Neutrophilic inflammation is associated with the degree of airway obstruction in severe equine asthma (SEA), but the contribution of these leukocytes to bronchial remodeling remains ill defined. Neutrophils could cause structural alterations of the airways by the release of exosomes, a type of cell-derived nanoparticles that can modify the biology of local and distant cells. Neutrophil-derived exosomes have been shown to increase airway smooth muscle (ASM) cell proliferation in humans and horses. Therefore, this study aimed to identify neutrophil exosomal microRNAs (miRs) implicated in the regulation of ASM biology in SEA.
6 horses with SEA and 6 healthy controls.
The expression of selected miRs in exosomes from peripheral neutrophils was studied by quantitative PCR. The effects of miR-21 transfection in ASM cells were evaluated by gene expression analysis and proliferation studies.
The miR-21 was downregulated in neutrophil exosomes from SEA horses, and it attenuated the proliferation of ASM cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide.
The lower level of miR-21 in neutrophil-derived exosomes could contribute to ASM hyperproliferation, which could, in turn, promote the thickening of the bronchial wall in SEA.