Allergic asthma is characterized by chronic airway remodeling, which is associated with the expression of extracellular matrix proteins (ECM) by TGF-β. However, to date there are no reports demonstrating that structural proteins are directly expressed in mast cells. This study aimed to investigate whether ECM proteins are expressed in mast cells activated with antigen/antibody reaction, and whether the resolution effects of irradiation or 8-oxo-dG may contribute to allergic asthma prevention. Bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) were activated with DNP-HSA/anti-DNP IgE antibody (act-BMMCs). C57BL/6 mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) to induce allergic asthma. Mice were treated orally with 8-oxo-dG or exposed to whole body irradiation (using 137Cs gamma ray at a dose of 0.5 Gy) for three consecutive days 24 h after OVA challenge. Expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, TGF-β signaling molecules and NF-κB/AP-1 was determined in the BMMCs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells or lung tissues using Western blot, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), respectively. Act-BMMCs increased expression of ECM proteins, TGF-β/TGF-β receptor I, TGF-β signaling molecules and cytokines; and increased both NF-κB and AP-1 activity. In addition, the population of mast cells; expression of mast cell markers, TGF-β signaling molecules, ECM proteins/amounts; OVA-specific serum IgE level; numbers of goblet cells; airway hyperresponsiveness; cytokines/chemokines were increased in BAL cells and lung tissues of OVA-challenged mice. All of the above end points were reduced by irradiation or 8-oxo-dG in vitro and in vivo, respectively. The data suggest that mast cells induce expression of ECM proteins through TGF-β produced in inflammatory cells of OVA mice and that post treatment of irradiation or 8-oxo-dG after OVA-challenge may reduce airway remodeling through down-regulating mast cell re-activation by TGF-β/Smad signals.
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Vol. 181 • No. 4