Sex differences in the influence of obesity on a murine model of allergic lung inflammation

Yanira de los Angeles Riffo Vasquez, Rodrigo Rodrigues e-Lacerda, Gabriel Forato Anhe, Clive Peter Page

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Despite the overwhelming evidence showing the influence of sex or obesity in the development of respiratory diseases in humans and animals, the mechanisms by which these combined two factors influence allergic asthma are not well understood. Objective: We have investigated the interaction between sex and weight gain in an experimental model of lung allergic inflammation induced by chicken egg ovalbumin (OVA) in mice. Methods: Animals were fed a high-fat diet for 8 weeks and then sensitized and challenged with OVA. Results: Our results demonstrate that in comparison with males, high-fat diet (HFD) allergic female mice exhibit a reduction in the number of leucocytes in the lung lumen when challenged with OVA and, in contrast, an accumulation of these cells in the lung tissue. In addition, we also observed that allergic HFD female mice presented a robust lung remodelling in comparison with HFD males, evidenced by higher deposition of collagen in the airways and TGF-β in lung fluid. Measuring epithelial adhesion molecule expression, we observed that female mice presented a significantly lower expression of CD103 than males in BAL cells, regardless of the diet. Similarly, HFD female mice express lower levels of EpCAM in lung tissue in comparison with males and lean females. Levels of A20/TNFAIP3 expression in lung tissue demonstrated that HFD female mice express lower levels of these regulatory factors than all the other groups. However, this reduction was not accompanied by an increase in activated NF-κB. Conclusions: Our results present evidence that the interaction between sex and weight gain alters the progression of allergic asthma in mice with females developing airway remodelling at a much earlier stage than males. Clinical Relevance: These data may contribute to a better understanding of the clinical differences in the development and severity of allergic asthma observed between men and women of reproductive age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-266
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number2
Early online date25 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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