Previous studies suggest that transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and neurogenic inflammation may be involved in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)-related high cough sensitivity, although the details of mechanism are largely unknown. Here, we aimed to further explore the potential mechanism involved in IPF-related high cough sensitivity to capsaicin challenge in a guinea pig model of pulmonary fibrosis induced by bleomycin.
Western blotting and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) were employed to measure the expression of TRP channel subfamily A, member 1 (TRPA1) and TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), which may be involved in the cough reflex pathway. Immunohistochemical analysis and RT-qPCR were used to detect the expression of neuropeptides substance P (SP), Neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in lung tissues. Concentrations of nerve growth factor (NGF), SP, neurokinin A (NKA), neurokinin B (NKB), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in lung tissue homogenates were measured by ELISA.
Cough sensitivity to capsaicin was significantly higher in the model group than that of the sham group. RT-qPCR and immunohistochemical analysis showed that the expression of TRPA1 and TRPV1 in the jugular ganglion and nodal ganglion, and SP, NK1R, and CGRP in lung tissue was significantly higher in the model group than the control group. In addition, expression of TRP and neurogenic factors was positively correlated with cough sensitivity of the experimental animals.
Up-regulated expression of TRPA1 and TRPV1 in the cough reflex pathway and neurogenic inflammation might contribute to the IPF-related high cough sensitivity in guinea pig model.