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Zeki A.A.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Bratt J.M.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Rabowsky M.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Last J.A.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Translational Research

Airway remodeling in asthma contributes to airway hyperreactivity, loss of lung function, and persistent symptoms. Current therapies do not adequately treat the structural airway changes associated with asthma. The statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that inhibit the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl- CoA reductase, which is the rate-limiting step of cholesterol biosynthesis in the mevalonate (MA) pathway. These drugs have been associated with improved respiratory health, and ongoing clinical trials are testing their therapeutic potential in asthma. We hypothesized that simvastatin treatment of ovalbumin (OVA)-exposed mice would attenuate early features of airway remodeling by a mevalonate-dependent mechanism. BALB/c mice initially were sensitized to OVA and then exposed to 1% OVA aerosol for 2 weeks after sensitization for 6 exposures. Simvastatin (40 mg/kg) or simvastatin plus MA (20 mg/kg) were injected intraperitoneally before each OVA exposure. Treatment with simvastatin attenuated goblet cell hyperplasia, arginase-1 protein expression, and total arginase enzyme activity, but it did not alter airway hydroxyproline content or transforming growth factor-β1. Inhibition of goblet cell hyperplasia by simvastatin was mevalonate-dependent. No appreciable changes to airway smooth muscle cells were observed in any control or treatment groups. In conclusion, in an acute mouse model of allergic asthma, simvastatin inhibited early hallmarks of airway remodeling, which are indicators that can lead to airway thickening and fibrosis. Statins are potentially novel treatments for airway remodeling in asthma. Additional studies using subchronic or chronic allergen exposure models are needed to extend these initial findings. © 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Zeki A.A.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Yeganeh B.,University of Toronto | Kenyon N.J.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Post M.,University of Toronto | Ghavami S.,University of Manitoba
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

The study of autophagy ('self-eating'), a fundamental cell fate pathway involved in physiological and pathological subcellular processes, opens a new frontier in the continuous search for novel therapies for human asthma. Asthma is a complex syndrome with different disease phenotypes. Autophagy plays a central role in cell physiology, energy and metabolism, and cell survival. Autophagy's hallmark is the formation of double-membrane autophagic autophagosomes, and this process is operational in airway epithelial and mesenchymal cells in asthma. Genetic associations between autophagy genes and asthma have been observed including single nucleotide polymorphisms in Atg5 which correlate with reduced lung function. Immune mechanisms important in asthma such as Th2 cells and eosinophils also manifest autophagy. Lastly, we address the role of autophagy in extracellular matrix deposition and fibrosis in asthmatic airways remodeling, a pathologic process still without effective therapy, and discuss potential pharmacologic inhibitors. We end by offering two opposing but plausible hypotheses as to how autophagy may be directly involved in airway fibrosis. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Vasu V.T.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | De Cruz S.J.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Houghton J.S.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | Hayakawa K.A.,Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine | And 5 more authors.
Free Radical Research

Neutrophil-dependent reactions catalysed by myeloperoxidase (MPO) are thought to play important roles in the pulmonary pathobiology of cystic fibrosis (CF). Aerosolized thiol antioxidants such as glutathione (GSH) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) are currently being utilized as therapeutics to modify CF respiratory tract oxidative processes. This study hypothesized that MPO in CF airway lining fluids may be a target of such therapeutics. MPO activity in sputum from 21 adult CF patients was found to be inversely associated with lung function (FEV1). In contrast, systemic inflammation (assessed by plasma C-reactive protein) was not correlated with lung function. Ex vivo studies revealed that GSH and NAC effectively scavenged N-chloramines in sputum and inhibited sputum MPO activity with potency exquisitely dependent upon MPO activity levels. Detailed kinetic analyses revealed that NAC and GSH inhibit MPO by distinct mechanisms. Activation of the key pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB in cultured HBE1 cells was inhibited by GSH. The findings reveal that MPO activity and its reactive products represent useful predictors of the doses of inhaled thiol antioxidants required to ameliorate airway oxidative stress and inflammation in CF patients and provide mechanistic insight into the antioxidative/anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action of GSH and NAC when administered into the CF lung. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

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