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Immunology - Molecular Biology - Public Health and Epidemiology - Respiratory Medicine

Hyaluronan Signaling during Ozone-Induced Lung Injury Requires TLR4, MyD88, and TIRAP
Published: Friday, November 04, 2011
Author: Zhuowei Li et al.

by Zhuowei Li, Erin N. Potts-Kant, Stavros Garantziotis, W. Michael Foster, John W. Hollingsworth

Ozone exposure is associated with exacerbation of reactive airways disease. We have previously reported that the damage-associated molecular pattern, hyaluronan, is required for the complete biological response to ambient ozone and that hyaluronan fragments signal through toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). In this study, we further investigated the role of TLR4 adaptors in ozone–induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and the direct response to hyaluronan fragments (HA). Using a murine model of AHR, C57BL/6J, TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, and TIRAP-/- mice were characterized for AHR after exposure to either ozone (1 ppm×3 h) or HA fragments. Animals were characterized for AHR with methacholine challenge, cellular inflammation, lung injury, and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ozone-exposed C57BL/6J mice developed cellular inflammation, lung injury, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and AHR, while mice deficient in TLR4, MyD88 or TIRAP demonstrated both reduced AHR and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNFa, IL-1ß, MCP-1, IL-6 and KC. The level of hyaluronan was increased after inhalation of ozone in each strain of mice. Direct challenge of mice to hyaluronan resulted in AHR in C57BL/6J mice, but not in TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, or TIRAP-/- mice. HA-induced cytokine production in wild-type mice was significantly reduced in TLR4-/-, MyD88-/-, or TIRAP-/- mice. In conclusion, our findings support that ozone-induced airway hyperresponsiveness is dependent on the HA-TLR4-MyD88-TIRAP signaling pathway.