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Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology

Role of vascular endothelial growth factor antagonism on airway remodeling in asthma.


PMID 23548522

Abstract

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important mediator of the neoangiogenesis component of remodeling in asthma. To evaluate the influence of VEGF blockage on airway remodeling, specifically epithelium thickness, subepithelial smooth muscle thickness, number of mast and goblet cells, and basement membrane thickness, in a mouse model of chronic asthma. We used 30 BALB/c mice. The control group was not exposed to ovalbumin or any medication (group 1). Other groups were exposed to intraperitoneal and inhaled ovalbumin to achieve chronic asthma. Each of these groups received intraperitoneal saline (group 2), intraperitoneal dexamethasone (group 3), or intraperitoneal bevacizumab (group 4). Histomorphologic examination for epithelium thickness, subepithelial smooth muscle thickness, number of mast and goblet cells, and basement membrane thickness was performed from the middle zone of the left lung. Treatment with anti-VEGF caused significant reduction in epithelial, subepithelial muscle, and basement membrane thickness compared with untreated asthmatic mice (P = .001, P = .03, and P = .009, respectively). Goblet and mast cell numbers were significantly lower in mice treated with anti-VEGF than in untreated mice (P = .02 and P = .007, respectively). Dexamethasone treatment resulted in improvement of all histomorphologic markers, except goblet cell number. Influences of dexamethasone and anti-VEGF on epithelial and basement membrane thickness and mast and goblet cell numbers did not differ (P > .05), but subepithelial muscle layer was thinner in the former (P = .003). VEGF blockage may provide adjunctive therapeutic options as steroid-sparing agents for more effective treatment of remodeling in asthma.