Asthma affects >300 million people, with high morbidity and healthcare costs. Improved therapies are needed, because current therapies have adverse side effects and are ineffective in many patients. Asthma pathophysiology involves complex regulatory mechanisms in many different cell types, still little-understood at many levels. This research will test the role of a novel regulatory target in asthma, the orphan nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?). Based on preliminary findings that PPAR? acts within the lung to modulate asthma severity, we will determine if its dysregulation contributes to asthma, test feasibility of its therapeutic targeting, and elucidate key mechanisms. Airway epithelial cells (AECs) are important as both mediators and targets of asthma-related inflammation. Preliminary data suggest that PPAR? is downregulated in AECs of asthma patients and lungs of mice with allergic airway disease (AAD), and that globally downregulating PPAR? exacerbates AAD, whereas increasing PPAR? activity alleviates it. Our overall goal is to elucidate the role of PPAR? in regulating asthma severity and the mechanisms involved.
The aims are: 1) to determine the mechanisms underlying induction of PPAR? ubiquitination and degradation by asthma- related cytokines and whether the resulting PPAR? deficiency exacerbates AAD pathogenesis and severity, comparing responses of wild-type AAD-bearing mice with those of novel strains having global or AEC-specific PPAR? deficiency; 2) to test whether treatment with novel PPAR? agonists blocks effects of asthma-related cytokines and agonist-induced or constitutive PPAR? activation ameliorates asthma severity specifically via AECs. These studies will exploit our novel resources including PPAR? KO mice lacking the fetal mortality that has hampered previous studies, a novel mouse strain expressing constitutively active PPAR? specifically in AECs, and PPAR? agonists we developed that are uniquely suited to administration by inhalation, preferred for asthma treatment. Taken together, our results will significantly advance understanding of PPAR? roles in lung biology and disease, and identify a new target for improved asthma therapy.

Public Health Relevance

Asthma is a prevalent disease, with high morbidity and healthcare costs, for which new therapies that act by new mechanisms are needed. Our findings indicate that activating the nuclear hormone receptor PPAR? alleviates asthma severity. By validating this idea and determining the molecular mechanisms involved, the proposed research will identify a novel and powerful target for asthma therapy, driving development of new treatments that improve patient outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Lung Cellular, Molecular, and Immunobiology Study Section (LCMI)
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Dong, Gang
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University of Pittsburgh
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Reddy, Aravind T; Banno, Asoka et al. (2018) Airway Epithelial Cell Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor ? Regulates Inflammation and Mucin Expression in Allergic Airway Disease. J Immunol 201:1775-1783
Banno, Asoka; Reddy, Aravind T; Lakshmi, Sowmya P et al. (2018) PPARs: Key Regulators of Airway Inflammation and Potential Therapeutic Targets in Asthma. Nucl Receptor Res 5:
Reddy, Aravind T; Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Banno, Asoka et al. (2018) Identification and Molecular Characterization of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor ? as a Novel Target for Covalent Modification by 15-Deoxy-?12,14-prostaglandin J2. ACS Chem Biol :
Reddy, Aravind T; Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Banno, Asoka et al. (2018) Role of GPx3 in PPAR?-induced protection against COPD-associated oxidative stress. Free Radic Biol Med 126:350-357
Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Reddy, Aravind T; Reddy, Raju C (2017) Transforming growth factor ? suppresses peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? expression via both SMAD binding and novel TGF-? inhibitory elements. Biochem J 474:1531-1546
Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Reddy, Aravind T; Banno, Asoka et al. (2017) PPAR Agonists for the Prevention and Treatment of Lung Cancer. PPAR Res 2017:8252796
Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Reddy, Aravind T; Reddy, Raju C (2017) Emerging pharmaceutical therapies for COPD. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 12:2141-2156
Reddy, Aravind T; Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Reddy, Raju C (2016) PPAR? in Bacterial Infections: A Friend or Foe? PPAR Res 2016:7963540
Reddy, Aravind T; Lakshmi, Sowmya P; Reddy, Raju C (2016) PPAR? as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Lung Cancer. PPAR Res 2016:8972570