Nesi RT, Barroso MV, Souza Muniz V, de Arantes AC, Martins MA, Brito Gitirana L, Neves JS, Benjamim CF, Lanzetti M, Valenca SS. Pharmacological modulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) improves the airway hyperresponsiveness by shifting the Th1 response in allergic inflammation induced by ovalbumin. Free Radic Res. 2017 Jul-Aug;51(7-8):708-722.
Asthma is an allergic inflammation driven by the Th2 immune response with release of cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-13, which contribute to the airflow limitations and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). The involvement of oxidative stress in this process is well-established, but the specific role of the superoxide anion and nitric oxide in asthma are poorly understood. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying the superoxide anion/nitric oxide production and detoxification in a murine asthma model. BALB/c male mice were sensitised and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA). Pretreatments with either apocynin (14 mg/kg) or allopurinol (25 mg/kg) (superoxide anion synthesis inhibitors), aminoguanidine (50 mg/kg) (nitric oxide synthesis inhibitor) or diethyldithiocarbamate (100 mg/kg) (superoxide dismutase inhibitor) were performed 1 h before the challenge. Our data showed that apocynin and allopurinol ameliorated AHR and reduced eosinophil peroxidase, as well as IL-4 and IL-13 levels. Apocynin also abrogated leukocyte peribronchiolar infiltrate and increased IL-1β secretion. Aminoguanidine preserved lung function and shifted the Th2 to the Th1 response with a reduction of IL-4 and IL-13 and increase in IL-1β production. Diethyldithiocarbamate prevented neither allergen-induced AHR nor eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) generation. All treatments protected against oxidative damage observed by a reduction in TBARS levels. Taken together, these results suggest that AHR in an asthma model can be avoided by the down-regulation of superoxide anion and nitric oxide synthesis in a mechanism that is independent of a redox response. This down-regulation is also associated with a transition in the typical immunological Th2 response toward the Th1 profile.