The influence of dexamethasone and the role of some antioxidant vitamins in the pathogenesis of experimental bronchial asthma
H A Nounou1, M M Deif2, M Arafah3
1Biochemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O Box 567, Zip code 11421. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Physiology Department, College of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt; 3Pathology Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Background: Bronchial asthma is a disease characterized by paroxysmal and reversible obstruction of the airways. The imbalance between the oxidant and antioxidant system that is called oxidative stress is critical in asthma pathogenesis. It is likely, therefore, that antioxidants may be effective in the treatment of asthma. Systemic treatment with glucocorticoids has been reported to inhibit smooth muscle hypercontraction which may account partially for their beneficial effects in the treatment of asthma.
Objective: The present study was conducted in order to study the effect of dexamethasone and some antioxidant vitamins on interleukin-4 (IL-4), immunoglobulin E (IgE) and heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) in bronchial asthma in rats, and to recognize their possible beneficial role.
Method: The study was conducted on 60 adult male albino rats randomly divided into 4 groups (15 for each group): including normal control group (group A); asthma model group where rats were sensitized by ovalbumin and challenged with antigen aerosol producing bronchial asthma (group B); asthma model group treated with antioxidant vitamins (vitamin E and vitamin C) (group C); asthma model group treated with dexamethasone (group D). Blood and lungs samples were collected from all groups.
Results and Conclusion: Our results revealed a significant decrease of serum reduced glutathione (GSH) levels among groups B, C and D as compared to group A, while there was a significant increase in group C and D as compared to group B. Antioxidant and dexamethasone treatment resulted in a significant decrease of serum IL-4, malondialdehyde (MDA), and serum IgE levels in group C and D as compared to group B. Antioxidant treatment resulted in a significant decrease of serum Hsp70 level as compared to group B, while dexamethasone treatment resulted in a significant increase of serum Hsp70 level as compared to group B. This study suggests that it is likely that a combination of antioxidant vitamins may be effective in the treatment of asthma, considering their reported effects on lowering MDA, IL-4, and IgE levels, and the similar beneficial effects of dexamethasone in addition to increasing the expression of Hsp70 in the studied model of bronchial asthma.
Keywords: oxidative stresss, heat shock protein 70, interleukin-4, immunoglobulin E, malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione, rats
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