Blocking of thromboxane A2 receptor attenuates airway mucus hyperproduction induced by cigarette smoke

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Cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this study, we investigated the effects of thromboxane A2 (TxA2) receptor antagonists on airway mucus production induced by cigarette smoke. Rats were exposed to cigarette smoke 1 h/day, 6 days/week for 4 weeks. Seratrodast (2, 5, 10 mg/kg day) was administered intragastrically prior to smoke exposure. Thromboxane B2 (TxB2) in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissues was determined by enzyme immunoassay. Airway mucus production was determined by alcin-blue/periodic acid sthiff (AB-PAS) staining, Muc5ac immunohistochemical staining, and RT-PCR. The phosphorylation of ERK and p38 was evaluated by Western blotting. Seratrodast reduced the overproduction of TxB2 in both bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissues. Cigarette smoke exposure markedly increased AB/PAS-stained goblet cells and rat Muc5ac expression in the airway, which was significantly attenuated by seratrodast administration. The induced phosphorylation of ERK and p38 was also attenuated by seratrodast. TxA2 receptor antagonist could reduce Muc5ac production induced by cigarette smoke in vivo, possibly through the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway.

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