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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Jul 1;303(1):L54-63. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00208.2011. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

The presence of LPS in OVA inhalations affects airway inflammation and AHR but not remodeling in a rodent model of asthma.

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Meakins Christie Laboratories, 3626 St Urbain, Montreal, Québec, Canada, H2X 2P2.


Ovalbumin (OVA) is the most frequently used allergen in animal models of asthma. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) contaminating commercial OVA may modulate the evoked airway inflammatory response to OVA. However, the effect of LPS in OVA on airway remodeling, especially airway smooth muscle (ASM) has not been evaluated. We hypothesized that LPS in commercial OVA may enhance allergen-induced airway inflammation and remodeling. Brown Norway rats were sensitized with OVA on day 0. PBS, OVA, or endotoxin-free OVA (Ef-OVA) was instilled intratracheally on days 14, 19, 24. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, lung, and intrathoracic lymph node tissues were collected 48 h after the last challenge. Immunohistochemistry for α-smooth muscle actin, Periodic-Acid-Schiff staining, and real-time qPCR were performed. Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was also measured. BAL fluid macrophages, eosinophils, neutrophils, and lymphocytes were increased in OVA-challenged animals, and macrophages and neutrophils were significantly lower in Ef-OVA-challenged animals. The ASM area in larger airways was significantly increased in both OVA and Ef-OVA compared with PBS-challenged animals. The mRNA expression of IFN-γ and IL-13 in lung tissues and IL-4 in lymph nodes was significantly increased by both OVA and Ef-OVA compared with PBS and were not significantly different between OVA and Ef-OVA. Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 in BAL fluid and AHR were significantly increased in OVA but not in Ef-OVA. LPS contamination in OVA contributes to the influx of macrophages and MCP-1 increase in the airways and to AHR after OVA challenges but does not affect OVA-induced Th1 and Th2 cytokine expression, goblet cell hyperplasia, and ASM remodeling.

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