditioning for children suffering from Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Guilhem Cros, Pierre Teira, Sonia Cellot, Henrique Bittencourt, Helene Decaluwe, Marie France Vachon, Michel Duval, Elie Haddad
A5 Outcomes of patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) prior to and after initiation of newborn screening for SCID in Ontario
Vy H.D. Kim, Anne Pham-Huy, Eyal Grunebaum
A6 Detection of regulatory B cells in the airways of subjects with asthma
John-Paul Oliveria, Stephanie Phan, Mark W. Tenn, Damian Tworek, Steven G. Smith, Adrian J. Baatjes, Caitlin D. Obminski, Caroline E. Munoz, Tara X. Scime, Roma Sehmi, Gail M Gauvreau
A7 Characterization of IgE-expressing B cells in the airways and peripheral blood of allergic asthmatic subjects
John-Paul Oliveria, Stephanie Phan, Mark W. Tenn, Brittany M Salter, Steven G Smith, Caitlin D Obminski, Caroline E Munoz, Abbey Schlatman, Tara X Scime, Rick Watson, Roma Sehmi, Gail M Gauvreau
A8 Pregnancy: could it be a risk factor for primary immunodeficient patients
Roya Sherkat, Razieh Khoshnevisan, Saba Sheikhbahaei
A9 Clinical experience with Octagam: a Canadian retrospective chart review
Stephen Betschel, Richard Warrington, Robert Schellenberg
A10 Kounis syndrome secondary to contrast media with inferior ST elevations and bilateral ischemic stroke
Michael N Fein, Jean-Philippe Pelletier
A11 Honey bee venom immunotherapy ineffective in bumble bee-induced anaphylaxis: case report and review of literature
Manstein Kan, Robert Schellenberg
A12 Delayed immune reconstitution occurring after multiple immune complications of hematological stem cell transplantation for a leaky SCID
Roxane Labrosse, Guilhem Cros, Pierre Teira, Henrique Bittencourt, Helene Decaluwe, Michel Duval, Elie Haddad
A13 Comparison of Three Case Reports of Acquired Angioedema: presentation, management and outcome
Raymond Mak, James Loh, Amin Kanani
A14 Sitagliptin-associated angioedema not related to concurrent use of ARB or ACE inhibitor
Dominik A. Nowak, Paul K. Keith
A15 Sneddon-Wilkinson subcorneal pustular dermatosis associated with an IgA monoclonal gammopathy
Daniel Pannozzo, Dominik A. Nowak, Hermenio C. Lima
A16 Omalizumab can be effective in patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
Diana Pham, Hoang Pham, Gonzalo G. Alvarez, Istvan T. Bencze, Krishna B. Sharma, Mark Smith, Shawn Aaron, Jennifer Block, Tara Keays, Judith Leech, David Schneidermen, Jodi Cameron, Jennifer Forgie, Alicia Ring, John W. O’Quinn, Stephanie Santucci, William H. Yang
A17 Efficacious use of omalizumab in the treatment of cystic fibrosis
Diana Pham, Hoang Pham, Ena Gaudet, Shawn Aaron, Stephanie Santucci, William H. Yang
A18 HAE with normal C1-INH with inconsistent response to C1 esterase inhibitor infusion but reliably responsive to icatibant
Hoang Pham, Stephanie Santucci, William H. Yang
A19 Anaphylaxis reaction to lactase enzyme
Mathew R. Voisin, Rozita Borici-Mazi
A20 Risk of solid tumor malignancies in patients with primary immune deficiency
Kateryna Vostretsova, Donald F. Stark
A21 Is it time to adopt the chromogenic assay for measuring C1 esterase inhibitor function in patients with HAE Type 2?
Elizabeth Yeboah, Paul K. Keith
A22 Emergency department visits for anaphylaxis and allergic reactions
Michelle Martin-Rhee, Cheryl Gula, Clare Cheng, Geoff Paltser
A23 START: Susceptibility To food Allergies in a Registry of Twins
Alizée Dery, Ann Clarke, Kari Nadeau, Laurie Harada, Kimberley Weatherall, Celia Greenwood, Denise Daley, Yuka Asai, Moshe Ben-Shoshan
A24 Qualifying the diagnostic approach employed by allergists when managing patients with self-diagnosed non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)
Lee Horgan, Teresa Pun
A25 Retrospective analysis on the agreement between skin prick test and serum food specific IgE antibody in adults with suspected food allergy
Ling Ling, Maria B. Ospina, Kyriaki Sideri, Harissios Vliagoftis
A26 Staple food hypersensitivity from infancy to adolescence: a report from the BAMSE cohort
Jennifer L.P. Protudjer, Mirja Vetander, Marianne van Hage, Ola Olén, Magnus Wickman, Anna Bergström
A27 Evaluating the impact of supervised epinephrine autoinjector administration during food challenges on perceived parent confidence
Timothy Teoh, Christopher Mill, Tiffany Wong, Ingrid Baerg, Angela Alexander, Kyla J. Hildebrand, John Dean, Boris Kuzeljevic, Edmond S. Chan
A28 Local immunoglobulin production to Aspergillus fumigatus cystic fibrosis
Jonathan Argeny, Mia Gona-Hoepler, Petra Fucik, Edith Nachbaur, Saskia Gruber, Reto Crameri, Andreas Glaser, Zsolt Szépfalusi, Claudio Rhyner, Thomas Eiwegger
A29 Extract consumption with skin prick test (SPT) devices
Greg. Plunkett, Brad Mire
A30 Evaluation of our cases with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug reactions
Mehtap Yazicioglu, Ceren Can, Gokce Ciplak
A31 Reasons for referral and final diagnoses in a tertiary care pediatric allergy clinic
Victoria E. Cook, Kyla J. Hildebrand, Elodie Portales-Casamar, Christopher Mill, Edmond S. Chan
A32 Internist referral practices for inpatients with self-reported penicillin allergies at a tertiary care teaching hospital
Michael N Fein, Emil P Nashi
A33 Assessing the risk of reactions in children with a negative oral challenge after a subsequent use of amoxicillin
Sofianne Gabrielli, Christopher Mill, Marie-Noel Primeau, Christine Lejtenyi, Elena Netchiporouk, Alizee Dery, Greg Shand, Moshe Ben-Shoshan
A34 Validity of self-reported penicillin allergies
Erica Hoe, Joel Liem
A35 Effectiveness of allergy-test directed elimination diets in eosinophilic esophagitis
Jason K. Ko, David J.T. Huang, Jorge A. Mazza
A36 Allergy testing and dietary management in pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE): A retrospective review of a tertiary Canadian centre’s experience
Mary McHenry, Anthony Otley,Wade Watson
A37 Visualizing the impact of atopic and allergic skin disease
Dominik A. Nowak, John N. Kraft
A38 Cystic fibrosis with and without nasal polyposis in pediatric patients: a cross-sectional comparative study
Mihaela Paina, Ahmed A. Darwish Hassan, Delia Heroux, Lynn Crawford, Gail Gauvreau, Judah Denburg, Linda Pedder, Paul K. Keith
A39 Evaluation of macrolide antibiotic hypersensitivity: the role of oral challenges in children
Bahar Torabi, Marie-Noel Primeau, Christine Lejtenyi, Elaine Medoff, Jennifer Mill, Moshe Ben-Shoshan
A40 Venom allergy testing: is a graded approach necessary?
Jaclyn A. Quirt, Xia Wen, Jonathan Kim, Angel Jimenez Herrero, Harold L. Kim
A41 The role of oral challenges in evaluating cephalosporin hypersensitivity reactions in children
Magdalena J. Grzyb, Marie-Noël Primeau, Christine Lejtenyi, Elaine Medoff, Jennifer Mill, Moshe Ben-Shoshan
A42 Breastfeeding and infant wheeze, atopy and atopic dermatitis: findings from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study
Meghan B. Azad, Zihang Lu, Allan B. Becker, Padmaja Subbarao, Piushkumar J. Mandhane, Stuart E. Turvey, Malcolm R. Sears, the CHILD Study Investigators
A43 IL33 DNA methylation in bronchial epithelial cells is associated to asthma
Anne-Marie Boucher-Lafleur, Valérie Gagné-Ouellet, Éric Jacques, Sophie Plante, Jamila Chakir, Catherine Laprise
A44 NRF2 mediates the antioxidant response to organic dust-induced oxidative stress in bronchial epithelial cells
Michael Chen, Toby McGovern, Mikael Adner, James G. Martin
A45 The effects of perinatal distress, immune biomarkers and mother-infant interaction quality on childhood atopic dermatitis (rash) at 18 months
Nela Cosic, Henry Ntanda, Gerald Giesbrecht, Anita Kozyrskyj, Nicole Letourneau
A46 Examining the immunological mechanisms associated with cow’s milk allergy
Bassel Dawod, Jean Marshall
A47 Tryptase levels in children presenting with anaphylaxis to the Montréal Children’s Hospital
Sarah De Schryver, Michelle Halbrich, Ann Clarke, Sebastian La Vieille, Harley Eisman, Reza Alizadehfar, Lawrence Joseph, Judy Morris, Moshe Ben-Shoshan
A48 Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in infancy and the development of food hypersensitivity from childhood to adolescence
Laura Y. Feldman, Jesse D. Thacher, Inger Kull, Erik Melén, Göran Pershagen, Magnus Wickman, Jennifer L. P. Protudjer, Anna Bergström
A49 Combined exposure to diesel exhaust and allergen enhances allergic inflammation in the bronchial submucosa of atopic subjects
Ali Hosseini, Tillie L. Hackett, Jeremy Hirota, Kelly McNagny, Susan Wilson, Chris Carlsten
A50 Comparison of skin-prick test measurements by an automated system against the manual method
Saiful Huq, Rishma Chooniedass, Brenda Gerwing, Henry Huang, Diana Lefebvre, Allan Becker
A51 The accurate identification and quantification of urinary biomarkers of asthma and COPD through the use of novel DIL- LC-MS/MS methods
Mona M. Khamis, Hanan Awad, Kevin Allen, Darryl J. Adamko, Anas El-Aneed
A52 Systemic immune pathways associated with the mechanism of Cat-Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitopes, a novel immunotherapy, in whole blood of cat-allergic people
Young Woong Kim, Daniel R. Gliddon, Casey P. Shannon, Amrit Singh, Pascal L. C. Hickey, Anne K. Ellis, Helen Neighbour, Mark Larche, Scott J. Tebbutt
A53 Reducing the health disparities: online support for children with asthma and allergies from low-income families
Erika Ladouceur, Miriam Stewart, Josh Evans, Jeff Masuda, Nicole Letourneau, Teresa To, Malcolm King
A54 Epigenetic association of PSORS1C1 and asthma in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean asthma study
Miriam Larouche, Liming Liang, Catherine Laprise
A55 IL-33 induces cytokine and chemokine production in human mast cells
Stephanie A. Legere, Ian D. Haidl, Jean-Francois Legaré, Jean S. Marshall
A56 Reference ranges for lung clearance index from infancy to adolescence for Canadian population
Zihang Lu, Malcolm Sears, Theo J. Moraes, Felix Ratjen, Per Gustafsson, Wendy Lou, Padmaja Subbarao
A57 Kingston Allergy Birth Cohort: cohort profile and mother/child characteristics to age 2
Michelle L. North, Elizabeth Lee, Vanessa Omana, Jenny Thiele, Jeff Brook, Anne K. Ellis
A58 Cow’s milk protein specific IgE, IgA and IgG4 as a predictor of outcome in oral immunotherapy
Tanvir Rahman, Duncan Lejtenyi, Sarah De Schryver, Ryan Fiter, Ciriaco Piccirillo, Moshe Ben-Shoshan, Bruce Mazer
A59 Age of peanut introduction and development of reactions and sensitization to peanut
Elinor Simons, Allan B. Becker, Rishma Chooniedass, Kyla Hildebrand, Edmond S. Chan, Stuart Turvey, Padmaja Subbarao, Malcolm Sears
A60 Multi-omic blood biomarker signatures of the late phase asthmatic response
Amrit Singh, Casey P. Shannon, Young Woong Kim, Mari DeMarco, Kim-Anh Le Cao, Gail M. Gauvreau, J. Mark FitzGerald, Louis-Philippe Boulet, Paul M. O’Byrne, Scott J. Tebbutt
A61 Early life gut microbial alterations in children diagnosed with asthma by three years of age
Leah T. Stiemsma, Marie-Claire Arrieta, Jasmine Cheng, Pedro A. Dimitriu, Lisa Thorson, Sophie Yurist, Boris Kuzeljevic, Diana L. Lefebvre, Padmaja Subbarao, Piush Mandhane, Allan Becker, Malcolm R. Sears, Kelly M. McNagny, Tobias Kollmann, the CHILD Study Investigators, William W. Mohn, B. Brett Finlay, Stuart E. Turvey
A62 The relationship between food sensitization and atopic dermatitis at age 1 year in a Canadian birth cohort
Maxwell M. Tran, Diana L. Lefebvre, Chinthanie F. Ramasundarahettige, Allan B. Becker, Wei Hao Dai, Padmaja Subbarao, Piush J. Mandhane, Stuart E. Turvey, Malcolm R. Sears
A63 Allergen inhalation enhances Toll-like receptor-induced thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor expression by hematopoietic progenitor cells in mild asthmatics
Damian Tworek, Delia Heroux, Seamus N. O’Byrne, Paul M. O’Byrne, Judah A. Denburg
A64 The Allergic Rhinitis Clinical Investigator Collaborative – replicated eosinophilia on repeated cumulative allergen challenges in nasal lavage samples
Laura Walsh, Mena Soliman, Jenny Thiele, Lisa M. Steacy, Daniel E. Adams, Anne K. Ellis
A65 The CHILD Study: optimizing subject retention in pediatric longitudinal cohort research
Linda Warner, Mary Ann Mauro, Robby Mamonluk, Stuart E. Turvey
A66 Differential expression of C3a and C5a in allergic asthma
ChenXi Yang, Amrit Singh, Casey P. Shannon, Young Woong Kim, Ed M. Conway, Scott J. Tebbutt
doi:10.1186/s13223-016-0118-0
PMCID: PMC5009563
2.  Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals 
doi:10.1503/cmaj.151097
PMCID: PMC4627866  PMID: 26438018
3.  Airway hyperresponsiveness; smooth muscle as the principal actor 
F1000Research  2016;5:F1000 Faculty Rev-306.
Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a defining characteristic of asthma that refers to the capacity of the airways to undergo exaggerated narrowing in response to stimuli that do not result in comparable degrees of airway narrowing in healthy subjects. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction mediates airway narrowing, but it remains uncertain as to whether the smooth muscle is intrinsically altered in asthmatic subjects or is responding abnormally as a result of the milieu in which it sits. ASM in the trachea or major bronchi does not differ in its contractile characteristics in asthmatics, but the more pertinent peripheral airways await complete exploration. The mass of ASM is increased in many but not all asthmatics and therefore cannot be a unifying hypothesis for AHR, although when increased in mass it may contribute to AHR. The inability of a deep breath to reverse or prevent bronchial narrowing in asthma may reflect an intrinsic difference in the mechanisms that lead to softening of contracted ASM when subjected to stretch. Cytokines such as interleukin-13 and tumor necrosis factor-α promote a more contractile ASM phenotype. The composition and increased stiffness of the matrix in which ASM is embedded promotes a more proliferative and pro-inflammatory ASM phenotype, but the expected dedifferentiation and loss of contractility have not been shown. Airway epithelium may drive ASM proliferation and/or molecular remodeling in ways that may lead to AHR. In conclusion, AHR is likely multifactorial in origin, reflecting the plasticity of ASM properties in the inflammatory environment of the asthmatic airway.
doi:10.12688/f1000research.7422.1
PMCID: PMC4786946  PMID: 26998246
Airway hyperresponsiveness; smooth muscle; Airway epithelium; asthma
4.  Human Trachealis and Main Bronchi Smooth Muscle Are Normoresponsive in Asthma 
Rationale: Airway smooth muscle (ASM) plays a key role in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) but it is unclear whether its contractility is intrinsically changed in asthma.
Objectives: To investigate whether key parameters of ASM contractility are altered in subjects with asthma.
Methods: Human trachea and main bronchi were dissected free of epithelium and connective tissues and suspended in a force–length measurement set-up. After equilibration each tissue underwent a series of protocols to assess its methacholine dose–response relationship, shortening velocity, and response to length oscillations equivalent to tidal breathing and deep inspirations.
Measurements and Main Results: Main bronchi and tracheal ASM were significantly hyposensitive in subjects with asthma compared with control subjects. Trachea and main bronchi did not show significant differences in reactivity to methacholine and unloaded tissue shortening velocity (Vmax) compared with control subjects. There were no significant differences in responses to deep inspiration, with or without superimposed tidal breathing oscillations. No significant correlations were found between age, body mass index, or sex and sensitivity, reactivity, or Vmax.
Conclusions: Our data show that, in contrast to some animal models of AHR, human tracheal and main bronchial smooth muscle contractility is not increased in asthma. Specifically, our results indicate that it is highly unlikely that ASM half-maximum effective concentration (EC50) or Vmax contribute to AHR in asthma, but, because of high variability, we cannot conclude whether or not asthmatic ASM is hyperreactive.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201407-1296OC
PMCID: PMC4435453  PMID: 25695616
airway smooth muscle mechanics; airway hyperresponsiveness; shortening velocity; asthma; smooth muscle
5.  Evolution of the Immune Response to Chronic Airway Colonization with Aspergillus fumigatus Hyphae 
Infection and Immunity  2015;83(9):3590-3600.
Airway colonization by the mold Aspergillus fumigatus is common in patients with underlying lung disease and is associated with chronic airway inflammation. Studies probing the inflammatory response to colonization with A. fumigatus hyphae have been hampered by the lack of a model of chronic colonization in immunocompetent mice. By infecting mice intratracheally with conidia embedded in agar beads (Af beads), we have established an in vivo model to study the natural history of airway colonization with live A. fumigatus hyphae. Histopathological examination and galactomannan assay of lung homogenates demonstrated that hyphae exited beads and persisted in the lungs of mice up to 28 days postinfection without invasive disease. Fungal lesions within the airways were surrounded by a robust neutrophilic inflammatory reaction and peribronchial infiltration of lymphocytes. Whole-lung cytokine analysis from Af bead-infected mice revealed an increase in proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines early in infection. Evidence of a Th2 type response was observed only early in the course of colonization, including increased levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), elevated IgE levels in serum, and a mild increase in airway responsiveness. Pulmonary T cell subset analysis during infection mirrored these results with an initial transient increase in IL-4-producing CD4+ T cells, followed by a rise in IL-17 and Foxp3+ cells by day 14. These results provide the first report of the evolution of the immune response to A. fumigatus hyphal colonization.
doi:10.1128/IAI.00359-15
PMCID: PMC4534667  PMID: 26123803
6.  Respiratory medicine and research at McGill University: A historical perspective 
The history of respiratory medicine and research at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) is tightly linked with the growth of academic medicine within its teaching hospitals. Dr Jonathan Meakins, a McGill medical graduate, was recruited to the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1924; as McGill’s first full-time clinical professor and Physician-in-Chief at the Royal Victoria Hospital. His focus on respiratory medicine led to the publication of his first book, Respiratory Function in Disease, in 1925. Meakins moved clinical laboratories from the Department of Pathology and placed them within the hospital. As such, he was responsible for the development of hospital-based research.
Dr Ronald Christie was recruited as a postdoctoral fellow by Meakins in the early 1930s. After his fellowship, he returned to Britain but came back to McGill from St Bartholomew’s Hospital (London, United Kingdom) to become Chair of the Department of Medicine in 1955; he occupied the post for 10 years. He published extensively on the mechanical properties of the lung in common diseases such as emphysema and heart failure.
Dr David Bates was among Dr Christie’s notable recruits; Bates in turn, recruited Drs Maurice McGregor, Margaret Becklake, William Thurlbeck, Joseph Milic-Emili, Nicholas Anthonisen, Charles Bryan and Peter Macklem. Bates published extensively in the area of respiratory physiology and, with Macklem and Christie, coauthored the book Respiratory Function in Disease, which integrated physiology into the analysis of disease.
Dr JA Peter Paré joined the attending staff of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Royal Edward Laurentian Hospital in 1949. A consummate clinician and teacher, he worked closely with Dr Robert Fraser, the Chair of Radiology, to write the reference text Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest. This was a sentinel contribution in its focus on radiographic findings as the foundation for a systematic approach to diagnosis, and the correlation of these findings with pathological and clinical observations.
Dr Margaret Becklake immigrated to Montreal from South Africa in 1957. Her research focused on occupational lung disease. She established the respiratory epidemiology research unit at McGill. She was renowned for her insistence on the importance of a clearly stated, relevant research question and for her clarity and insight.
Dr William Thurlbeck, another South African, had developed an interest in emphysema and chronic bronchitis and applied a structure-function approach in collaboration with Peter Macklem and other respirologists. As chief of the Royal Victoria autopsy service, he used pathological specimens to develop a semiquantitative grading system of gross emphysema severity. He promoted the use of morphometry to quantify structural abnormalities.
Dr James Hogg studied the functional consequences of pathological processes for lung function during his PhD studies under the joint supervision of Drs Macklem and Thurlbeck. His contributions to understanding the structural basis for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are numerous, reflecting his transdisciplinary knowledge of respiratory pathology and physiology. He trained other outstanding investigators such as Peter Paré Jr, with whom he founded the Pulmonary Research Laboratory in St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver (British Columbia) in 1977.
A signal event in the evolution of respiratory research at McGill was the construction of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories in 1972. These laboratories were directed by Dr Peter Macklem, a trainee of Dr Becklake’s. The research within the laboratory initially focused on respiratory mechanics, gas distribution within the lung and the contribution of airways of different sizes to the overall mechanical behaviour of the lungs. The effects of cigarette smoking on lung dysfunction, mechanisms of possible loss of lung elastic recoil in asthma and control of bronchomotor tone were all additional areas of active investigation. Dr Macklem pioneered the study of the physiological consequences of small airway pathology.
Dr Joseph Milic-Emili succeeded Dr Macklem as director of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories in 1979. Milic-Emili was renowned for his work on ventilation distribution and the assessment of pleural pressure. He led the development of convenient tools for the assessment of respiratory drive. He clarified the physiological basis for carbon dioxide retention in patients with COPD placed on high inspired oxygen concentrations.
Another area that captured many investigators’ attention in the 1980s was the notion of respiratory failure as a consequence of respiratory muscle fatigue. Dr Charalambos (‘Charis’) Roussos made seminal contributions in this field. These studies triggered a long-lasting interest in respiratory muscle training, in rehabilitation, and in noninvasive mechanical ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure.
Dr Ludwig Engel obtained his PhD under the supervision of Peter Macklem and established himself in the area of ventilation distribution in health and in bronchoconstriction and the mechanics of breathing in asthma; he trained many investigators including one of the authors, Dr Jim Martin, who succeeded Milic-Emili as director of the Meakins Christie Laboratories from 1993 to 2008. Dr Martin developed small animal models of allergic asthma, and adopted a recruitment strategy that diversified the research programs at the Meakins Christie Laboratories.
Dr Manuel Cosio built on earlier work with Macklem and Hogg in his development of key structure-function studies of COPD. He was instrumental in recruiting a new generation of young investigators with interests in sleep medicine and neuromuscular diseases.
The 1970s and 1980s also witnessed the emergence of a topnotch respiratory division at the Montreal General Hospital, in large part reflecting the leadership of Dr Neil Colman, later a lead author of the revised Fraser and Paré textbook. At the Montreal General, areas of particular clinical strength and investigation included asthma, occupational and immunological lung diseases.
In 1989, the Meakins Christie Laboratories relocated to its current site on Rue St Urbain, adjacent to the Montreal Chest Institute. Dr Qutayba Hamid, on faculty at the Brompton Hospital, joined the Meakins-Christie Labs in 1994. In addition to an outstanding career in the area of the immunopathology of human asthma, he broadened the array of techniques routinely applied at the labs and has ably led the Meakins-Christie Labs from 2008 to the present.
The Meakins Christie Laboratories have had a remarkable track record that continues to this day. The basis for its enduring success is not immediately clear but it has almost certainly been linked to the balance of MD and PhD scientists that brought perspective and rigour. The diverse disciplines and research programs also facilitated adaptation to changing external research priorities.
The late 1990s and the early 21st century also saw the flourishing of the Respiratory Epidemiology Unit, under the leadership of Drs Pierre Ernst, Dick Menzies and Jean Bourbeau. It moved from McGill University to the Montreal Chest Institute in 2004. This paved the way for expanded clinical and translational research programs in COPD, tuberculosis, asthma, respiratory sleep disorders and other pulmonary diseases. The faculty now comprises respiratory clinician-researchers and PhD scientists with expertise in epidemiological methods and biostatistics.
Respiratory physiology and medicine at McGill benefitted from a strong start through the influence of Meakins and Christie, and a tight linkage between clinical observation and physiological research. The subsequent recruitment of talented and creative faculty members with absolute dedication to academic medicine continued the legacy. No matter how significant the scientific contributions of the individuals themselves, their most important impact resulted from the training of a large cohort of other gifted physicians and graduate students. Some of these are further described in the accompanying full-length online article.
PMCID: PMC4324519  PMID: 25664457
8.  Endobronchial Ultrasound Reliably Quantifies Airway Smooth Muscle Remodeling in an Equine Asthma Model 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0136284.
Endobronchial ultrasonography (EBUS) revealed differences in the thickness of the layer representing subepithelial tissues (L2) between human asthmatics and controls, but whether this measurement correlates with airway smooth muscle (ASM) remodeling in asthma is unknown. In this study, we sought to determine the ability of EBUS to predict histological ASM remodeling in normal and equine asthmatic airways. We studied 109 isolated bronchi from the lungs of 13 horses. They underwent EBUS examination using a 30 MHz radial probe before being processed for histology. ASM remodeling parameters were evaluated in EBUS images (L2 thickness, L2 area, L2 area/internal perimeter [Pi] and L2 area/Pi2) and histological cuts (ASM area/Pi2), and compared. EBUS was then performed ex vivo on the lungs of 4 horses with heaves, an asthma-like condition of horses, and 7 controls to determine whether central bronchial remodeling could be detected with this technique. An optimized approach was developed based on data variability within airways, subjects, and groups, and then validated in 7 horses (3 controls, 4 with heaves) that underwent EBUS in vivo. L2 area was significantly associated to ASM area in isolated lungs (p<0.0001), in the absence of significant bias related to the airway size. Bronchial size significantly affected EBUS ASM-related parameters, except for L2 area/Pi2. L2 area/Pi2 was increased in the airways of asthmatic horses compared to controls, both ex vivo and in vivo (p<0.05). Bronchial histology confirmed our findings (AASM/Pi2 was increased in asthmatic horses compared to controls, p<0.05). In both horses with heaves and controls, L2 was composed of ASM for the outer 75% of its thickness and by ECM for the remaining inner 25%. In conclusion, EBUS reliably allows assessment of asthma-associated ASM remodeling of central airways in a non-invasive way.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136284
PMCID: PMC4562526  PMID: 26348727
9.  Inhaled birch pollen extract induces airway hyperresponsiveness via oxidative stress but independently of pollen-intrinsic NADPH oxidase activity, or the Toll-like receptor 4-TRIF pathway 
Oxidative stress in allergic asthma may result from oxidase activity or pro-inflammatory molecules in pollens. Signaling via TLR4 and its adaptor TRIF has been implicated in reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated acute lung injury and in T helper 2 immune responses. We investigated the contributions of oxidative stress and TLR4/TRIF signaling to experimental asthma induced by birch pollen exposure exclusively via the airways. Mice were exposed to native or heat-inactivated white birch pollen extract (BPEx) intratracheally and injected with the antioxidants, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) or dimethylthiourea (DMTU) prior to sensitization, challenge, or all allergen exposures, to assess the role of oxidative stress and pollen-intrinsic NADPH oxidase activity in allergic sensitization, inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Additionally, TLR4 signaling was antagonized concomitantly with allergen exposure, or the development of allergic airway disease was evaluated in TLR4 or TRIF knockout mice. NAC inhibited BPEx-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation and AHR except when given exclusively during sensitization, whereas DMTU was inhibitory even when administered with the sensitization alone. Heat-inactivation of BPEx had no effect on the development of allergic airway disease. Oxidative stress-mediated AHR was also TLR4- and TRIF-independent, however, TLR4 deficiency decreased, while TRIF deficiency increased BPEx-induced airway inflammation. In conclusion, oxidative stress plays a significant role in allergic sensitization to pollen via the airway mucosa, but the pollen-intrinsic NADPH oxidase activity and TLR4 or TRIF signaling are unnecessary for the induction of allergic airway disease and AHR. Pollen extract does, however, activate TLR4, thereby enhancing airway inflammation which is restrained by the TRIF-dependent pathway.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1103644
PMCID: PMC3983962  PMID: 23776177
10.  AEOL10150: A Novel Therapeutic for Rescue Treatment Following Toxic Gas Lung Injury1 
Free radical biology & medicine  2010;50(5):602-608.
Background
New therapeutics designed as rescue treatments following toxic gas injury such as chlorine (Cl2) are an emerging area of interest. We tested the effects of the metalloporphyrin catalytic antioxidant AEOL10150, a compound that scavenges peroxynitrite, inhibits lipid peroxidation, and has SOD and catalase-like activities, on Cl2-induced airway injury.
Methods
Balb/C mice received 100 ppm Cl2 gas for five minutes. Four groups were studied; Cl2 only, Cl2 followed by AEOL10150 one and nine hours after exposure, AEOL10150 only, and control. Twenty-four hours following Cl2 gas exposure airway responsiveness to aerosolized methacholine (6.25–50 mg/mL) was measured using a small animal ventilator. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed to assess airway inflammation and protein. Whole lung tissue was assayed for 4-hydroxynonenal. In separate groups, lungs were collected at 72 hours following Cl2 injury to evaluate epithelial cell proliferation.
Results
Mice exposed to Cl2 showed a significantly higher airway resistance than control, Cl2/AEOL10150, or AEOL10150-only treated animals in response to methacholine challenge. Eosinophils, neutrophils and macrophages were elevated in BAL of Cl2-exposed mice. AEOL10150 attenuated the increases in neutrophils and macrophages. AEOL10150 prevented Cl2-induced increase in BAL fluid protein. Chlorine induced an increase in number of proliferating airway epithelial cells, an effect AEOL10150 attenuated. 4-hydroxynonenal levels in the lung were increased following Cl2 and this effect was prevented with AEOL10150.
Conclusion
AEOL10150 is an effective rescue treatment for Cl2-induced airway hyperresponsiveness, airway inflammation, injury-induced airway epithelial cell regeneration and oxidative stress.
doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.12.001
PMCID: PMC4026011  PMID: 21156205
11.  Effects of a short course of inhaled corticosteroids in noneosinophilic asthmatic subjects 
BACKGROUND:
Noneosinophilic asthma has been regarded as a distinct phenotype characterized by a poor response to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).
OBJECTIVE:
To determine whether noneosinophilic, steroid-naive asthmatic subjects show an improvement in asthma control, asthma symptoms and spirometry after four weeks of treatment with ICS, and whether they further benefit from the addition of a long-acting beta-2 agonists to ICS.
METHODS:
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study comparing the efficacy of placebo versus inhaled fluticasone propionate 250 μg twice daily for four weeks in mildly uncontrolled, steroid-naive asthmatic subjects with a sputum eosinophil count ≤2%. This was followed by an open-label, four-week treatment period with fluticasone propionate 250 μg/salmeterol 50 μg, twice daily for all subjects.
RESULTS:
After four weeks of double-blind treatment, there was a statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in the mean (± SD) Asthma Control Questionnaire score in the ICS-treated group (n=6) (decrease of 1.0±0.5) compared with the placebo group (n=6) (decrease of 0.09±0.4) (P=0.008). Forced expiratory volume in 1 s declined in the placebo group (−0.2±0.2 L) and did not change in the ICS group (0.04±0.1 L) after four weeks of treatment (P=0.02). The open-label treatment with fluticasone propionate 250 μg/salmeterol 50 μg did not produce additional improvements in those who were previously treated for four weeks with inhaled fluticasone alone.
CONCLUSION:
A clinically important and statistically significant response to ICS was observed in mildly uncontrolled noneosinophilic asthmatic subjects.
PMCID: PMC3267606  PMID: 21969930
Asthma; Asthma Control Questionnaire; Eosinophils; Sputum cell counts
12.  Concomitant Exposure to Ovalbumin and Endotoxin Augments Airway Inflammation but Not Airway Hyperresponsiveness in a Murine Model of Asthma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98648.
Varying concentrations of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in ovalbumin (OVA) may influence the airway response to allergic sensitization and challenge. We assessed the contribution of LPS to allergic airway inflammatory responses following challenge with LPS-rich and LPS-free commercial OVA. BALB/c mice were sensitized with LPS-rich OVA and alum and then underwent challenge with the same OVA (10 µg intranasally) or an LPS-free OVA. Following challenge, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), airway responsiveness to methacholine and the lung regulatory T cell population (Treg) were assessed. Both OVA preparations induced BAL eosinophilia but LPS-rich OVA also evoked BAL neutrophilia. LPS-free OVA increased interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4 and IL-5 whereas LPS-rich OVA additionally increased IL-1β, IL-12, IFN-γ, TNF-α and KC. Both OVA-challenged groups developed airway hyperresponsiveness. TLR4-deficient mice challenged with either OVA preparation showed eosinophilia but not neutrophilia and had increased IL-5. Only LPS-rich OVA challenged mice had increased lung Tregs and LPS-rich OVA also induced in vitro Treg differentiation. LPS-rich OVA also induced a Th1 cytokine response in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.We conclude that LPS-rich OVA evokes mixed Th1, Th2 and innate immune responses through the TLR-4 pathway, whereas LPS-free OVA evokes only a Th2 response. Contaminating LPS is not required for induction of airway hyperresponsiveness but amplifies the Th2 inflammatory response and is a critical mediator of the neutrophil, Th1 and T regulatory cell responses to OVA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098648
PMCID: PMC4072597  PMID: 24968337
13.  Sphingosine 1-Phosphate (S1P) Induced Interleukin-8 (IL-8) Release Is Mediated by S1P Receptor 2 and Nuclear Factor κB in BEAS-2B Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95566.
The airway epithelium may release pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the asthmatic airway. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid, increased in the airways of asthmatics, that may trigger the release of the potent neutrophil chemoattractant Interleukin-8 (IL-8) by epithelial cells. S1P is a ligand for 5 G protein-coupled receptors, S1PR1-5. We wished to explore the mechanisms of S1P induced IL-8 secretion with regard to the receptor(s) and downstream signaling events involved. Our results indicate that S1P induced IL-8 release is mediated by S1PR2 and the transcription factor NF-κB. Since the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in IL-8 release in response to activation of other G protein-coupled receptors, we examined their importance in S1P induced IL-8 release and established that they are not involved. This study reveals S1PR2 and NF-κB as potential therapeutic targets in neutrophilic airway diseases such as severe asthma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095566
PMCID: PMC3990666  PMID: 24743449
14.  IL-22 contributes to TGF-β1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition in asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):118.
Background
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway inflammation in response to antigen exposure, leading to airway remodeling and lung dysfunction. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) may play a role in airway remodeling through the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype in airway epithelial cells. TGF-β1 is known to promote EMT; however, other cytokines expressed in severe asthma with extensive remodeling, such as IL-22, may also contribute to this process. In this study, we evaluated the contribution of IL-22 to EMT in primary bronchial epithelial cells from healthy and asthmatic subjects.
Methods
Primary bronchial epithelial cells were isolated from healthy subjects, mild asthmatics and severe asthmatics (n=5 patients per group). The mRNA and protein expression of epithelial and mesenchymal cell markers and EMT-associated transcription factors was evaluated following stimulation with TGF-β1, IL-22 and TGF-β1+IL-22.
Results
Primary bronchial epithelial cells stimulated with TGF-β1 underwent EMT, demonstrated by decreased expression of epithelial markers (E-cadherin and MUC5AC) and increased expression of mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin and vimentin) and EMT-associated transcription factors. IL-22 alone had no effect on epithelial or mesenchymal gene expression. However, IL-22+TGF-β1 promoted the expression of some EMT transcription factors (Snail1 and Zeb1) and led to a more profound cadherin shift, but only in cells obtained from severe asthmatics.
Conclusion
The impact of IL-22 on airway epithelial cells depends on the cytokine milieu and the clinical phenotype of the patient. Further studies are required to determine the molecular mechanism of IL-22 and TGF-β1 cooperativity in driving EMT in primary human bronchial epithelial cells.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-14-118
PMCID: PMC4176096  PMID: 24283210
15.  Differential Roles of CXCL2 and CXCL3 and Their Receptors in Regulating Normal and Asthmatic Airway Smooth Muscle Cell Migration 
Structural cell migration plays a central role in the pathophysiology of several diseases, including asthma. Previously, we established that IL-17–induced (CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL3) production promoted airway smooth muscle cell (ASMC) migration, and consequently we sought to investigate the molecular mechanism of CXC-induced ASMC migration. Recombinant human CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL3 were used to assess migration of human primary ASMCs from normal and asthmatic subjects using a modified Boyden chamber. Neutralizing Abs or small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown and pharmacological inhibitors of PI3K, ERK1/2, and p38 MAPK pathways were used to investigate the receptors and the signaling pathways involved in CXC-induced ASMC migration, respectively. We established the ability of CXCL2 and CXCL3, but not CXCL1, to induce ASMC migration at the tested concentrations using normal ASMCs. We found CXCL2-induced ASMC migration to be dependent on p38 MAPK and CXCR2, whereas CXCL3-induced migration was dependent on p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK pathways via CXCR1 and CXCR2. While investigating the effect of CXCL2 and CXCL3 on asthmatic ASMC migration, we found that they induced greater migration of asthmatic ASMCs compared with normal ones. Interestingly, unlike normal ASMCs, CXCL2- and CXCL3-induced asthmatic ASMC migration was mainly mediated by the PI3K pathway through CXCR1. In conclusion, our results establish a new role of CXCR1 in ASMC migration and demonstrate the diverse mechanisms by which CXCL2 and CXCL3 mediate normal and asthmatic ASMC migration, suggesting that they may play a role in the pathogenesis of airway remodeling in asthma.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1203421
PMCID: PMC3748335  PMID: 23904157
16.  Genetic and histological evidence for autophagy in asthma pathogenesis 
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2011.09.035
PMCID: PMC3268897  PMID: 22040902
asthma pathogenesis; autophagy; lung function; polymorphism; SNP; ATG5; autophagosome
17.  Bacteriophages ϕMR299-2 and ϕNH-4 Can Eliminate Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the Murine Lung and on Cystic Fibrosis Lung Airway Cells 
mBio  2012;3(2):e00029-12.
ABSTRACT
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common cause of infection in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). In addition, biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas are major problems that can complicate antibiotic therapy. We evaluated the efficacy of using bacteriophages to kill the pathogen in both biofilms and in the murine lung. We isolated and characterized two phages from a local wastewater treatment plant, a myovirus (ϕNH-4) and a podovirus (ϕMR299-2). Both phages were active against clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa. Together, the two phages killed all 9 clinical isolate strains tested, including both mucoid and nonmucoid strains. An equal mixture of the two phages was effective in killing P. aeruginosa NH57388A (mucoid) and P. aeruginosa MR299 (nonmucoid) strains when growing as a biofilm on a cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial CFBE41o- cell line. Phage titers increased almost 100-fold over a 24-h period, confirming replication of the phage. Furthermore, the phage mix was also effective in killing the pathogen in murine lungs containing 1 × 107 to 2 × 107 P. aeruginosa. Pseudomonas was effectively cleared (reduced by a magnitude of at least 3 to 4 log units) from murine lungs in 6 h. Our study demonstrates the efficacy of these two phages in killing clinical Pseudomonas isolates in the murine lung or as a biofilm on a pulmonary cell line and supports the growing interest in using phage therapy for the control and treatment of multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas lung infections in CF patients.
IMPORTANCE
Given the rise in antibiotic resistance, nonantibiotic therapies are required for the treatment of infection. This is particularly true for the treatment of Pseudomonas infection in patients with cystic fibrosis. We have identified two bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) that can kill Pseudomonas growing on human lung cells and in an animal model of lung infection. The use of bacteriophages is particularly appropriate because the killing agent can replicate on the target cell, generating fresh copies of the bacteriophage. Thus, in the presence of a target, the killing agent multiplies. By using two bacteriophages we can reduce the risk of resistant colonies developing at the site of infection. Bacteriophage therapy is an exciting field, and this study represents an important demonstration of efficacy in validated infection models.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00029-12
PMCID: PMC3302570  PMID: 22396480
18.  Site of Allergic Airway Narrowing and the Influence of Exogenous Surfactant in the Brown Norway Rat 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e29381.
Background
The parameters RN (Newtonian resistance), G (tissue damping), and H (tissue elastance) of the constant phase model of respiratory mechanics provide information concerning the site of altered mechanical properties of the lung. The aims of this study were to compare the site of allergic airway narrowing implied from respiratory mechanics to a direct assessment by morphometry and to evaluate the effects of exogenous surfactant administration on the site and magnitude of airway narrowing.
Methods
We induced airway narrowing by ovalbumin sensitization and challenge and we tested the effects of a natural surfactant lacking surfactant proteins A and D (Infasurf®) on airway responses. Sensitized, mechanically ventilated Brown Norway rats underwent an aerosol challenge with 5% ovalbumin or vehicle. Other animals received nebulized surfactant prior to challenge. Three or 20 minutes after ovalbumin challenge, airway luminal areas were assessed on snap-frozen lungs by morphometry.
Results
At 3 minutes, RN and G detected large airway narrowing whereas at 20 minutes G and H detected small airway narrowing. Surfactant inhibited RN at the peak of the early allergic response and ovalbumin-induced increase in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cysteinyl leukotrienes and amphiregulin but not IgE-induced mast cell activation in vitro.
Conclusion
Allergen challenge triggers the rapid onset of large airway narrowing, detected by RN and G, and subsequent peripheral airway narrowing detected by G and H. Surfactant inhibits airway narrowing and reduces mast cell-derived mediators.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029381
PMCID: PMC3261862  PMID: 22276110
19.  Genetic Influences on Asthma Susceptibility in the Developing Lung 
Asthma is the leading serious pediatric chronic illness in the United States, affecting 7.1 million children. The prevalence of asthma in children under 4 years of age has increased dramatically in the last 2 decades. Existing evidence suggests that this increase in prevalence derives from early environmental exposures acting on a pre-existing asthma-susceptible genotype. We studied the origins of asthma susceptibility in developing lung in rat strains that model the distinct phenotypes of airway hyperresponsiveness (Fisher rats) and atopy (brown Norway [BN] rats). Postnatal BN rat lungs showed increased epithelial proliferation and tracheal goblet cell hyperplasia. Fisher pups showed increased lung resistance at age 2 weeks, with elevated neutrophils throughout the postnatal period. Diverse transcriptomic signatures characterized the distinct respiratory phenotypes of developing lung in both rat models. Linear regression across age and strain identified developmental variation in expression of 1,376 genes, and confirmed both strain and temporal regulation of lung gene expression. Biological processes that were heavily represented included growth and development (including the T Box 1 transcription factor [Tbx5], the epidermal growth factor receptor [Egfr], the transforming growth factor beta-1-induced transcript 1 [Tgfbr1i1]), extracellular matrix and cell adhesion (including collagen and integrin genes), and immune function (including lymphocyte antigen 6 (Ly6) subunits, IL-17b, Toll-interacting protein, and Ficolin B). Genes validated by quantitative RT-PCR and protein analysis included collagen III alpha 1 Col3a1, Ly6b, glucocorticoid receptor and Importin-13 (specific to the BN rat lung), and Serpina1 and Ficolin B (specific to the Fisher lung). Innate differences in patterns of gene expression in developing lung that contribute to individual variation in respiratory phenotype are likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2009-0412OC
PMCID: PMC3159089  PMID: 20118217
asthma susceptibility; lung development; developmental gene expression
20.  Chlorine Gas Inhalation 
Humans can come into contact with chlorine gas during short-term, high-level exposures due to traffic or rail accidents, spills, or other disasters. By contrast, workplace and public (swimming pools, etc.) exposures are more frequently long-term, low-level exposures, occasionally punctuated by unintentional transient increases. Acute exposures can result in symptoms of acute airway obstruction including wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and/or dyspnea. These findings are fairly nonspecific, and might be present after exposures to a number of inhaled chemical irritants. Clinical signs, including hypoxemia, wheezes, rales, and/or abnormal chest radiographs may be present. More severely affected individuals may suffer acute lung injury (ALI) and/or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Up to 1% of exposed individuals die. Humidified oxygen and inhaled β-adrenergic agents are appropriate therapies for victims with respiratory symptoms while assessments are underway. Inhaled bicarbonate and systemic or inhaled glucocorticoids also have been reported anecdotally to be beneficial. Chronic sequelae may include increased airways reactivity, which tends to diminish over time. Airways hyperreactivity may be more of a problem among those survivors that are older, have smoked, and/or have pre-existing chronic lung disease. Individuals suffering from irritant-induced asthma (IIA) due to workplace exposures to chlorine also tend to have similar characteristics, such as airways hyperresponsiveness to methacholine, and to be older and to have smoked. Other workplace studies, however, have indicated that workers exposed to chlorine dioxide/sulfur dioxide have tended to have increased risk for chronic bronchitis and/or recurrent wheezing attacks (one or more episodes) but not asthma, while those exposed to ozone have a greater incidence of asthma. Specific biomarkers for acute and chronic exposures to chlorine gas are currently lacking. Animal models for chlorine gas inhalation have demonstrated evidence of oxidative injury and inflammation. Early epithelial injury, airways hyperresponsiveness, and airway remodeling, likely diminishing over time, have been shown. As in humans, ALI/ARDS can occur, becoming more likely when the upper airways are bypassed. Inhalation models of chlorine toxicity provide unique opportunities for testing potential pharmacologic rescue agents.
doi:10.1513/pats.201001-008SM
PMCID: PMC3136961  PMID: 20601629
chlorine; human; lung; toxicity; oxidant; antioxidant
21.  Dimethylthiourea protects against chlorine induced changes in airway function in a murine model of irritant induced asthma 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):138.
Background
Exposure to chlorine (Cl2) causes airway injury, characterized by oxidative damage, an influx of inflammatory cells and airway hyperresponsiveness. We hypothesized that Cl2-induced airway injury may be attenuated by antioxidant treatment, even after the initial injury.
Methods
Balb/C mice were exposed to Cl2 gas (100 ppm) for 5 mins, an exposure that was established to alter airway function with minimal histological disruption of the epithelium. Twenty-four hours after exposure to Cl2, airway responsiveness to aerosolized methacholine (MCh) was measured. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed to determine inflammatory cell profiles, total protein, and glutathione levels. Dimethylthiourea (DMTU;100 mg/kg) was administered one hour before or one hour following Cl2 exposure.
Results
Mice exposed to Cl2 had airway hyperresponsiveness to MCh compared to control animals pre-treated and post-treated with DMTU. Total cell counts in BAL fluid were elevated by Cl2 exposure and were not affected by DMTU treatment. However, DMTU-treated mice had lower protein levels in the BAL than the Cl2-only treated animals. 4-Hydroxynonenal analysis showed that DMTU given pre- or post-Cl2 prevented lipid peroxidation in the lung. Following Cl2 exposure glutathione (GSH) was elevated immediately following exposure both in BAL cells and in fluid and this change was prevented by DMTU. GSSG was depleted in Cl2 exposed mice at later time points. However, the GSH/GSSG ratio remained high in chlorine exposed mice, an effect attenuated by DMTU.
Conclusion
Our data show that the anti-oxidant DMTU is effective in attenuating Cl2 induced increase in airway responsiveness, inflammation and biomarkers of oxidative stress.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-138
PMCID: PMC2965137  PMID: 20925946
22.  Surgery for Variceal Bleeding in Cirrhosis: A Review of Our Experience and Present Concepts 
The major cause of portal hypertension in Western countries is nutritional cirrhosis (parenchymal block) related to alcoholism. A third of those patients die of variceal bleeding when increased pressure within the varices precipitates bleeding. Construction of portal systemic shunts is aimed at reducing the pressure within the varices and thereby decreasing the risk of bleeding. However, it increases the incidence of hepatic encephalopathy and hence should be used only in patients who have bled. The remaining function appears to be the main factor that determines survival and the incidence of encephalopathy in obese individuals. Portacaval shunts almost completely eliminate the risk of bleeding. There is a greater incidence of hepatic encephalopathy with this procedure than with other shunts. The splenorenal shunt and the distal splenorenal shunt appear to work well in selected patients. Technically, it is a more difficult procedure. The interposition mesocaval shunt is technically easier and is also helpful in patients with ascites. Its post-shunt encephalopathy rate, however, is higher than the splenorenal shunt or the distal splenorenal shunt, though less than the portacaval shunts. Experience with the newer arterialized portacaval and coronary caval shunts is limited. A non-shunt procedure, such as the one described by Sugiura, with impressive results and follow-up may become more acceptable as experience grows.
PMCID: PMC2537278  PMID: 312948
23.  Combined forced oscillation and forced expiration measurements in mice for the assessment of airway hyperresponsiveness 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):82.
Background
Pulmonary function has been reported in mice using negative pressure-driven forced expiratory manoeuvres (NPFE) and the forced oscillation technique (FOT). However, both techniques have always been studied using separate cohorts of animals or systems. The objective of this study was to obtain NPFE and FOT measurements at baseline and following bronchoconstriction from a single cohort of mice using a combined system in order to assess both techniques through a refined approach.
Methods
Groups of allergen- or sham-challenged ovalbumin-sensitized mice that were either vehicle (saline) or drug (dexamethasone 1 mg/kg ip)-treated were studied. Surgically prepared animals were connected to an extended flexiVent system (SCIREQ Inc., Montreal, Canada) permitting NPFE and FOT measurements. Lung function was assessed concomitantly by both techniques at baseline and following doubling concentrations of aerosolized methacholine (MCh; 31.25 - 250 mg/ml). The effect of the NPFE manoeuvre on respiratory mechanics was also studied.
Results
The expected exaggerated MCh airway response of allergic mice and its inhibition by dexamethasone were detected by both techniques. We observed significant changes in FOT parameters at either the highest (Ers, H) or the two highest (Rrs, RN, G) MCh concentrations. The flow-volume (F-V) curves obtained following NPFE manoeuvres demonstrated similar MCh concentration-dependent changes. A dexamethasone-sensitive decrease in the area under the flow-volume curve at the highest MCh concentration was observed in the allergic mice. Two of the four NPFE parameters calculated from the F-V curves, FEV0.1 and FEF50, also captured the expected changes but only at the highest MCh concentration. Normalization to baseline improved the sensitivity of NPFE parameters at detecting the exaggerated MCh airway response of allergic mice but had minimal impact on FOT responses. Finally, the combination with FOT allowed us to demonstrate that NPFE induced persistent airway closure that was reversible by deep lung inflation.
Conclusions
We conclude that FOT and NPFE can be concurrently assessed in the same cohort of animals to determine airway mechanics and expiratory flow limitation during methacholine responses, and that the combination of the two techniques offers a refined control and an improved reproducibility of the NPFE.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-82
PMCID: PMC2904286  PMID: 20565957
24.  Marketing data: Has the rise of impact factor led to the fall of objective language in the scientific article? 
Respiratory Research  2009;10(1):35.
The language of science should be objective and detached and should place data in the appropriate context. The aim of this commentary was to explore the notion that recent trends in the use of language have led to a loss of objectivity in the presentation of scientific data. The relationship between the value-laden vocabulary and impact factor among fundamental biomedical research and clinical journals has been explored. It appears that fundamental research journals of high impact factors have experienced a rise in value-laden terms in the past 25 years.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-10-35
PMCID: PMC2685417  PMID: 19432970
25.  IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-13 modulate responsiveness of human airway smooth muscle cells to IL-13 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):84.
Background
IL-13 is a critical mediator of allergic asthma and associated airway hyperresponsiveness. IL-13 acts through a receptor complex comprised of IL-13Rα1 and IL-4Rα subunits with subsequent activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6). The IL-13Rα2 receptor may act as a decoy receptor. In human airway smooth muscle (HASM) cells, IL-13 enhances cellular proliferation, calcium responses to agonists and induces eotaxin production. We investigated the effects of pre-treatment with IL-4, IL-13 and IFN-γ on the responses of HASM cells to IL-13.
Methods
Cultured HASM were examined for expression of IL-13 receptor subunits using polymerase chain reaction, immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Effects of cytokine pre-treatment on IL-13-induced cell responses were assessed by looking at STAT6 phosphorylation using Western blot, eotaxin secretion and calcium responses to histamine.
Results
IL-13Rα1, IL-4Rα and IL-13Rα2 subunits were expressed on HASM cells. IL-13 induced phosphorylation of STAT6 which reached a maximum by 30 minutes. Pre-treatment with IL-4, IL-13 and, to a lesser degree, IFN-γ reduced peak STAT6 phosphorylation in response to IL-13. IL-13, but not IFN-γ, pre-treatment abrogated IL-13-induced eotaxin secretion. Pre-treatment with IL-4 or IL-13 abrogated IL-13-induced augmentation of the calcium transient evoked by histamine. Cytokine pre-treatment did not affect expression of IL-13Rα1 and IL-4Rα but increased expression of IL-13Rα2. An anti-IL-13Rα2 neutralizing antibody did not prevent the cytokine pre-treatment effects on STAT6 phosphorylation. Cytokine pre-treatment increased SOCS-1, but not SOCS-3, mRNA expression which was not associated with significant increases in protein expression.
Conclusion
Pre-treatment with IL-4 and IL-13, but not IFN-γ, induced desensitization of the HASM cells to IL-13 as measured by eotaxin secretion and calcium transients to histamine. The mechanism of IL-4 and IL-13 induced desensitization does not appear to involve either downregulation of receptor expression or induction of the IL-13Rα2 or the SOCS proteins.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-9-84
PMCID: PMC2628656  PMID: 19116009

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