Upregulation of ADAM8 in the Airways of Mice with Allergic Bronchial Asthma

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Recent microarray analyses revealed that a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) 8 (ADAM8; also called CD156) is one of the asthma candidate genes. However, the function of ADAM8 and its localization in the airways are still poorly understood. In the present study, the changes in the expression and localization of ADAM8 in the airways of a mouse model of allergic bronchial asthma were investigated. Male BALB/c mice were sensitized and repeatedly challenged with ovalbumin antigen to induce asthmatic response. After the final antigen challenge, mRNA and protein expressions of ADAM8 were elucidated by quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The mRNA expression of ADAM8 in the airways was significantly increased in this animal model of asthma compared with naive animals. Immunohistochemical examinations revealed that ADAM8 was located in airway epithelia, airway smooth muscles, and infiltrated cells (mainly macrophages) into lung parenchyma. A distinctly stronger immunostaining of ADAM8 was observed in these airway cells of the repeatedly antigen-challenged mice compared with those of the sensitized control animals. An upregulation of ADAM8 in the airways might be involved in the pathogenesis of airway inflammation and/or hyperresponsiveness, characteristic features of allergic bronchial asthma.

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