BACKGROUND: Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease in which the nervous system plays a central role. Sensory nerve activation, amongst others via Transient Receptor Potential Ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channels, contributes to asthma characteristics including cough, bronchoconstriction, mucus secretion, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and inflammation. In the current study, we evaluated the efficacy of the novel TRPA1 antagonist BI01305834 against AHR and inflammation in guinea-pig models of asthma.
METHODS: First, a pilot study was performed in a guinea-pig model of allergic asthma to find the optimal dose of BI01305834. Next, the effect of BI01305834 on (1) AHR to inhaled histamine after the early and late asthmatic reaction (EAR and LAR), (2) magnitude of EAR and LAR and (3) airway inflammation was assessed. Precision-cut lung slices and trachea strips were used to investigate the bronchoprotective and bronchodilating-effect of BI01305834. Statistical evaluation of differences of in vivo data was performed using a Mann-Whitney U test or One-way nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA, for ex vivo data One- or Two-way ANOVA was used, all with Dunnett's post-hoc test where appropriate.
RESULTS: A dose of 1 mg/kg BI01305834 was selected based on AHR and exposure data in blood samples from the pilot study. In the subsequent study, 1 mg/kg BI01305834 inhibited AHR after the EAR, and the development of EAR and LAR elicited by ovalbumin in ovalbumin-sensitized guinea pigs. BI01305834 did not inhibit allergen-induced total and differential cells in the lavage fluid and interleukin-13 gene expression in lung homogenates. Furthermore, BI01305834 was able to inhibit allergen and histamine-induced airway narrowing in guinea-pig lung slices, without affecting histamine release, and reverse allergen-induced bronchoconstriction in guinea-pig trachea strips.
CONCLUSIONS: TRPA1 inhibition protects against AHR and the EAR and LAR in vivo and allergen and histamine-induced airway narrowing ex vivo, and reverses allergen-induced bronchoconstriction independently of inflammation. This effect was partially dependent upon histamine, suggesting a neuronal and possible non-neuronal role for TRPA1 in allergen-induced bronchoconstriction.