Lung mechanics and airway inflammation in murine models of asthma

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Allergic asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways and is characterized by eosinophilic inflammation and increased airway reactivity. In the studies presented in this thesis, lung mechanics and measurements of airway reactivity were assessed in anaesthetized tracheostomized mice by using an animal ventilator (flexiVent®). A forced oscillation technique makes it possible to measure of both airway and tissue mechanics with a potential to distinguish between central and peripheral airways. The results of the experiments on lung mechanics imply that it is important to understand how altered lung mechanics can affect the airway physiology in order to assess the relevance of different animal models of asthma. We have investigated the effects of changing different components of the lung mechanical measurements, such as administering bronchoconstrictive agents via inhalation or intravenously and implementing deep inhalation in animals with airway inflammation. We have also investigated the relation between airway inflammation and oxidative stress. We found that the formation and time-course of F2-isoprostanes, a marker of oxidative stress, and tissue damage were associated with the degree of inflammation and with the degree of heterogeneous airway airflow. Finally we wished to investigate the hypothesis that nitric oxide (NO) may interact with glucocorticoid (GC) treatment because we see a potential for finding new strategies to increase the therapeutic effect in poor responders or patients resistant to GC treatment. NO plays a central role in physiological regulation of the airway function, and is involved in asthma. We found that the concomitant administration of NO and GC attenuated the airway reactivity more than either treatment alone. In conclusion, with the information presented in this thesis, we hope to contribute to the development of better experimental tools and to improved understanding of murine models of asthma for investigating and understanding the underlying pathophysiology of asthma.