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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27137. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027137. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Hyaluronan signaling during ozone-induced lung injury requires TLR4, MyD88, and TIRAP.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America.

Abstract

Ozone exposure is associated with exacerbation of reactive airways disease. We have previously reported that the damage-associated molecular pattern, hyaluronan, is required for the complete biological response to ambient ozone and that hyaluronan fragments signal through toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). In this study, we further investigated the role of TLR4 adaptors in ozone-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and the direct response to hyaluronan fragments (HA). Using a murine model of AHR, C57BL/6J, TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, and TIRAP-/- mice were characterized for AHR after exposure to either ozone (1 ppm × 3 h) or HA fragments. Animals were characterized for AHR with methacholine challenge, cellular inflammation, lung injury, and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ozone-exposed C57BL/6J mice developed cellular inflammation, lung injury, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and AHR, while mice deficient in TLR4, MyD88 or TIRAP demonstrated both reduced AHR and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNFα, IL-1β, MCP-1, IL-6 and KC. The level of hyaluronan was increased after inhalation of ozone in each strain of mice. Direct challenge of mice to hyaluronan resulted in AHR in C57BL/6J mice, but not in TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, or TIRAP-/- mice. HA-induced cytokine production in wild-type mice was significantly reduced in TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, or TIRAP-/- mice. In conclusion, our findings support that ozone-induced airway hyperresponsiveness is dependent on the HA-TLR4-MyD88-TIRAP signaling pathway.

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