Zn/Ga-DFO iron-chelating complex attenuates the inflammatory process in a mouse model of asthma

Haim Bibi, Vladimir Vinokur, Dan Waisman, Yigal Elenberg, Amir Landesberg, Anna Faingersh, Moran Yadid, Vera Brod, Jimy Pesin, Eduard Berenshtein, Ron Eliashar, Mordechai Chevion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Redox-active iron, a catalyst in the production of hydroxyl radicals via the Fenton reaction, is one of the key participants in ROS-induced tissue injury and general inflammation. According to our recent findings, an excess of tissue iron is involved in several airway-related pathologies such as nasal polyposis and asthma. Objective: To examine the anti-inflammatory properties of a newly developed specific iron-chelating complex, Zn/Ga-DFO, in a mouse model of asthma. Materials and methods: Asthma was induced in BALBc mice by ovalbumin, using aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant. Mice were divided into four groups: (i) control, (ii) asthmatic and sham-treated, (iii) asthmatic treated with Zn/Ga-DFO [intra-peritoneally (i/p) and intra-nasally (i/n)], and (iv) asthmatic treated with Zn/Ga-DFO, i/n only. Lung histology and cytology were examined. Biochemical analysis of pulmonary levels of ferritin and iron-saturated ferritin was conducted. Results: The amount of neutrophils and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, goblet cell hyperplasia, mucus secretion, and peri-bronchial edema, showed markedly better values in both asthmatic-treated groups compared to the asthmatic non-treated group. The non-treated asthmatic group showed elevated ferritin levels, while in the two treated groups it returned to baseline levels. Interestingly, i/n-treatment demonstrated a more profound effect alone than in a combination with i/p injections. Conclusion: In this mouse model of allergic asthma, Zn/Ga-DFO attenuated allergic airway inflammation. The beneficial effects of treatment were in accord with iron overload abatement in asthmatic lungs by Zn/Ga-DFO. The findings in both cellular and tissue levels supported the existence of a significant anti-inflammatory effect of Zn/Ga-DFO.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)814-819
Number of pages6
JournalRedox Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Asthma
  • Inflammation
  • Iron
  • Iron chelation
  • OVA-induced asthma model


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