Airway epithelium mediates the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise on asthma

Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2011 Mar 15;175(3):383-9. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2011.01.002. Epub 2011 Jan 12.


Airway epithelium plays an important role in the asthma physiopathology. Aerobic exercise decreases Th2 response in murine models of allergic asthma, but its effects on the structure and activation of airway epithelium in asthma are unknown. BALB/c mice were divided into control, aerobic exercise, ovalbumin-sensitized and ovalbumin-sensitized plus aerobic exercise groups. Ovalbumin sensitization occurred on days 0, 14, 28, 42, and aerosol challenge from day 21 to day 50. Aerobic exercise started on day 22 and ended on day 50. Total cells and eosinophils were reduced in ovalbumin-sensitized group submitted to aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise also reduced the oxidative and nitrosative stress and the epithelial expression of Th2 cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, growth factors and NF-kB and P2X7 receptor. Additionally, aerobic exercise increased the epithelial expression of IL-10 in non-sensitized and sensitized animals. These findings contribute to the understanding of the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise for chronic allergic airway inflammation, suggesting an immune-regulatory role of exercise on airway epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Pneumonia / immunology*
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / immunology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology


  • Allergens
  • Ovalbumin