Objective and design: We examined the effect of airway inflammation on airway remodeling and bronchial responsiveness in a mouse model of allergic asthma.
Materials and methods: BALB/c mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OA), and exposed to aerosolized OA (0.01, 0.1 and 1%). Twenty-four hours after the final antigen challenge, bronchial responsiveness was measured, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and histological examinations were carried out.
Results: Repeated antigen exposure induced airway inflammation, IgE/IgG1 responses, epithelial changes, collagen deposition in the lungs, subepithelial fibrosis associated with increases in the amount of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 in BAL fluid (BALF), and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to acetylcholine. The number of eosinophils in BALF was significantly correlated with TGF-beta1 production in BALF and the amount of hydroxyproline. Furthermore, significant correlations were found between these fibrogenic parameters and the bronchial responsiveness.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrated that in this murine model airway eosinophilic inflammation is responsible for the development of airway remodeling as well as bronchial hyperresponsiveness in allergic bronchial asthma.