Effects of Repeated Stress on Distal Airway Inflammation, Remodeling and Mechanics in an Animal Model of Chronic Airway Inflammation

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Leick, Edna Aparecida
Reis, Fabiana Gomes
Honorio-Neves, Flavia Alves
Almeida-Reis, Rafael
Prado, Carla Máximo [UNIFESP]
Martins, Milton de Arruda
Tiberio, Iolanda de Fátima Lopes Calvo
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Background/Aims: Epidemiological studies suggest that stress has an impact on asthmatic exacerbations. We evaluated if repeated stress, induced by forced swimming, modulates lung mechanics, distal airway inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling in guinea pigs with chronic allergic inflammation. Methods: Guinea pigs were submitted to 7 ovalbumin or saline aerosols (1-5 mg/ml during 4 weeks; OVA and SAL groups). Twenty-four hours after the 4th inhalation, guinea pigs were submitted to the stress protocol 5 times a week during 2 weeks (SAL-S and OVA-S groups). Seventy-two hours after the 7th inhalation, guinea pigs were anesthetized and mechanically ventilated. Resistance and elastance of the respiratory system were obtained at baseline and after ovalbumin challenge. Lungs were removed, and inflammatory and extracellular matrix remodeling of distal airways was assessed by morphometry. Adrenals were removed and weighed. Results: the relative adrenal weight was greater in stressed guinea pigs compared to non-stressed animals (p < 0.001). Repeated stress increased the percent elastance of the respiratory system after antigen challenge and eosinophils and lymphocytes in the OVA-S compared to the OVA group (p < 0.001, p = 0.003 and p < 0.001). Neither collagen nor elastic fiber contents were modified by stress in sensitized animals. Conclusions: in this animal model, repeated stress amplified bronchoconstriction and inflammatory response in distal airways without interfering with extracellular matrix remodeling. Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
Neuroimmunomodulation. Basel: Karger, v. 19, n. 1, p. 1-9, 2012.