Objective: To investigate the correlations among airway inflammation, airway epithelial injury and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in asthmatic mice treated with dexamethasone. Methods: Female BALB/c mice were sensitized with intraperitoneal and hypodermic injections of ovalbumin (OVA) and aluminum on days 0, 7 and 14, challenged with OVA starting on day 21 for 10 days, and treated with dexamethasone via intraperitoneal injection starting on day 28 for 3 days. Female C57BL/6 mice were treated intranasally with house dust mite (HDM) on days 1 and 14, challenged intranasally with HDM on days 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29, and treated with sivelestat (a selective neutrophil elastase inhibitor) via intraperitoneal injection after each challenge. Following the final challenge, enhanced pause (Penh) and differential cell counts in the broncho-alveolar lavage fluid were measured and the correlations were analyzed. Results: Compared with OVA-challenged BALB/c mice, the counterpart mice treated with dexamethasone showed reduced Penh and shedding of airway epithelial cells. In addition, we found that Penh 50 (an indicator of AHR) had positive correlations with airway neutrophils and shedding of airway epithelial cells, but no correlation with eosinophils, lymphocytes or macrophages. Moreover, shedding of airway epithelial cells had positive correlations with airway neutrophils, but no correlation with eosinophils, lymphocytes or macrophages. Further, sivelestat decreased Penh 50 and shed airway-epithelial cells in HDM-challenged C57BL/6 mice. Conclusions: Collectively, our findings suggest that airway neutrophils and excessive shedding of airway epithelial cells, but not eosinophils, lymphocytes or macrophages, may be involved in AHR in asthmatic mice treated with dexamethasone.
- airway epithelium
- airway hyperresponsiveness
- enhanced pause
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine