Inhibiting pollen reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase-induced signal by intrapulmonary administration of antioxidants blocks allergic airway inflammation

Nilesh Dharajiya, Barun K. Choudhury, Attila Bacsi, Istvan Boldogh, Rafeul Alam, Sanjiv Sur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Background: Ragweed extract (RWE) contains NADPH oxidases that induce oxidative stress in the airways independent of adaptive immunity (signal 1) and augment antigen (signal 2)-induced allergic airway inflammation. Objective: To test whether inhibiting signal 1 by administering antioxidants inhibits allergic airway inflammation in mice. Methods: The ability of ascorbic acid (AA), N-acetyl cystenine (NAC), and tocopherol to scavenge pollen NADPH oxidase-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured. These antioxidants were administered locally to inhibit signal 1 in the airways of RWE-sensitized mice. Recruitment of inflammatory cells, mucin production, calcium-activated chloride channel 3, IL-4, and IL-13 mRNA expression was quantified in the lungs. Results: Antioxidants inhibited ROS generation by pollen NADPH oxidases and intracellular ROS generation in cultured epithelial cells. AA in combination with NAC or Tocopherol decreased RWE-induced ROS levels in cultured bronchial epithelial cells. Coadministration of antioxidants with RWE challenge inhibited 4-hydroxynonenal adduct formation, upregulation of Clca3 and IL-4 in lungs, mucin production, recruitment of eosinophils, and total inflammatory cells into the airways. Administration of antioxidants with a second RWE challenge also inhibited airway inflammation. However, administration of AA+NAC 4 or 24 hours after RWE challenge failed to inhibit allergic inflammation. Conclusion: Signal 1 plays a proinflammatory role during repeated exposure to pollen extract. We propose that inhibiting signal 1 by increasing antioxidant potential in the airways may be a novel therapeutic strategy to attenuate pollen-induced allergic airway inflammation. Clinical implications: Administration of antioxidants in the airways may constitute a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent pollen induced allergic airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-653
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007



  • Allergy
  • T2
  • antioxidants
  • eosinophils
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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