Respiratory RNA viruses responsible for the common cold often worsen airway inflammation and bronchial responsiveness, two characteristic features of human asthma. We studied the effects of dsRNA, a nucleotide synthesized during viral replication, on airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in murine models of asthma. Intratracheal instillation of poly I:C, a synthetic dsRNA, increased the airway eosinophilia and enhanced bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine in OVA-sensitized, exposed rats. These changes were associated with induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and COX-2-dependent PGD 2 synthesis in the lungs, particularly in alveolar macrophages. The direct intratracheal instillation of PGD2 enhanced the eosinophilic inflammation in OVA-exposed animals, whereas pretreatment with a dual antagonist against the PGD2 receptor-(CRTH2) and the thromboxane A2 receptor, but not with a thromboxane A2 receptor-specific antagonist, nearly completely eliminated the dsRNA-induced worsening of airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. CRTH2-deficient mice had the same degree of allergen-induced airway eosinophilia as wild-type mice, but they did not exhibit a dsRNA-induced increase in eosinophil accumulation. Our data demonstrate that COX-2-dependent production of PGD2 followed by eosinophil recruitment into the airways via a CRTH2 receptor are the major pathogenetic factors responsible for the dsRNA-induced enhancement of airway inflammation and responsiveness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy