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Vagal bronchopulmonary C-fiber sensory nerves play an important role in the manifestation of airway hypersensitivity, a common and prominent pathophysiological feature of airway inflammatory diseases. Eosinophil granule-derived cationic proteins are known to be involved in the mucosal damage and development of bronchial hyperresponsiveness during allergic airway inflammation. In view of these background information, we have carried out a series of studies to investigate the effect of cationic proteins on these C-fiber afferents and the mechanism(s) possibly involved; a summary of these studies is presented in this mini-review. Intra-tracheal instillation of either eosinophil granule-derived (e.g., major basic protein, MBP) or synthetic cationic proteins (e.g., poly-l-lysine) induced a sporadic, but intense and lingering discharge of pulmonary C-fibers, and greatly enhanced the chemical and mechanical sensitivities of these afferents in anesthetized rats. The stimulatory and sensitizing effects of these proteins were completely nullified when their cationic charges were neutralized or removed. Furthermore, in isolated rat bronchopulmonary capsaicin-sensitive neurons, eosinophil granule cationic proteins induced a direct and long-lasting (>60 min) but reversible sensitizing effect on their responses to chemical and electrical stimulations. More importantly, our study showed that these cationic proteins exerted an inhibitory effect on the sustained delayed-rectifier voltage-gated K current and the A-type, fast-inactivating K current; these actions were at least in part responsible for the sensitizing effect in these neurons. In awake mice, intra-tracheal instillation of MBP also induced a slowly developing (peaking in 2-3 days), progressive and sustained (lasting for 3-7 days) elevation of the cough responses to inhaled irritant gases. Taken together, these findings suggest that the enhanced sensitivity of bronchopulmonary C-fibers induced by the eosinophil granule cationic proteins may be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of bronchial hyperresponsiveness and chronic cough associated with eosinophilic infiltration of the airways.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Pulmonary pharmacology & therapeutics
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One of several basic proteins released from EOSINOPHIL cytoplasmic granules. Eosinophil cationic protein is a 21-kDa cytotoxic peptide with a pI of 10.9. Although eosinophil cationic protein is considered a member of the RNAse A superfamily of proteins, it has only limited RNAse activity.
A 19-kDa cationic peptide found in EOSINOPHIL granules. Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin is a RIBONUCLEASE and may play a role as an endogenous antiviral agent.
Proteins found in EOSINOPHIL granules. They are primarily basic proteins that play a role in host defense and the proinflammatory actions of activated eosinophils.
A 66-kDa peroxidase found in EOSINOPHIL granules. Eosinophil peroxidase is a cationic protein with a pI of 10.8 and is comprised of a heavy chain subunit and a light chain subunit. It possesses cytotoxic activity towards BACTERIA and other organisms, which is attributed to its peroxidase activity.
A form of bronchial disorder with three distinct components: airway hyper-responsiveness (RESPIRATORY HYPERSENSITIVITY), airway INFLAMMATION, and intermittent AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION. It is characterized by spasmodic contraction of airway smooth muscle, WHEEZING, and dyspnea (DYSPNEA, PAROXYSMAL).
Neurology - Central Nervous System (CNS)
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