The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of Found in Inflammatory Zone 1 (FIZZ1, also known as RELM-alpha or resistin-like molecule-alpha) in airway remodeling in asthma. We used a rat model of ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge to induce lung inflammation and remodeling. Expression of alpha -SMA in the lungs of OVA-treated rats was significantly elevated in the peribronchial regions compared with control saline-treated animals. Expression of FIZZ1 mRNA in alveolar epithelial type II cells (AECII) isolated from OVA-treated animals was higher than in control animals. Forced expression of recombinant FIZZ1 in rat-1 lung fibroblast cell line enhanced production of collagen type I and alpha -SMA compared with control transfected cells. These results suggest that FIZZ1 can induce fibroblasts to express markers of myofibroblast differentiation such as alpha -SMA and collagen type I, which are characteristic of early stages of airway remodeling seen in asthma.