Arginase activity differs with allergen in the effector phase of ovalbumin- versus trimellitic anhydride-induced asthma

Amy L. Greene, Mark S Rutherford, Ronald R. Regal, Gail H. Flickinger, Julie A Hendrickson, Cecilia Giulivi, Margaret E. Mohrman, Daniel G. Fraser, Jean F Regal

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30 Scopus citations


Both trimellitic anhydride (TMA), a small molecular weight chemical, and ovalbumin (OVA), a reference protein allergen, cause asthma with eosinophilia. To test the hypothesis that different allergens elicit symptoms of asthma via different effector pathways, gene expression was compared in lungs of Balb/c mice sensitized with either TMA or OVA, followed by intratracheal challenge with TMA conjugated to mouse serum albumin (TMA-MSA) or OVA, respectively. Sensitized animals challenged with mouse serum albumin (MSA) alone were controls. Seventy-two hours after challenge, lung eosinophil peroxidase indicated that both allergens caused the same significant change in eosinophilia. Total RNA was isolated from lung lobes of 6-8 animals in each of four treatment groups and hybridized to Affymetrix U74Av2 GeneChips. False discovery rates (q-values) were calculated from an overall F test to identify candidate genes with differences in expression for the four groups. Using a q-value cutoff of 0.1, 853 probe sets had significantly different expression across the four treatment groups. Of these 853 probe sets, 376 genes had an Experimental/Control ratio of greater than 1.2 or less than 1/1.2 for either OVA- or TMA-treated animals, and 249 of the 376 genes were uniquely up- or down-regulated for OVA or TMA (i.e., differentially expressed with the allergen). qRT-PCR analysis of selected transcripts confirmed the gene expression analysis. Increases in both arginase transcript and enzyme activity were significantly greater in OVA-induced asthma compared to TMA-induced asthma. These data suggest that pathways of arginine metabolism and the importance of nitric oxide may differ in OVA- and TMA-induced asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-433
Number of pages14
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The excellent statistical assistance of Mingqian Duan is acknowledged. This work was supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity DAMD 17–02–1–0191. The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702– 5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office for this award. In addition, the support of the Supercomputing Institute of the University of Minnesota was essential to completion of this project. Conflict of interest: none declared.


  • Allergy
  • Eosinophils
  • Lung
  • Nitric oxide
  • Rodent


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