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   Dec 16

The anti-asthma herbal medicine ASHMI acutely inhibits airway smooth muscle contraction via prostaglandin E2 activation of EP2/EP4 receptors


Our previous studies have shown that the anti-asthma traditional Chinese medicine herbal formula ASHMI (anti-asthma simplified herbal medicine intervention) inhibits acetylcholine-induced contractions of tracheal rings from ovalbumin-sensitized and naive mice in a β-adrenoceptor-independent manner.

We sought to determine whether acute in vivo ASHMI administration inhibits airway hyperreactivity (AHR) in a murine model of allergic asthma and acetylcholine-induced tracheal ring constriction ex vivo and to elucidate the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects. Ovalbumin-sensitized mice received a single oral ASHMI dose 2 h before intravenous acetylcholine challenge. AHR was determined by invasive airway measurements. Myography was used to determine the effects of ASHMI on acetylcholine-induced constriction of tracheal rings from asthmatic mice with or without epithelial denudation. The effect of cyclooxygenase inhibition and EP2/EP4 receptor blockade on ASHMI attenuation of acetylcholine contractions was evaluated. Tracheal cAMP and PGE2 levels were measured by ELISA. A single acute oral dose of ASHMI dramatically reduced AHR in response to acetylcholine provocation in ovalbumin-sensitized mice (P < 0.001). In ex vivo experiments, ASHMI significantly and dose-dependently reduced tracheal ring constriction to acetylcholine (P < 0.05–0.001), which was epithelium independent and associated with elevated cAMP levels. This effect was abrogated by cyclooxygenase inhibition or EP2/EP4 receptor blockade. ASHMI also inhibited contraction to high K+ (P < 0.001). ASHMI increased tracheal ring PGE2 release in response to acetylcholine or high K+ (P < 0.05 for both).

ASHMI produced direct and acute inhibition of AHR in vivo and blocked acetylcholine-induced tracheal ring constriction via the EP2/EP4 receptor pathway, identifying the mechanism by which ASHMI is an orally active bronchoprotective agent.

Copyright © 2013 the American Physiological Society



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