Molecular Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 9–10, pp 400–408 | Cite as

ISO-1, a Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Antagonist, Inhibits Airway Remodeling in a Murine Model of Chronic Asthma

  • Pei-Fen Chen
  • Ya-ling Luo
  • Wei Wang
  • Jiang-xin Wang
  • Wen-yan Lai
  • Si-ming Hu
  • Kai Fan Cheng
  • Yousef Al-Abed
Research Article


Airway remodeling is the process of airway structural change that occurs in patients with asthma in response to persistent inflammation and leads to increasing disease severity. Drugs that decrease this persistent inflammation play a crucial role in managing asthma episodes. Mice sensitized (by intraperitoneal administration) and then challenged (by inhalation) with ovalbumin (OVA) develop an extensive eosinophilic inflammatory response, goblet cell hyperplasia, collagen deposition, airway smooth muscle thickening, and airway wall area increase, similar to pathologies observed in human asthma. We used OVA-sensitized/challenged mice as a murine model of chronic allergic airway inflammation with subepithelial fibrosis (i.e., asthma). In this OVA mouse model, mRNA and protein of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) are upregulated, a response similar to what has been observed in the pathogenesis of acute inflammation in human asthma. We hypothesized that MIF induces transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) synthesis, which has been shown to play an important role in asthma and airway remodeling. To explore the role of MIF in the development of airway remodeling, we evaluated the effects of an MIF small-molecule antagonist, (S,R)3-(4-hy-droxyphenyl)-4,5-dihydro-5-isoxazole acetic acid methyl ester (ISO-1), on pathologies associated with the airway-remodeling process in the OVA mouse model. We found that administration of ISO-1 significantly mitigated all symptoms caused by OVA treatment. In addition, the treatment of OVA-sensitized mice with the MIF antagonist ISO-1 significantly reduced TGF-β1 mRNA levels in pulmonary tissue and its protein level in bronchial alveolar lavage fluid supernatants. We believe the repression of MIF in the ISO-1 treatment group led to the significant suppression observed in the inflammatory responses associated with the allergen-induced lung inflammation and fibrosis in our murine asthma (OVA) model. Our results implicate a possible function of MIF in the pathogenesis of chronic asthma and suggest that MIF might be an important therapeutic target for airway remodeling.


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pei-Fen Chen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ya-ling Luo
    • 1
  • Wei Wang
    • 4
  • Jiang-xin Wang
    • 5
  • Wen-yan Lai
    • 2
  • Si-ming Hu
    • 1
  • Kai Fan Cheng
    • 6
  • Yousef Al-Abed
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Respiratory Diseases, Nanfang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Cardiology, Nanfang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.ShenZhen Third People HospitalGuangdongChina
  4. 4.Nanfang HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.School of Life SciencesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  6. 6.Laboratory of Medicinal ChemistryFeinstein Institute for Medical ResearchManhassetUSA

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