Airway cytokine responses to acute and repeated stress in a murine model of allergic asthma

Duck Hee Kang, Michael T. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Although stress is known to exacerbate asthma, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Using a murine model of allergic asthma, Th1 (interleukin [IL]-2 and gamma-interferon [IFN-γ]) and Th2 (IL-4 and IL-5) airway cytokine responses and Th1:Th2 cytokine ratios to acute and repeated stress were examined in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Asthmatic mice showed significantly higher IL-4 level and Th2 predominance, compared with healthy mice. To acute stress, asthmatic mice significantly increased IL-4 but decreased IFN-γ levels favoring Th2 predominance, whereas healthy mice significantly decreased IL-4 level favoring Th1 predominance in BALF. To repeated stress, asthmatic mice significantly decreased IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-5 levels overall favoring Th1 predominance, whereas healthy mice basically maintained the same response profile shown to acute stress. These findings suggest that a significant shift toward Th2 predominance in asthmatic mice under acute stress may be a mechanism underlying exacerbation of asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Airway cytokines
  • Animal model
  • Asthma
  • Stress
  • Th1:Th2 balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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