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Angiogenesis

Angiogenesis and airway reactivity in asthmatic Brown Norway rats.


PMID 25149641

Abstract

Expanded and aberrant bronchial vascularity, a prominent feature of the chronic asthmatic airway, might explain persistent airway wall edema and sustained leukocyte recruitment. Since it is well established that there are causal relationships between exposure to house dust mite (HDM) and the development of asthma, determining the effects of HDM in rats, mammals with a bronchial vasculature similar to humans, provides an opportunity to study the effects of bronchial angiogenesis on airway function directly. We studied rats exposed bi-weekly to HDM (Der p 1; 50 μg/challenge by intranasal aspiration, 1, 2, 3 weeks) and measured the time course of appearance of increased blood vessels within the airway wall. Results demonstrated that within 3 weeks of HDM exposure, the number of vessels counted within airway walls of bronchial airways (0.5-3 mm perimeter) increased significantly. These vascular changes were accompanied by increased airway responsiveness to methacholine. A shorter exposure regimen (2 weeks of bi-weekly exposure) was insufficient to cause a significant increase in functional vessels or reactivity. Yet, 19F/1H MR imaging at 3T following αvβ3-targeted perfluorocarbon nanoparticle infusion revealed a significant increase in 19F signal in rat airways after 2 weeks of bi-weekly HDM, suggesting earlier activation of the process of neovascularization. Although many antigen-induced mouse models exist, mice lack a bronchial vasculature and consequently lack the requisite human parallels to study bronchial edema. Overall, our results provide an important new model to study the impact of bronchial angiogenesis on chronic inflammation and airways hyperreactivity.

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