What factors and underlying mechanisms influence the occurrence of the atopic march remain unclear. Recent studies suggest that exposure to diisononyl phthalate (DINP) might be associated with the occurrence of atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma. However, little is known about the role of DINP exposure in the atopic march. In this study, we investigated the effect of DINP exposure on the progression from AD to asthma, and explored the potential mechanisms. We built an atopic march mouse model from AD to asthma, by exposure to DINP and sensitization with OVA. Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate and SB203580 were used to block NF-κB and p38 MAPK respectively, to explore the possible molecular mechanisms. The data showed that DINP aggravated airway remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness (AhR) in the progression from AD to asthma, induced a sharp increase in IL-33, IgE, Th2 and Th17 cytokines, and resulted in an increase in the expression of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and in the number of inflammatory cells. Blocking NF-κB inhibited AD-like lesions, and the production of IL-33 and TSLP in the progression of AD, while alleviating airway remodeling, AhR, and the expression of Th2 and Th17 cytokines in both the progression of AD and the asthmatic phenotype. Blocking p38 MAPK in the progression of asthma, inhibited airway remodeling, AhR, and the expression of Th2 and Th17 cytokines. The results demonstrated that exposure to DINP enhanced the immune response to memory CD4 T helper cells through the NF-κB and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, leading to an aggravation of the atopic march.Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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