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Clin Exp Allergy. 2011 Nov;41(11):1622-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03853.x. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Effective treatment of experimental ragweed-induced asthma with STAT-6-IP, a topically delivered cell-penetrating peptide.

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Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University Health Center Research Institute, Montreal, QC, Canada.



Treatment of allergic airways disease including asthma remains primarily local immunosuppression with topical corticosteroid and symptomatic management with antihistamines and anti-leucotrienes. We have developed a novel topical therapy designed to specifically inhibit the events associated with Th2 cell activation.


We assessed the efficacy of our cell-penetrating STAT-6 inhibitory peptide (STAT-6-IP), a novel treatment for allergic airways disease, in a model of chronic ragweed-induced asthma.


Six- to eight-week-old mice were sensitized over 5 weeks with intranasal (IN) exposures to whole ragweed allergen without adjuvant. Mice were then IN challenged with Amba 1 with and without treatment IN with STAT-6-IP and allergic responses assessed. Two weeks later, some animals were rechallenged with Amba 1 with or without STAT-6-IP.


Animals exposed to IN ragweed developed significant airway hyperresponsiveness and airways inflammation upon challenge. Cell cultures showed increases in Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13. Topical STAT-6-IP treatment reduced production of Th2 cytokines, demonstrated increased expression of IL-10 and reduced frequency of cultured IL-4 positive CD4+ T cells derived from treated mice, suggesting that STAT-6-IP treatment may be immunomodulatory. Airway responsiveness to methacholine challenge in the treatment group was similarly reduced to that of the non-allergic PBS-exposed animals. Importantly, STAT-6-IP-treated mice remained hyporesponsive following second ragweed challenge 2 weeks after treatment.


These data suggest that topical application of the STAT-6-IP is sufficient to inhibit allergic airways responses in animals chronically sensitized and challenged with ragweed. Data show that a single topical treatment course is sufficient to block signs of allergic responses to ragweed in the airways for at least 2 weeks. STAT-6-IP is a novel potential treatment for chronic allergic asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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