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Eur Respir J. 2004 Jul;24(1):107-15.

Increase in laminin expression in allergic airway remodelling and decrease by dexamethasone.

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Dept of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6523, USA.


Lung expression of the extracellular matrix protein, laminin, and its receptor, laminin-1 receptor, were examined in a mouse model of asthma with airway remodelling. Ovalbumin (OVA) was administered to BALB/c mice, intraperitoneally on days 0 and 14, and intranasally periodically between days 14 and 75. The mice developed airway eosinophil and mononuclear inflammatory cell infiltration and fibrosis. On day 76, a marked increase in total laminin was seen in the airways of OVA-treated mice compared to controls by Western blot analysis. The increased laminin expression was detected immunocytochemically in the thickened subepithelial basement membrane and around airways and blood vessels. The OVA-treated mice showed increased expression of the alpha1, beta1, and gamma1 chains of the laminin-1 isoform in monocytes, macrophages and eosinophils infiltrating the airways. Laminin-1 receptor expression was increased in inflammatory and endothelial cells in the lungs of OVA-treated mice compared to controls. Treatment of OVA-sensitised/challenged mice with dexamethasone reduced airway expression of laminin and laminin-1 receptor in OVA-treated mice but not airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Laminin deposition may be an important component of the airway remodelling observed in chronic allergic lung inflammation and is a process modulated by corticosteroids.

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