Rationale: Aerobic conditioning improves exercise capacity and decreases symptoms in patients with asthma. However, its benefits in the context of allergic airway inflammation are poorly understood.
Objectives: To evaluate the effects of two intensities of aerobic exercise on airway inflammation and remodeling in a model of chronic allergic lung inflammation.
Methods: Mice were subjected to chronic ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and to 4 weeks of low (OVA+Low) or moderate (OVA+Mod) exercise training in a treadmill. Airway inflammation and remodeling and expression of helper T-cell type 1 and 2 cytokines were evaluated.
Measurements and main results: OVA-induced allergic airway inflammation and remodeling were characterized by an increase in collagen (288%), elastic fiber (56%), smooth muscle (380%), and epithelial (402%) contents (P < 0.001) when compared with the control group. OVA+Low and OVA+Mod groups presented a decrease in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid eosinophils (respectively, 84 and 75%; P < 0.01) and airway walls (respectively, 94 and 58%; P < 0.001) when compared with the OVA group. OVA+Low and OVA+Mod groups also presented a reduction in the number of peribronchial inflammatory cells expressing IL-4 (respectively, 85 and 75%; P < 0.01) and IL-5 (respectively, 88 and 89%; P < 0.01) when compared with the OVA group. Aerobic conditioning did not change the expression of either IFN-gamma or IL-2 by inflammatory cells or plasma levels of IgE or IgG1. OVA+Low and OVA+Mod groups presented an increase in the expression of IL-10 (P < 0.001). Low and moderate aerobic conditioning also reduced airway remodeling in OVA-sensitized mice when compared with the OVA group.
Conclusions: We concluded that low and moderate aerobic exercise decreases airway inflammation and remodeling in a murine model of asthma.