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Asp–Tyr–Leu–Lys tetrapeptide inhibits airway inflammation in toluene-2,4-diisocyanate-induced asthma mice


Choon-Sik Park, or TaiYoun Rhim, Genome Research Center for Allergy and Respiratory Diseases, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, 1174 Jung-dong, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggido 420-767, Republic of Korea. E-mail: (C.S. Park), (T. Rhim)


Background Airway inflammation and remodelling contribute to chronic airway obstruction of asthma. Currently, no medication effectively controls airway remodelling and related vascular changes. Therefore, new strategies need to be developed. The kringle 5 domain has anti-angiogenic activity resulting from the tetrapeptide Lys–Leu–Tyr–Asp (KLYD).

Objective To investigate the therapeutic effect of KLYD and its inverse form Asp-Tyr-Leu-Lys (DYLK) on the inflammation and remodelling of toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI)-sensitization/challenged mice.

Methods Cell numbers were measured in the presence of various concentrations of KLYD and DYLK using in vitro endothelial cell proliferation assay. The changes of cell number and the level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and response to methacholine (MCh) were measured using the in vivo TDI-sensitized/challenged mice model. Muc5ac, smooth muscle actin (SMA) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein expression was analysed on trachea and intrapulmonary bronchi using immunohistochemical stain.

Results Compared with KLYD, DYLK had a greater inhibitory effect on endothelial cell proliferation (P<0.05). Pre-treatment of DYLK showed dose-dependent reduction in the response to MCh (P<0.05) and numbers of inflammatory cells in BAL fluids of TDI-sensitized/challenged mice. TDI induced increases in Muc5ac, SMA and PCNA protein expression and VEGF levels, which were also abolished by DYLK treatment.

Conclusions Local administration of DYLK effectively inhibits the airway inflammation and airway remodelling of TDI-sensitized/challenged mice via down-regulation of VEGF. These findings suggest that anti-angiogenic peptide therapies, such as local administration of DYLK, are an effective strategy for the treatment of remodelling in asthma.