Roflumilast ameliorates airway hyperresponsiveness caused by diet-induced obesity in a murine model

Hye Jung Park, Jae Hyun Lee, Yoon Hee Park, Heejae Han, Da Woon Sim, Kyung Hee Park, Jung Won Park

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Obese patients with asthma respond poorly to conventional asthma medications, resulting in severe symptoms and poor prognosis. Roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor that lowers the levels of various substances that are implicated in obese subjects with asthma, may be effective in the treatment of those subjects. We evaluated the potential of roflumilast as a novel therapeutic agent for obese subjects with asthma. We designed three models: diet-induced obesity (DIO); DIO with ovalbumin (OVA); and OVA. We fed C57BL/6J mice a high-fat diet for 3 months with or without OVA sensitization and challenge. Roflumilast or dexamethasone was administered orally three times at 2-day intervals in the last experimental week. Airway hyperresponsiveness resulting from DIO significantly improved in the roflumilast-treated group compared with the dexamethasonetreated groups. Although DIO did not affect the cell proliferation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, increased fibrosis was seen in the DIO group, which significantly improved from treatment with roflumilast. DIO-induced changes in adiponectin and leptin levels were improved by roflumilast, whereas dexamethasone aggravated them. mRNA levels and proteins of TNF-a, transforming growth factor-b, IL-1b, and IFN-g increased in the DIO group and decreased with roflumilast. The reactive oxygen species levels were also increased in the DIO group and decreased by roflumilast. In the DIO plus OVA and OVA models, roflumilast improved Th1 and Th2 cell activation to a greater extent than dexamethasone. Roflumilast is significantly more effective than dexamethasone against airway hyperresponsiveness caused by DIO in the murine model. Roflumilast may represent a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of obese patients with asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology Research and Development Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, funded by Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea grant HR14C0006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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