Bevacizumab with anti-angiogenesis properties reduces the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level and has widely been used to treat various diseases such as lung diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study, therefore, aimed to consider the effects of bevacizumab on VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and lung inflammation of the ovalbumin-induced rat model of airway hypersensitivity.
Twenty-one male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 7 in each group): (1) control, (2) ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized, and (3) OVA-sensitized with bevacizumab (OVA + Bmab). Groups 2 and 3 were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) and aluminum hydroxide on days 1, 8 and challenged with OVA on day 15 by atomization for 10 days (inhalation). After OVA sensitization, the OVA + Bmab was treated with bevacizumab for 2 weeks. VEGFR2 was semiquantitatively analyzed in the lungs by immunohistochemistry. VEGF was measured in the lung tissue by ELISA method. The mRNA of IL-10 and IL-6 lung tissue were measured by real-time PCR.
Ovalbumin exposure promoted the expression of VEGF and resulted in inflammatory factors overexpression (p ≤ 0.05). However, rats in OVA + Bmab group showed significantly a decrease in VEGFR2 and IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, and an increase in IL-10 (p ≤ 0.05).
The results show that bevacizumab efficiently diminishes bronchial inflammation via reducing the expression of VEGFR2, and IL-6 genes and enhancing the expression of IL-10 gene. Hence, bevacizumab could be considered as a potential candidate drug to control pathological conditions relevant to airway hypersensitivity.