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Augmentation of allergic early-phase reaction by nerve growth factor

: Päth, G.; Braun, A.; Meents, N.; Kerzel, S.; Quarcoo, D.; Raap, U.; Hoyle, G.W.; Nockher, W.A.; Renz, H.


American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 166 (2002), No.6, pp.818-826
ISSN: 1073-449X
ISSN: 0003-0805
ISSN: 1535-4970
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
airway inflammation; neurogenic inflammation; Bronchial asthma; mouse model; nerve growth factor; mice

The allergic early-phase reaction, a hallmark of allergic bronchial asthma, is caused by allergen and immunoglobulin E-dependent mediator release from mast cells. It was previously shown that nerve growth factor (NGF) contributes to acute airway inflammation. This study further investigates the role of NGF in the allergic early-phase reaction using a well-established mouse model of ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation. Treatment of sensitized and aerosol challenged BALB/c mice with blocking anti-NGF antibodies inhibited allergen-induced early-phase reaction and suppressed airway inflammation. Transgenic mice constitutively overexpressing NGF in the airways (Clara-cell secretory protein promoter [CCSP]-NGF-tg) were employed and compared with wild-type animals. In sensitized and challenged CCSP-NGF-tg mice, early-phase reaction, airway inflammation, as well as percental relative increases in serotonin levels were augmented compared with wild-type mice. These effects were paralleled by increased serotonin levels in the airways, whereas immunoglobulin E levels remained unaffected. Furthermore, CCSP-NGF-tg mice developed an increased reactivity of sensory neurons in
response to inhaled capsaicin demonstrating NGF-mediated neuronal plasticity. These data provide evidence for the functional role of NGF in the development of allergic early phase responses in the airways and the lung.