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Treatment with Mycobacterium vaccae ameliorates airway histopathology in a murine model of asthma

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of intratracheal (i.t.) or subcutaneous (s.c.) Mycobacterium vaccae treatment on lung histopathology and cytokine responses in a murine model of asthma. BALB/c mice were divided into four groups. To establish an asthma model, Groups I, II and III received intraperitoneal (i.p.) ovalbumin (OVA) and were challenged with i.t. OVA three times (days 41–47). On the same days, mice in Groups I and II were treated with i.t. and s.c. Mycobacterium vaccae, respectively. Mice in Group IV served as controls. On day 49, lungs were taken out for histopathological evaluation. Cytokine levels were determined in splenocyte culture supernatants by ELISA. The thickness of basement membrane and hyperplasic goblet cells in small airways were found to be significantly more in Group III than Group I. Furthermore, smooth muscle and epithelial thickness in small and large airways and hyperplasic goblet cell numbers in all sized airways of this treatment group were not significantly different from controls. Epithelial thickness in medium and large airways, hyperplasic goblet cells in all sized airways, and basement membrane in small and large airways were not significantly different in Group II when compared to controls. OVA-stimulated IL-5 levels was significantly higher in Group I when compared to Group III. OVA-stimulated IL-5 and spontaneous IL-5 levels were significantly higher in Group II than Group III. We demonstrate that subcutaneous and intratracheal Mycobacterium vaccae administered along with allergen has an ameliorating effect in the modulation of airway histopathological changes in OVA sensitized mice.

Keywords: Airway histopathology; Balb/c mice; Mycobacterium vaccae; OVA sensitization; asthma; interleukin-10; interleukin-5

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Pediatric Allergy–Immunology Division, Marmara University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey 2: Department of Microbiology, Istanbul University, Detae, Istanbul, Turkey

Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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