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Supplementary Material for: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) Decreases Inflammation and Airway Reactivity in a Murine Model of Asthma

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posted on 21.03.2012 by Stankevicius D., Ferraz-de-Paula V., Ribeiro A., Pinheiro M.L., Ligeiro de Oliveira A.P., Damazo A.S., Lapachinske S.F., Moreau R.L.M., Tavares de Lima W., Palermo-Neto J.
Objective: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), or ecstasy, is a synthetic drug used recreationally, mainly by young people. It has been suggested that MDMA has a Th cell skewing effect, in which Th1 cell activity is suppressed and Th2 cell activity is increased. Experimental allergic airway inflammation in ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized rodents is a useful model to study Th2 response; therefore, based on the Th2 skewing effect of MDMA, we studied MDMA in a model of allergic lung inflammation in OVA-sensitized mice. Methods: We evaluated cell trafficking in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, blood and bone marrow; cytokine production; L-selectin expression and lung histology. We also investigated the effects of MDMA on tracheal reactivity in vitro and mast cell degranulation. Results: We found that MDMA given prior to OVA challenge in OVA-sensitized mice decreased leukocyte migration into the lung, as revealed by a lower cell count in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung histologic analysis. We also showed that MDMA decreased expression of both Th2-like cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10) and adhesion molecules (L-selectin). Moreover, we showed that the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis is partially involved in the MDMA-induced reduction in leukocyte migration into the lung. Finally, we showed that MDMA decreased tracheal reactivity to methacholine as well as mast cell degranulation in situ. Conclusions: Thus, we report here that MDMA given prior to OVA challenge in OVA-sensitized allergic mice is able to decrease lung inflammation and airway reactivity and that hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activation is partially involved. Together, the data strongly suggest an involvement of a neuroimmune mechanism in the effects of MDMA on lung inflammatory response and cell recruitment to the lungs of allergic animals.