Purpose: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) level is elevated in allergic asthmatic airways and activation of NPY receptor-1 (NPY-Y1) on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is essential for T cell priming. Paradoxically, NPY-Y1 modulates hyper-responsiveness in T cells, suggesting a bimodal role for NPY in APCs and T cells. Therefore, determination of the temporal and spatial expression pattern of NPY and its receptors in asthmatic airways is essential to further understand the role of NPY in allergic asthma. Methods: Lungs were isolated from control and acute and chronic stages of OVA-sensitized and challenged mice (OVA). Stains, including H&E, PAS, and trichrome, were used to determine the severity of lung pathology. The expression patterns of NPY and NPY-Y receptors in the airways were determined using ELISA and immunofluorescence. Cytokine levels in the BALF were also measured. Results: NPY levels were undetectable in the BALF of control mice, but significantly increased in the OVA group at day 80. Levels of IL-4, TGF-β1 and TGF-β2, significantly increased and peaked on day 45 and decreased on day 80 in the OVA group, exhibiting an inverse correlation with NPY levels. NPY expression was localized to macrophage-like cells in the peri-bronchial and peri-vascular areas in the lung tissue. NPY-Y1 and -Y5 receptors were constitutively expressed by both structural and inflammatory cells in the lung tissue. Conclusions: NPY produced by activated macrophage-like cells may be involved in regulating cytokine production and cellular activities of immune cells in asthma. However, it remains unclear whether such an increase in NPY is a defensive/compensatory mechanism to modulate the effects of inflammatory cytokines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Molecular Biology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine