Background: Asthma and especially severe asthma affect women more frequently than men. Since asthma severity correlates with remodeling changes in the lung, a female propensity to remodeling could be expected. We studied whether our previous observation that female mice have more pronounced airway inflammation than males is associated with more pronounced remodeling in two models of chronic allergic asthma.
Methods: Male and female BALB/c mice were (1) sensitized and subsequently challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) for 4 weeks, or (2) exposed to house dust mite (HDM) for 5 weeks. In both models, allergic inflammation, remodeling, antigen-specific IgE and methacholine (MCh) responsiveness were assessed.
Results: Females had higher antigen-specific serum IgE levels, higher numbers of eosinophils and were more responsive to MCh. In the OVA model, females also had higher levels of Th2 cytokines in lung tissue than males. Both sexes developed similar airway remodeling (smooth muscle layer thickness, collagen III deposition and goblet cell hyperplasia) in the two models.
Conclusions: Combining results of an OVA- and a HDM-induced mouse model of allergic airway inflammation, we have shown that more severe allergic inflammation in females is not accompanied with more pronounced airway remodeling.
Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.