The prostaglandin D2 (PGD2)/CRTH2 pathway is important for eosinophil trafficking in vitro; however, genetic deficiency of CRTH2 does not suppress in vivo eosinophilic airway inflammation in acute models of asthma, and the role of CRTH2 in the pathogenesis of asthma is still ambiguous. Therefore, in the present study we explored whether the PGD 2/CRTH2 pathway could affect the phenotypes of chronic asthma. Either CRTH2-deficient (CRTH2-/-) or wild-type mice were sensitized and exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) for 3 days (acute model) or 6 weeks (chronic model). While the magnitude of the acute eosinophilic inflammation was equivalent between CRTH2-/- and wild-type mice, the number of inflammatory cells and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after chronic OVA exposure was significantly reduced in CRTH2-/- mice (18.0 ± 2.6 × 104 cells and 2.0 ± 0.5 × 104 cells) compared to wild-type mice (27.9 ± 2.5 × 104 cells and 6.8 ± 1.1 × 10 4 cells, p < 0.001). On the contrary, no difference was observed between CRTH2-/- and wild-type mice in terms of airway hyperresponsiveness or remodeling (goblet cell hyperplasia) in the chronic model of asthma. In conclusion, CRTH2 that mediates PGD2 activity is essential for sustained eosinophilic inflammation in the airways, and its antagonists could exert an anti-inflammatory effect in chronic asthma.
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