Survey of immunopharmacological effects of botulinum toxin in cell signaling of bronchial smooth muscle cells in allergic asthma

Main Article Content

Chao Cheng
Entezar Mehrabi Nasab
Seyyed Shamsadin Athari


muscle, paralysis, toxin, therapy, signal


Background: Asthma is a lung disease that has influenced more than 350 million people worldwide. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) spasm leads to airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and bronchial obstruction, which are clinical manifestations of an asthma attack. Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a bacteria toxin that acts as muscle relaxant and may have therapeutic effects on AHR and asthma.

Objective: In this study, the effect of BTX on AHR and related gene expressions was evaluated.

Material and Methods: An asthma mice model was developed which was treated with BTX in two ways: intranasally (IN) and via nebulization (N) (0.01, 0.1, and 1 U/mL and 10 U/mL, respectively) on days 25, 27 and 29. AHR was evaluated on days 24, 26, 28, and 30, and gene expressions were evaluated for TrkA, TrkB, M1–M5, α7nAChR, TNF-α, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) proteins. For histopathology of the lungs, perivascular and peribronchial inflammation, production of mucus, and goblet cell hyperplasia were studied.

Results: On day 24, treatment with BTX (for all doses) had no significant effect on AHR, but on days 26 and 28, AHR was decreased and this continued up to day 30 for all treated groups. Treatment with BTX had no significant effect on the gene expressions of TrkA, TrkB, M1–M5, α7nAChR, TNF-α, and ERK2 proteins, perivascular inflammation, peribronchial inflammation, hyperplasia of the goblet cell and production of mucus. Besides, mice administered with 10 mg/mL BTX perished. The BTX therapy controlled asthma attacks by decreasing AHR and relaxation of ASMs.

Conclusion: However, BTX had no significant effect on airway inflammation and production of mucus. While using BTX, it is necessary to prescribe safe doses in order to prevent adverse reactions.

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