Pirfenidone modulates airway responsiveness, inflammation, and remodeling after repeated challenge

Atsushi Hirano, Arihiko Kanehiro, Katsuichiro Ono, Wataru Ito, Akio Yoshida, Chiharu Okada, Hiromi Nakashima, Yasushi Tanimoto, Mikio Kataoka, Erwin W. Gelfand, Mitsune Tanimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the therapeutic potential of a newly developed antifibrotic agent, pirfenidone, to regulate airway remodeling and the development of allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness after chronic allergen challenge. Administration of pirfenidone after sensitization but during the period of ovalbumin challenge significantly prevented the development of airway hyperresponsiveness and prevented eosinophil and lymphocyte accumulation in the airways. IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and ovalbumin-specific serum IgE antibody levels were also significantly reduced. Treatment with pirfenidone significantly reduced transforming growth factor-β1 and platelet-derived growth factor levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Pirfenidone reduced the expression of transforming growth factor-β1, the development of goblet cell hyperplasia and subepithelial collagenization, and the increases in contractile elements in the lung. These data indicate that pirfenidone may play an important role in the treatment of asthma and has the potential reduce or prevent airway remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-377
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway hyperresponsiveness
  • Airway inflammation
  • Airway remodeling
  • Pirfenidone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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