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The effects of triptolide on airway remodelling and transforming growth factor-ß1/Smad signalling pathway in ovalbumin-sensitized mice.

Chen, Ming; Lv, Zhiqiang; Jiang, Shanping.
Immunology; 132(3): 376-84, 2011 Mar.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21214541
Airway remodelling contributes to increased morbidity and mortality in asthma. We have reported that triptolide, the major component responsible for the immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, inhibited pulmonary inflammation in patients with steroid-resistant asthma. In the present study, we investigated whether triptolide inhibits airway remodelling in a mouse asthma model and observed the effects of triptolide on the transforming growth factor-ß1 (TGF-ß1)/Smad pathway in ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized mice. BALB/c mice were sensitized to intraperitoneal OVA followed by repetitive OVA challenge for 8 weeks. Treatments included triptolide (40 µg/kg) and dexamethasone (2 mg/kg). The area of bronchial airway (WAt/basement membrane perimeter) and smooth muscle (WAm/basement membrane perimeter), mucus index and collagen area were assessed 24 hr after the final OVA challenge. Levels of TGF-ß(1) were assessed by immunohistology and ELISA, levels of TGF-ß(1) mRNA were measured by RT-PCR, and levels of pSmad2/3 and Smad7 were assessed by Western blot. Triptolide and dexamethasone significantly reduced allergen-induced increases in the thickness of bronchial airway and smooth muscle, mucous gland hypertrophy, goblet cell hyperplasia and collagen deposition. Levels of lung TGF-ß(1) , TGF-ß(1) mRNA and pSmad2/3 were significantly reduced in mice treated with triptolide and dexamethasone, and this was associated with a significant increase in levels of Smad7. Triptolide may function as an inhibitor of asthma airway remodelling. It may be a potential drug for the treatment of patients with a severe asthma airway.