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Role of histamine H4 receptor ligands in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.

Lucarini, L. and Pini, A. and Rosa, A.C. and Lanzi, C. and Durante, M. and Chazot, P.L. and Krief, S. and Schreeb, A. and Stark, H. and Masini, E. (2016) 'Role of histamine H4 receptor ligands in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.', Pharmacological research., 111 . pp. 740-748.


Fibrosis of lung tissue is a disease where a chronic inflammatory process determines a pathological remodelling of lung parenchyma. The animal model obtained by intra-tracheal administration of bleomycin in C57BL/6 mice is one of the most validated murine model. Bleomycin stimulates oxidative stress and the production of pro-inflammatory mediators. Histamine H4R have recently been implicated in inflammation and immune diseases. This study was focused to investigate the effects of H4R ligands in the modulation of inflammation and in the reduction of lung fibrosis in C57BL/6 mice treated with bleomycin. C57BL/6 mice were treated with vehicle, JNJ7777120 (JNJ, selective H4R antagonist) or ST-1006 (partial H4R agonist), ST-994 (H4R neutral antagonist) and ST-1012 (inverse H4R agonist) at equimolar doses, released by micro-osmotic pumps for 21 days. Airway resistance to inflation was assayed and lung samples were processed to measure malondialdehyde (TBARS); 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG); myeloperoxidase (MPO); COX-2 expression and activity as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Fibrosis and airway remodelling were evaluated throughout transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), percentage of positive Goblet cells, smooth muscle layer thickness determination. Our results indicated that JNJ, ST-994 and ST-1012 decreased inflammation and oxidative stress markers, i.e. the number of infiltrating leukocytes evaluated as lung tissue MPO, COX-2 expression and activity, TBARS and 8OHdG production. They also reduced the level of TGF-β, a pro-fibrotic cytokine, collagen deposition, thickness of smooth muscle layer, Goblet cells hyperplasia; resulting in a decrease of airway functional impairment. The results here reported clearly demonstrated that H4R ligands have a beneficial effect in a model of lung fibrosis in the mouse, thus indicating that H4R antagonists or inverse agonists could be a novel therapeutic strategy for lung inflammatory diseases.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Publisher statement:© 2016 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:25 July 2016
Date deposited:03 August 2016
Date of first online publication:27 July 2016
Date first made open access:27 July 2017

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