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Clin Immunol. 2013 Apr;147(1):27-37. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2013.02.004. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Hypoxia potentiates allergen induction of HIF-1α, chemokines, airway inflammation, TGF-β1, and airway remodeling in a mouse model.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Whether hypoxia contributes to airway inflammation and remodeling in asthma is unknown. In this study we used mice exposed to a hypoxic environment during allergen challenge (simulating hypoxia during an asthma exacerbation) to investigate the contribution of hypoxia to airway inflammation and remodeling. Although neither hypoxia alone, nor OVA allergen alone, induced significant neutrophil influx into the lung, the combination of OVA and hypoxia induced a synergistic 27 fold increase in peribronchial neutrophils, enhanced expression of HIF-1α and one of its target genes, the CXC-family neutrophil chemokine KC. The combination of hypoxia and OVA allergen increased eotaxin-1, peribronchial eosinophils, lung TGB-β1 expression, and indices of airway remodeling (fibrosis and smooth muscle) compared to either stimulus alone. As hypoxia is present in >90% of severe asthma exacerbations, these findings underscore the potential of hypoxia to potentiate the airway inflammatory response, remodeling, and accelerate the decline of lung function in asthma exacerbations.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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