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The ion channel transient receptor potential melastatin-2 does not play a role in inflammatory mouse models of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases

Liz Hardaker1, Parmjit Bahra1, Benjamin Cochin de Billy2, Mark Freeman1, Natalia Kupfer1, Daniel Wyss2 and Alexandre Trifilieff2*

Author Affiliations

1 Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Respiratory Diseases Area, Horsham, UK

2 Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Respiratory Diseases Area, Basel, Switzerland

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Respiratory Research 2012, 13:30  doi:10.1186/1465-9921-13-30

Published: 4 April 2012



There is strong evidence that oxidative stress is associated with the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The transient receptor potential melastatin-2 (TRPM2) is an oxidative stress sensing channel that is expressed in a number of inflammatory cells and therefore it has been suggested that inhibition of TRPM2 could lead to a beneficial effect in COPD patients. In this study, we have investigated the role of TRPM2 in a variety of mouse models of oxidative stress and COPD using TRPM2-deficent mice.


Mice were exposed to ozone (3 ppm for 4 h) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 0.3 mg/kg, intranasaly). In another model, mice were exposed to tobacco smoke (750 μg/l total wet particulate matter) for 30 min twice a day on three consecutive days. For the exacerbation model, the smoke exposure on the morning of day 3 animals was replaced with intranasal administration of LPS (0.3 mg/kg). Animals were killed 3 and 24 h after the challenge (ozone and LPS model) or 18 h after the last tobacco smoke exposure. In vitro neutrophil chemotaxis and monocyte activation were also studied using cells isolated from wild type and TRPM2-deficient animals. Statistical significance for the in vivo data (P < 0.05) was determined using analysis of variance with Kruskal-Wallis and Dunns multiple comparison test.


In all models studied, no difference in the bronchoalveolar lavage inflammation could be evidenced when comparing wild type and TRPM2-deficient mice. In addition, no difference could be seen in the lung inflammation as assessed by the measurement of various cytokines/chemokines. Similarly in various in vitro cellular activation assays using isolated neutrophils and monocytes no significant differences could be observed when comparing wild type and TRPM2-deficient mice.


We have shown, in all the models tested, no difference in the development of airway inflammation or cell activation between TRPM2-deficient mice and their wild type counterparts. These results would suggest that inhibiting TRPM2 activity in COPD would have no anti-inflammatory effect.

Transient receptor potential melastatin-2; Oxidative stress; Lung inflammation