Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lung characterized by airways hyper-responsiveness (AHR), inflammation, and mucus hyperproduction. Current mainstream therapies include bronchodilators that relieve bronchoconstriction and inhaled glucocorticoids to reduce inflammation. The small molecule hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin has long been known to be involved in inflammatory processes; however, its precise role in asthma is unknown. We have previously established that activation of serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)(2A) receptors has potent anti-inflammatory activity in primary cultures of vascular tissues and in the whole animal in vasculature and gut tissues. The 5-HT(2A) receptor agonist, (R)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][(R)-DOI] is especially potent. In this work, we have examined the effect of (R)-DOI in an established mouse model of allergic asthma. In the ovalbumin mouse model of allergic inflammation, we demonstrate that inhalation of (R)-DOI prevents the development of many key features of allergic asthma, including AHR, mucus hyperproduction, airways inflammation, and pulmonary eosinophil recruitment. Our results highlight a likely role of the 5-HT2 receptors in allergic airways disease and suggest that 5-HT2 receptor agonists may represent an effective and novel small molecule-based therapy for asthma.
Nau, F., Miller, J., Saravia, J., Ahlert, T., Yu, B., Happel, K. I., … & Nichols, C. D. (2015). Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor activation prevents allergic asthma in a mouse model. American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 308(2), L191-L198.
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