[en] The objective of this study was to determine if inhaled salmeterol, a long-acting β2-adrenergic agonist, and oral doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic displaying matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitory activity, reduce airway inflammation and obstruction in cats with experimentally-induced asthma. Eight Ascaris suum (AS)-sensitised cats were enrolled in a prospective study in which they underwent four AS-challenges at 1 month intervals. The challenged animals were given no treatment or were treated on 4 consecutive days with either: (1) oral prednisolone (1 mg/kg twice daily), (2) inhaled salmeterol (50 μg twice daily), or (3) oral doxycycline (5 mg/kg twice daily), according to a randomised cross-over design. Inhibition of allergen-induced early (EAR) and late (LAR) asthmatic reactions were assessed by barometric whole-body plethysmography. Cytology and measurement of MMP-2 and -9 activities were carried out on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF).
Although none of the treatments prevented the EAR, prednisolone treatment inhibited the LAR. Relative to untreated cats, the eosinophil percentage and MMP-2 activity in BALF were significantly reduced following prednisolone treatment (P < 0.05). Short-term therapy with either salmeterol or doxycycline had no effect on the EAR or LAR or on airway inflammation. Given the chronic nature of this disease in cats, long-term therapy may be required to produce more favourable functional and clinical outcomes.