Aim/Purpose: Exposure to various allergens has been shown to increase expression of ORMDL3 in the lung in models of allergic asthma. Studies using genetically modified (transgenic or knock out) mice have revealed some of the functions of ORMDL3 in asthma pathogenesis, although amid debate. The goal of this study was to use targeted post-transcriptional downregulation of ORMDL3 in allergen-challenged wild-type (WT) mice by RNA interference to further elucidate the functional role of ORMDL3 in asthma pathogenesis and evaluate a potential therapeutic option. Methods: Allergen (ovalbumin [OVA])-challenged WT mice were administered intranasally (i.n) with a single dose of five short hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs with different target sequence for murine ORMDL3 cloned in a lentiviral vector or with the empty vector (control). Mice were evaluated for allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and various features of airway inflammation after 72 hours. Results: I.n administration of a single dose of ORMDL3 shRNAs to OVA-challenged mice resulted in reduction of ORMDL3 gene expression in the lungs associated with a significant reduction in AHR to inhaled methacholine and in the number of inflammatory cells recruited in the airways, specifically eosinophils, as well as in airway mucus secretion compared to OVA-challenged mice that received the empty vector. Administration of ORMDL3 shRNAs also significantly inhibited levels of IL-13, eotaxin-2 and sphingosine in the lungs. Additionally, ORMDL3 shRNAs significantly inhibited the allergen-mediated increase in monohexyl ceramides C22:0 and C24:0. Conclusions: Post-transcriptional down regulation of ORMDL3 in allergic lungs using i.n-delivered ORMDL3 shRNA (akin to inhaled therapy) attenuates development of key features of airway allergic disease, confirming the involvement of ORMDL3 in allergic asthma pathogenesis and serving as a model for a potential therapeutic strategy.
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- airway hyperresponsiveness
- allergic airway inflammation
- short hairpin RNA