The receptor for advanced glycation end products is a central mediator of asthma pathogenesis

Am J Pathol. 2012 Oct;181(4):1215-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.06.031. Epub 2012 Aug 11.


The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a multiligand receptor that has been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegeneration. However, its role in asthma and allergic airway disease is largely unknown. These studies use a house dust mite (HDM) mouse model of asthma/allergic airway disease. Respiratory mechanics were assessed and compared between wild-type and RAGE knockout mice. Bronchovascular architecture was assessed with quantitative scoring, and expression of RAGE, immunoglobulins, and relevant cytokines was assessed by standard protein detection methods and/or quantitative RT-PCR. The absence of RAGE abolishes most assessed measures of pathology, including airway hypersensitivity (resistance, tissue damping, and elastance), eosinophilic inflammation, and airway remodeling. IL-4 secretion, isotype class switching, and antigen recognition are intact in the absence of RAGE. In contrast, normal increases in IL-5, IL-13, eotaxin, and eotaxin-2 production are abrogated in the RAGE knockouts. IL-17 indicates complex regulation, with elevated baseline expression in RAGE knockouts, but no induction in response to allergen. Treatment of WT mice with an inhibitor of RAGE markedly reduces inflammation in the HDM model, suggesting that RAGE inhibition may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy. Finally, the results in the HDM model are recapitulated in an ovalbumin model of asthma, suggesting that RAGE plays a role in asthma irrespective of the identity of the allergens involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / metabolism*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / parasitology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / pathology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
  • Chemokine CCL24
  • Eosinophilia / parasitology
  • Eosinophilia / pathology
  • Eosinophilia / physiopathology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Interleukin-13 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-5 / biosynthesis
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin
  • Protein Transport
  • Pyroglyphidae / physiology
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*


  • Chemokine CCL24
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-5
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Interleukin-4
  • Ovalbumin