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PloS one

Thalidomide inhibits alternative activation of macrophages in vivo and in vitro: a potential mechanism of anti-asthmatic effect of thalidomide.


PMID 25905462

Abstract

Thalidomide is known to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions. However, the effect and the anti-asthmatic mechanism of thalidomide in the pathogenesis of asthmatic airways are not fully understood. This study is designed to determine the effect and the potential mechanism of thalidomide in the pathogenesis of asthmatic airways using animal model of allergic asthma. Six-week-old female BALB/C mice were sensitized with alum plus ovalbumin (OVA) and were exposed to OVA via intranasal route for 3 days for challenge. Thalidomide 200 mg/kg was given via gavage twice a day from a day before the challenge and airway hyperresponsivenss (AHR), airway inflammatory cells, and cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) were evaluated. The expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other mediators were evaluated using ELISA, real time (RT)-qPCR, and flow cytometry. CRL-2456, alveolar macrophage cell line, was used to test the direct effect of thalidomide on the activation of macrophages in vitro. The mice with thalidomide treatment showed significantly reduced levels of allergen-induced BALF and lung inflammation, AHR, and the expression of a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators including Th2 related, IL-17 cytokines, and altered levels of allergen-specific IgG1/IgG2a. Of interesting note, thalidomide treatment significantly reduced expression levels of allergen- or Th2 cytokine-stimulated alternative activation of macrophages in vivo and in vitro. These studies highlight a potential use of thalidomide in the treatment of allergic diseases including asthma. This study further identified a novel inhibitory effect of thalidomide on alternative activation of macrophages as a potential mechanism of anti-asthmatic effect of thalidomide.

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T144
(±)-Thalidomide, ≥98%, powder
C13H10N2O4