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Respiratory care

Azithromycin attenuates pulmonary inflammation and emphysema in smoking-induced COPD model in rats.


PMID 25249648

Abstract

The role of inflammation and immunity in COPD treatment is increasingly being recognized. The relationship between anti-inflammation/immunoregulation and emphysema in COPD lungs remains to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of azithromycin (Azm) on the development of emphysema in smoking-induced COPD in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 50) were randomly assigned to normal, COPD, saline-treated, Azm-treated, and levofloxacin-treated (Lev) groups. The effects of treatment were assessed by measuring the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and measuring the numbers of neutrophil and macrophage in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR2) protein expression by western blotting. Lung function measurements and histopathological evaluations (mean linear intercept and destructive index) were performed. FEV0.3/FVC and peak expiratory flow were lower in the COPD group than in the normal group. Mean linear intercept and destructive index were lower in the Azm-treated group than in the COPD, saline-treated, and Lev-treated groups. The numbers of neutrophil and macrophage in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were lower in the Azm-treated group than in the COPD, saline-treated, and Lev-treated groups. As confirmed by western blotting, the levels of VEGF in lung homogenates were higher in the Azm-treated group than in the COPD, saline-treated, and Lev-treated groups. VEGFR2 protein expression was higher in the Azm-treated group than in the COPD, saline-treated, and Lev-treated groups. Azm attenuates pulmonary emphysema by partly reversing the decrease in the numbers of inflammatory cells (neutrophil and macrophage) and VEGF secretion and VEGFR2 protein expression in smoking-induced COPD in rats.