Corticosteroid insensitivity (CSI) represents a profound challenge in managing patients with asthma. We recently demonstrated that short exposure of airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) to proasthmatic cytokines drastically reduced their responsiveness to glucocorticoids (GCs), an effect that was partially mediated via interferon regulatory factor-1, suggesting the involvement of additional mechanisms (Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2008;38:463–472). Although GC receptor (GR) can be phosphorylated at multiple serines in the N-terminal region, the major phosphorylation sites critical for GR transcriptional activity are serines 211 (Ser211) and 226 (Ser226). We tested the novel hypothesis that cytokine-induced CSI in ASMCs is due to an impaired GR phosphorylation. Cells were treated with TNF-α (10 ng/ml) and IFN-γ (500 UI/ml) for 6 hours and/or fluticasone (100 nm) added 2 hours before. GR was constitutively phosphorylated at Ser226 but not at Ser211 residues. Cytokines dramatically suppressed fluticasone-induced phosphorylation of GR on Ser211 but not on Ser226 residues while increasing the expression of Ser/Thr protein phosphatase (PP)5 but not that of PP1 or PP2A. Transfection studies using a reporter construct containing GC responsive elements showed that the specific small interfering RNA–induced mRNA knockdown of PP5, but not that of PP1 or PP2A, partially prevented the cytokine suppressive effects on GR-meditated transactivation activity. Similarly, cytokines failed to inhibit GC-induced GR-Ser211 phosphorylation when expression of PP5 was suppressed. We propose that the novel mechanism that proasthmatic cytokine-induced CSI in ASMCs is due, in part, to PP5-mediated impairment of GR-Ser211 phosphorylation.
serine/threonine protein phosphatase; airway smooth muscle; asthma; corticosteroid insensitivity; airway remodeling
Glucocorticoid (GC) insensitivity represents a profound challenge in managing patients with asthma. The mutual inhibition of transcriptional activity between GC receptor (GR) and other regulators is one of the mechanisms contributing to GC resistance in asthma. We recently reported that interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 is a novel transcription factor that promotes GC insensitivity in human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells by interfering with GR signaling (Tliba et al., Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2008;38:463–472). Here, we sought to determine whether the inhibition of GR function by IRF-1 involves its interaction with the transcriptional co-regulator GR-interacting protein 1 (GRIP-1), a known GR transcriptional co-activator. We here found that siRNA-mediated GRIP-1 depletion attenuated IRF-1–dependent transcription of the luciferase reporter construct and the mRNA expression of an IRF-1–dependent gene, CD38. In parallel experiments, GRIP-1 silencing significantly reduced GR-mediated transactivation activities. Co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays showed that GRIP-1, through its repression domain, physically interacts with IRF-1 identifying GRIP-1 as a bona fide transcriptional co-activator for IRF-1. Interestingly, the previously reported inhibition of GR-mediated transactivation activities by either TNF-α and IFN-γ treatment or IRF-1 overexpression was fully reversed by increasing cellular levels of GRIP-1. Together, these data suggest that the cellular accumulation of IRF-1 may represent a potential molecular mechanism mediating altered cellular response to GC through the depletion of GRIP-1 from the GR transcriptional regulatory complexes.
glucocorticoid; cytokine; airway smooth muscle; IRF-1; GRIP-1
The article by Yao and coworkers in this issue (Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 2008;39:7–18) reveals that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21CIP1/WAF1/SDI1 (designated hereafter as p21), which has been linked to cell cycle growth arrest due to stress or danger cell responses, may modulate alveolar inflammation and alveolar destruction, and thus enlightens our present understanding of how the lung senses injury due to cigarette smoke and integrates these responses with those that activate inflammatory pathways potentially harmful to the lung (1). Furthermore, the interplay of p21 and cellular processes involving cell senescence and the imbalance of cell proliferation/apoptosis may provide us with a more logical explanation of how p21, acting as a sensor of cellular stress, might have such potent and wide roles in lung responses triggered by cigarette smoke. Molecular switches, ontologically designed for the protection of the host, are now hijacked by injurious stresses (such as cigarette smoke), leading to organ damage.
Cationic host defence peptides are key, evolutionarily conserved components of the innate immune system. The human cathelicidin LL-37 is an important cationic host defence peptide upregulated in infection and inflammation, including in the human lung, and has been shown to enhance the pulmonary clearance of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vivo by as yet undefined mechanisms. In addition to direct microbicidal potential, LL-37 can modulate inflammation and immune mechanisms in host defence against infection, including the capacity to modulate cell death pathways. We demonstrate that at physiologically relevant concentrations of LL-37, this peptide preferentially promoted the apoptosis of infected airway epithelium, via enhanced LL-37-induced mitochondrial membrane depolarisation and release of cytochrome c, with activation of caspases -9 and -3 and induction of apoptosis, which only occurred in the presence of both peptide and bacteria, but not with either stimulus alone. This synergistic induction of apoptosis in infected cells was caspase-dependent, contrasting with the caspase-independent cell death induced by supra-physiological levels of peptide alone. We demonstrate that the synergistic induction of apoptosis by LL-37 and P. aeruginosa required specific bacteria-epithelial cell interaction with whole, live bacteria, and bacterial invasion of the epithelial cell. We propose that LL-37-mediated apoptosis of infected, compromised airway epithelial cells might represent a novel inflammomodulatory role for this peptide in innate host defence, promoting clearance of respiratory pathogens.
LL-37; cathelicidin; Cationic host defence peptide; antimicrobial peptide; airway epithelium; innate immunity; Pseudomonas; lung; apoptosis; cell death; Bax; Caspase; cystic fibrosis
The transcription factor NF-κB has been causally linked to inflammatory lung diseases. Recent studies have unraveled the complexity of NF-κB activation by identifying two parallel activation pathways: the classical NF-κB pathway, which is controlled by IκB kinase complex–β (IKKβ) and RelA/p50, and the alternative pathway, which is controlled by IKKα and RelB/p52. The alternative pathway regulates adaptive immune responses and lymphoid development, yet its role in the regulation of innate immune responses remains largely unknown. In this study, we determined the relevance of the alternative NF-κB pathway in proinflammatory responses in lung epithelial cells. The exposure of C10 murine alveolar lung epithelial cells to diverse stimuli, or primary murine tracheal epithelial cells to LPS, resulted in the activation of both NF-κB pathways, based on the nuclear translocation of RelA, p50, RelB, and p52. Increases in the nuclear content of RelA occurred rapidly, but transiently, whereas increases in nuclear RelB content were protracted. The small interfering (si) RNA–mediated knockdown of IKKα, RelA, or RelB resulted in decreases of multiple LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokines. Surprisingly, the siRNA ablation of IKKα or RelB led to marked increases in the production of IL-6 in response to LPS. The simultaneous expression of constitutively active (CA)-IKKα and CA-IKKβ caused synergistic increases in proinflammatory mediators. Lastly, the disruption of the IKK signalsome inhibited the activation of both NF-κB pathways. These results demonstrate that the coordinated activation of both NF-κB pathways regulates the magnitude and nature of proinflammatory responses in lung epithelial cells.
lung; IκB kinase–β; IκB kinase–α; RelA; RelB
The dual oxidase enzymes, DUOX, localized to the respiratory tract epithelium, are important components of innate host defense against bacteria and virus. However, little is known regarding the regulation of DUOX transcription. To better understand DUOX2-mediated mechanisms of antiviral host defense in the airway epithelium, we designed a bidirectional promoter luciferase reporter system to identify important cis-regulatory regions in the human DUOX2/DUOXA2 promoter. In this report, we demonstrate that the genomic region between the translation start sites of DUOX2 and DUOXA2 functions as a bidirectional promoter in human airway tissue. We also identified key regulatory regions on the DUOX2/DUOXA2 promoter that were necessary for both bidirectional and unidirectional transcriptional activity. Importantly, we discovered two functionally important single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the promoter that differentially regulated DUOX2/DUOXA2 transcription in response to exogenous double-stranded DNA. One of these SNPs, rs269855 (enriched in people of African descent), conferred the highest level of DUOX2 promoter activity. The clinical sequelae for individuals who carry this polymorphism remain to be determined.
airway; bidirectional promoter; dual oxidase; single-nucleotide polymorphism; virus
Although the importance of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)-α signaling during normal alveogenesis is known, it is unclear whether this signaling pathway can regulate realveolarization in the adult lung. During alveolar development, PDGFR-α–expressing cells induce α smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and differentiate to interstitial myofibroblasts. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling regulates myofibroblast differentiation during alveolarization, whereas peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ activation antagonizes myofibroblast differentiation in lung fibrosis. Using left lung pneumonectomy, the roles of FGF and PPAR-γ signaling in differentiation of myofibroblasts from PDGFR-α–positive precursors during compensatory lung growth were assessed. FGF receptor (FGFR) signaling was inhibited by conditionally activating a soluble dominant-negative FGFR2 transgene. PPAR-γ signaling was activated by administration of rosiglitazone. Changes in α-SMA and PDGFR-α protein expression were assessed in PDGFR-α–green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter mice using immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry demonstrated that the cell ratio and expression levels of PDGFR-α–GFP changed dynamically during alveolar regeneration and that α-SMA expression was induced in a subset of PDGFR-α–GFP cells. Expression of a dominant-negative FGFR2 and administration of rosiglitazone inhibited induction of α-SMA in PDGFR-α–positive fibroblasts and formation of new septae. Changes in gene expression of epithelial and mesenchymal signaling molecules were assessed after left lobe pneumonectomy, and results demonstrated that inhibition of FGFR2 signaling and increase in PPAR-γ signaling altered the expression of Shh, FGF, Wnt, and Bmp4, genes that are also important for epithelial–mesenchymal crosstalk during early lung development. Our data demonstrate for the first time that a comparable epithelial–mesenchymal crosstalk regulates fibroblast phenotypes during alveolar septation.
progenitor cells; septation; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; wnt; shh
Exposure to particulate air pollution is associated with increased cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality, although the pathogenic mechanisms are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that particulate matter (PM) exposure triggers massive oxidative stress in vascular endothelial cells (ECs), resulting in the loss of EC integrity and lung vascular hyperpermeability. We investigated the protective role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous gaseous molecule present in the circulation, on PM-induced human lung EC barrier disruption and pulmonary inflammation. Alterations in EC monolayer permeability, as reflected by transendothelial electrical resistance (TER), the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and murine pulmonary inflammatory responses, were studied after exposures to PM and NaSH, an H2S donor. Similar to N-acetyl cysteine (5 mM), NaSH (10 μM) significantly scavenged PM-induced EC ROS and inhibited the oxidative activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Concurrent with these events, NaSH (10 μM) activated Akt, which helps maintain endothelial integrity. Both of these pathways contribute to the protective effect of H2S against PM-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction. Furthermore, NaSH (20 mg/kg) reduced vascular protein leakage, leukocyte infiltration, and proinflammatory cytokine release in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids in a murine model of PM-induced lung inflammation. These data suggest a potentially protective role for H2S in PM-induced inflammatory lung injury and vascular hyperpermeability.
particulate matter; hydrogen sulfide; endothelial permeability; Akt
IL-1 has been associated with acute lung injury (ALI) in both humans and animal models, but further investigation of the precise mechanisms involved is needed, and may identify novel therapeutic targets. To discover the IL-1 mediators essential to the initiation and resolution phases of acute lung inflammation, knockout mice (with targeted deletions for either the IL-1 receptor–1, i.e., Il-1r1−/−, or the IL-1 receptor antagonist, i.e., Il-1rn−/−) were exposed to aerosolized LPS, and indices of lung and systemic inflammation were examined over the subsequent 48 hours. The resultant cell counts, histology, protein, and RNA expression of key cytokines were measured. Il-1r1−/− mice exhibited decreased neutrophil influx, particularly at 4 and 48 hours after exposure to LPS, as well as reduced bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) expression of chemokines and granulocyte colony–stimulating factor (G-CSF). On the contrary, Il-1rn−/− mice demonstrated increased BAL neutrophil counts, increased BAL total protein, and greater evidence of histologic injury, all most notably 2 days after LPS exposure. Il-1rn−/− mice also exhibited higher peripheral neutrophil counts and greater numbers of granulocyte receptor-1 cells in their bone marrow, potentially reflecting their elevated plasma G-CSF concentrations. Furthermore, IL-17A expression was increased in the BAL and lungs of Il-1rn−/− mice after exposure to LPS, likely because of increased numbers of γδ T cells in the Il-1rn−/− lungs. Blockade with IL-17A monoclonal antibody before LPS exposure decreased the resultant BAL neutrophil counts and lung G-CSF expression in Il-1rn−/− mice, 48 hours after exposure to LPS. In conclusion, Il-1rn−/− mice exhibit delayed resolution in acute lung inflammation after exposure to LPS, a process that appears to be mediated via the G-CSF/IL-17A axis.
IL-1 receptor antagonist; IL-17A; IL-1 receptor–1; acute lung injury
Pleural diseases (fibrosis and mesothelioma) are a major concern for individuals exposed by inhalation to certain types of particles, metals, and fibers. Increasing attention has focused on the possibility that certain types of engineered nanoparticles (NPs), especially those containing nickel, might also pose a risk for pleural diseases. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is an important mediator of fibrosis and cancer that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of pleural diseases. In this study, we discovered that PDGF synergistically enhanced nickel NP (NiNP)–induced increases in mRNA and protein levels of the profibrogenic chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 or CCL2), and the antifibrogenic IFN-inducible CXC chemokine (CXCL10) in normal rat pleural mesothelial 2 (NRM2) cells in vitro. Carbon black NPs (CBNPs), used as a negative control NP, did not cause a significant increase in CCL2 or CXCL10 in the absence or presence of PDGF. NiNPs prolonged PDGF-induced phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family termed extracellular signal–regulated kinases (ERK)-1 and -2 for up to 24 hours, and NiNPs also synergistically increased PDGF-induced hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α protein levels in NRM2 cells. Inhibition of ERK-1,2 phosphorylation with the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor, PD98059, blocked the synergistic increase in CCL2, CXCL10, and HIF-1α levels induced by PDGF and NiNPs. Moreover, the antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), significantly reduced HIF-1α, ERK-1,2 phosphorylation, and CCL2 protein levels that were synergistically increased by the combination of PDGF and NiNPs. These data indicate that NiNPs enhance the activity of PDGF in regulating chemokine production in NRM2 cells through a mechanism involving reactive oxygen species generation and prolonged activation of ERK-1,2.
nanoparticles; metals; lung; pleura; chemokines
Although strides have been made to reduce ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI), critically ill patients can vary in sensitivity to VILI, suggesting gene–environment interactions could contribute to individual susceptibility. This study sought to uncover candidate genes associated with VILI using a genome-wide approach followed by functional analysis of the leading candidate in mice. Alveolar–capillary permeability after high tidal volume (HTV) ventilation was measured in 23 mouse strains, and haplotype association mapping was performed. A locus was identified on chromosome 15 that contained ArfGAP with SH3 domain, ankyrin repeat and PH domain 1 (Asap1), adenylate cyclase 8 (Adcy8), WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (Wisp1), and N-myc downstream regulated 1 (Ndrg1). Information from published studies guided initial assessment to Wisp1. After HTV, lung WISP1 protein increased in sensitive A/J mice, but was unchanged in resistant CBA/J mice. Anti-WISP1 antibody decreased HTV-induced alveolar–capillary permeability in sensitive A/J mice, and recombinant WISP1 protein increased HTV-induced alveolar–capillary permeability in resistant CBA/J mice. HTV-induced WISP1 coimmunoprecipitated with glycosylated Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 in A/J lung homogenates. After HTV, WISP1 increased in strain-matched control lungs, but was unchanged in TLR4 gene–targeted lungs. In peritoneal macrophages from strain-matched mice, WISP1 augmented LPS-induced TNF release that was inhibited in macrophages from TLR4 or CD14 antigen gene–targeted mice, and was attenuated in macrophages from myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 gene–targeted or TLR adaptor molecule 1 mutant mice. These findings support a role for WISP1 as an endogenous signal that acts through TLR4 signaling to increase alveolar–capillary permeability in VILI.
genome-wide association study; acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome
Many transcription factors that regulate lung morphogenesis during development are reactivated to mediate repairs of the injured adult lung. We hypothesized that CCAAT/enhancer binding protein–α (C/EBPα), a transcription factor critical for perinatal lung maturation, regulates genes required for the normal repair of the bronchiolar epithelium after injury. Transgenic CebpαΔ/Δ mice, in which Cebpa was conditionally deleted from Clara cells and Type II cells after birth, were used in this study. Airway injury was induced in mice by the intraperitoneal administration of naphthalene to ablate bronchiolar epithelial cells. Although the deletion of C/EBPα did not influence lung structure and function under unstressed conditions, C/EBPα was required for the normal repair of terminal bronchiolar epithelium after naphthalene injury. To identify cellular processes that are influenced by C/EBPα during repair, mRNA microarray was performed on terminal bronchiolar epithelial cells isolated by laser-capture microdissection. Normal repair of the terminal bronchiolar epithelium was highly associated with the mRNAs regulating antiprotease activities, and their induction required C/EBPα. The defective deposition of fibronectin in CebpαΔ/Δ mice was associated with increased protease activity and delayed differentiation of FoxJ1-expressing ciliated cells. The fibronectin and ciliated cells were restored by the intratracheal treatment of CebpαΔ/Δ mice with the serine protease inhibitor. In conclusion, C/EBPα regulates the expression of serine protease inhibitors that are required for the normal increase of fibronectin and the restoration of ciliated cells after injury. Treatment with serine protease inhibitor may aid in the recovery of injured bronchiolar epithelial cells, and prevent common chronic lung diseases.
C/EBPα; antiprotease; Spink5; naphthalene; Scgb1a1
The ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity of CD38 generates cyclic ADP-ribose, a Ca2+–mobilizing agent. In human airway smooth muscle (HASM) cells, TNF-α mediates CD38 expression through mitogen-activated protein kinases and NF-κB and AP-1. The phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt (PI3K/Akt) pathway is involved in TNF-α signaling and contributes to airway hyperresponsiveness and airway remodeling. We hypothesized that PI3Ks mediate CD38 expression and are involved in the differential induction of CD38 by TNF-α in asthmatic HASM cells. HASM cells were treated with pan-PI3K inhibitors (LY294002 or wortmannin) or class I–selective (GDC0941) or isoform-selective PI3K inhibitors (p110α-PIK-75 and p110β-TGX-221) with or without TNF-α. HASM cells were transfected with a catalytically active form of PI3K or phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) or nontargeting or p110 isoform-targeting siRNAs before TNF-α exposure. CD38 expression and activation of Akt, NF-κB, and AP-1 were determined. LY294002 and wortmannin inhibited TNF-α–induced Akt activation, whereas only LY294002 inhibited CD38 expression. P110 expression caused Akt activation and basal and TNF-α–induced CD38 expression, whereas PTEN expression attenuated Akt activation and CD38 expression. Expression levels of p110 isoforms α, β, and δ were comparable in nonasthmatic and asthmatic HASM cells. Silencing of p110α or -δ, but not p110β, resulted in comparable attenuation of TNF-α–induced CD38 expression in asthmatic and nonasthmatic cells. NF-κB and AP-1 activation were unaltered by the PI3K inhibitors. In HASM cells, regulation of CD38 expression occurs by specific class I PI3K isoforms, independent of NF-κB or AP-1 activation, and PI3K signaling may not be involved in the differential elevation of CD38 in asthmatic HASM cells.
smooth muscle; airway; CD38; PI3 kinase; PI3 kinase isoforms
Antibiotics-induced release of the pore-forming virulence factor pneumolysin (PLY) in patients with pneumococcal pneumonia results in its presence days after lungs are sterile and is a major factor responsible for the induction of permeability edema. Here we sought to identify major mechanisms mediating PLY-induced endothelial dysfunction. We evaluated PLY-induced endothelial hyperpermeability in human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HL-MVECs) and human lung pulmonary artery endothelial cells in vitro and in mice instilled intratracheally with PLY. PLY increases permeability in endothelial monolayers by reducing stable and dynamic microtubule content and modulating VE-cadherin expression. These events, dependent upon an increased calcium influx, are preceded by protein kinase C (PKC)-α activation, perturbation of the RhoA/Rac1 balance, and an increase in myosin light chain phosphorylation. At later time points, PLY treatment increases the expression and activity of arginase in HL-MVECs. Arginase inhibition abrogates and suppresses PLY-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction by restoring NO generation. Consequently, a specific PKC-α inhibitor and the TNF-derived tonoplast intrinsic protein peptide, which blunts PLY-induced PKC-α activation, are able to prevent activation of arginase in HL-MVECs and to reduce PLY-induced endothelial hyperpermeability in mice. Arginase I (AI)+/−/arginase II (AII)−/− C57BL/6 mice, displaying a significantly reduced arginase I expression in the lungs, are significantly less sensitive to PLY-induced capillary leak than their wild-type or AI+/+/AII−/− counterparts, indicating an important role for arginase I in PLY-induced endothelial hyperpermeability. These results identify PKC-α and arginase I as potential upstream and downstream therapeutic targets in PLY-induced pulmonary endothelial dysfunction.
PKC; arginase; pneumococcus; pneumolysin; TNF
Acute respiratory disease is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in influenza. Because antiviral drugs are only effective early in infection, new agents are needed to treat nonvaccinated patients presenting with late-stage disease, particularly those who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome. We found previously that the de novo pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor A77-1726 reversed the influenza-induced impairment of alveolar fluid clearance. Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome and intact alveolar fluid clearance demonstrate lower mortality than those with compromised fluid clearance. We therefore investigated the effects of treatment with nebulized A77-1726 (67.5 mg/kg) on indices of cardiopulmonary function relevant to the diagnosis of acute respiratory distress syndrome. BALB/cAnNCr mice (8–12 wk old) were inoculated intranasally with 10,000 plaque-forming units/mouse influenza A/WSN/33 (H1N1). Pulse oximetry was performed daily. Alveolar fluid clearance, lung water, and lung mechanics were measured at 2 and 6 days after inoculation in live, ventilated mice by BSA instillation, magnetic resonance imaging, and forced-oscillation techniques, respectively. A77-1726 treatment at 1 day after inoculation delayed mortality. Treatment on Days 1 or 5 reduced viral replication on Day 6, and improved alveolar fluid clearance, peripheral oxygenation, and cardiac function. Nebulized A77-1726 also reversed influenza-induced increases in lung water content and volume, improved pulmonary mechanics, reduced bronchoalveolar lavage fluid ATP and neutrophil content, and increased IL-6 concentrations. The ability of A77-1726 to improve cardiopulmonary function in influenza-infected mice and to reduce the severity of ongoing acute respiratory distress syndrome late in infection suggests that pyrimidine synthesis inhibitors are promising therapeutic candidates for the management of severe influenza.
alveolar fluid clearance; pulmonary edema; antiviral agents; lung function; ARDS
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a syndrome marked by increased permeability across the pulmonary epithelium resulting in pulmonary edema. Recent evidence suggests that members of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family are activated in alveolar epithelial cells during ALI and regulate alveolar epithelial barrier function. These tyrosine kinase receptors, which also participate in the pathophysiology of pulmonary epithelial malignancies, regulate cell growth, differentiation, and migration as well as cell–cell adhesion, all processes that influence epithelial injury and repair. In this review we outline mechanisms of epithelial injury and repair in ALI, activation patterns of this receptor family in pulmonary epithelial cells as a consequence injury, how receptor activation alters alveolar permeability, and the possible intracellular signaling pathways involved. Finally, we propose a theoretical model for how HER-mediated modulation of alveolar permeability might affect lung injury and repair. Understanding how these receptors signal has direct therapeutic implications in lung injury and other diseases characterized by altered epithelial barrier function.
acute lung injury; human epidermal growth factor receptor; inflammation; alveolar epithelial cell
Increased expression of tumor suppressor protein p53 and of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 is associated with cigarette smoke (CS) exposure–induced lung epithelial injury. p53 induces PAI-1 through mRNA stabilization in lung epithelial cells. However, it is unclear how this process affects lung epithelial damage. Here, we show that CS induces p53 and PAI-1 expression and apoptosis in cultured Beas2B and primary alveolar type (AT)II cells. CS exposure augmented binding of p53 protein with PAI-1 mRNA. Inhibition of p53 from binding to PAI-1 mRNA through expression of p53-binding 70 nt PAI-1 mRNA 3′UTR sequences suppressed CS-induced PAI-1 expression. Treatment of Beas2B cells with caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide (CSP) suppressed p53 expression and p53–PAI-1 mRNA interaction. These changes were associated with parallel inhibition of CS-induced PAI-1 expression and apoptosis in Beas2B cells. Wild-type mice exposed to passive CS likewise show augmented p53 and PAI-1 with parallel induction of ATII cell apoptosis, whereas mice deficient for p53 or PAI-1 expression resisted apoptosis of ATII cells. CSP suppressed CS-induced ATII cell apoptosis in wild-type mice and abrogated p53–PAI-1 mRNA interaction with parallel inhibition of p53 and PAI-1 expression. The protection against ATII cell apoptosis by CSP involves inhibition of passive CS-induced proapoptotic Bax and Bak expression and restoration of the prosurvival proteins Bcl-XL. These observations demonstrate that inhibition of p53 binding to PAI-1 mRNA 3′UTR attenuates CS-induced ATII cell apoptosis. This presents a novel link between p53-mediated PAI-1 expression and CS-induced ATII cell apoptosis.
cigarette smoke; caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide; ATII cell apoptosis; lung epithelial injury
The enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) converts tryptophan into kynurenine metabolites that suppress effector T-cell function. In this study, we investigated IDO and its metabolite, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3HAA), in regulating lung allograft rejection, using a murine orthotopic lung transplant model with a major mismatch (BALB/c donor and C57BL6 recipient). IDO was overexpressed in murine donor lungs, using an established nonviral (polyethylenimine carrier)–based gene transfer approach, whereas 3HAA was delivered daily via intraperitoneal injection. Increased IDO expression or its metabolite, 3HAA, resulted in a remarkable therapeutic effect with near normal lung function and little acute rejection, approximately A1, compared with A3 in untreated allografts (grading based on International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation guidelines). We found that a high IDO environment for 7 days in lung allografts resulted in impaired T-cell activation, the production of multiple effector cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-12, and IL-13), and the generation of effector memory T cells (CD62LloCD44hi phenotype). In isolated murine splenocytes, we observed that IDO/3HAA impaired T-cell receptor (TCR)–mediated T-cell activation, and more importantly, a decrease of intracellular calcium, phospholipase C-γ1 phosphorylation, and mitochondrial mass was evident. This work further illustrates the potential role of a high IDO environment in lung transplantation, and that the high IDO environment directly impairs TCR activation via the disruption of calcium signaling.
3-hydroxyanthranilic acid; lung allograft rejection; nonviral gene transfer
The purpose of this review is to give a comprehensive overview of transgenic mouse lines suitable for studying gene function and cellular lineage relationships in lung development, homeostasis, injury and repair. Many of the mouse strains reviewed in this article have been widely shared within the lung research community and new strains are continuously being developed. There are many useful transgenic lines that work to target subsets of lung cells, but it remains a challenge for investigators to select the correct transgenic modules for their experiment. This review covers both the tetracycline and tamoxifen inducible systems and will primarily focus on conditional lines that target the epithelial cells. We point out the limitations of each strain so investigators can choose the system that will work best for their scientific question. Current mesenchymal and endothelial lines are limited by the fact that they are not lung specific. These lines will be summarized in a brief overview. In addition, useful transgenic reporter mice for studying lineage relationships, promoter activity and signaling pathways will complete our lung specific conditional transgenic mouse-shopping list.
transgenic; conditional; lineage tracing; gene expression; lung; mouse
Mechanical ventilation is necessary for patients with acute respiratory failure, but can cause or propagate lung injury. We previously identified cyclooxygenase-2 as a candidate gene in mechanical ventilation–induced lung injury. Our objective was to determine the role of cyclooxygenase-2 in mechanical ventilation–induced lung injury and the effects of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition on lung inflammation and barrier disruption. Mice were mechanically ventilated at low and high tidal volumes, in the presence or absence of pharmacologic cyclooxygenase-2–specific inhibition with 3-(4-methylsulphonylphenyl)-4-phenyl-5-trifluoromethylisoxazole (CAY10404). Lung injury was assessed using markers of alveolar–capillary leakage and lung inflammation. Cyclooxygenase-2 expression and activity were measured by Western blotting, real-time PCR, and lung/plasma prostanoid analysis, and tissue sections were analyzed for cyclooxygenase-2 staining by immunohistochemistry. High tidal volume ventilation induced lung injury, significantly increasing both lung leakage and lung inflammation relative to control and low tidal volume ventilation. High tidal volume mechanical ventilation significantly induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression and activity, both in the lungs and systemically, compared with control mice and low tidal volume mice. The immunohistochemical analysis of lung sections localized cyclooxygenase-2 expression to monocytes and macrophages in the alveoli. The pharmacologic inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 with CAY10404 significantly decreased cyclooxygenase activity and attenuated lung injury in mice ventilated at high tidal volume, attenuating barrier disruption, tissue inflammation, and inflammatory cell signaling. This study demonstrates the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 by mechanical ventilation, and suggests that the therapeutic inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 may attenuate ventilator-induced acute lung injury.
cyclooxygenase-2; mechanical ventilation; lung injury
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 is increased in different models of acute lung injury, and is an important determinant of survival and proliferation in many cells. We previously demonstrated that treatment of mice with IGF-1 receptor–blocking antibody (A12) improved early survival in bleomycin-induced lung injury. We have now examined whether administration of A12 improved markers of lung injury in hyperoxia model of lung injury. C57BL/6 mice underwent intraperitoneal administration of A12 or control antibody (keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]), then were exposed to 95% hyperoxia for 88–90 hours. Mice were killed and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung tissue were obtained for analysis. Hyperoxia caused a significant increase in IGF levels in BAL and lung lysates. Peripheral blood neutrophils expressed IGF-1R at baseline and after hyperoxia. BAL neutrophils from hyperoxia-treated mice and patients with acute lung injury also expressed cell surface IGF-1R. A12-treated mice had significantly decreased polymorphonuclear cell (PMN) count in BAL compared with KLH control mice (P = 0.02). BAL from A12-treated mice demonstrated decreased PMN chemotactic activity compared with BAL from KLH-treated mice. Pretreatment of PMNs with A12 decreased their chemotactic response to BAL from hyperoxia-exposed mice. Furthermore, IGF-1 induced a dose-dependent chemotaxis of PMNs. There were no differences in other chemotactic cytokines in BAL, including CXCL1 and CXCL2. In summary, IGF blockade decreased PMN recruitment to the alveolar space in a mouse model of hyperoxia. Furthermore, the decrease in BAL PMNs was at least partially due to a direct effect of A12 on PMN chemotaxis.
insulin-like growth factor; hyperoxia-induced lung injury; neutrophils
Recent studies suggest the importance of the transition of airway epithelial cells (EMT) in pulmonary fibrosis, and also indicate a role for Wingless protein (Wnt)/β-catenin signaling in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. We investigated the possible role of the Wnt signaling pathway in inducing EMT in lung epithelial cells, and sought to unravel the role of c-Jun–N-terminal-kinase–1 (JNK1). The exposure of C10 lung epithelial cells or primary mouse tracheal epithelial cells (MTECs) to Wnt3a resulted in increases in JNK phosphorylation and nuclear β-catenin content. Because the role of β-catenin as a transcriptional coactivator is well established, we investigated T-cell factor/lymphocyte-enhancement factor (TCF/LEF) transcriptional activity in C10 lung epithelial cells after the activation of Wnt. TCF/LEF transcriptional activity was enhanced after the activation of Wnt, and this increase in TCF/LEF transcriptional activity was diminished after the small interfering (si)RNA-mediated ablation of JNK. The activation of the Wnt pathway by Wnt3a, or the expression of either wild-type or constitutively active β-catenin (S37A), led to the activation of an EMT transcriptome, manifested by the increased mRNA expression of CArG box-binding factor–A, fibroblast-specific protein (FSP)–1, α–smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and vimentin, increases in the content of α-SMA and FSP1, and the concomitant loss of zona occludens–1. The siRNA-mediated ablation of β-catenin substantially decreased Wnt3a-induced EMT. The siRNA ablation of JNK1 largely abolished Wnt3a, β-catenin, and β-catenin S37a-induced EMT. In MTECs lacking Jnk1, Wnt3a-induced increases in nuclear β-catenin, EMT transcriptome, and the content of α-SMA or FSP1 were substantially diminished. These data show that the activation of the Wnt signaling pathway is capable of inducing an EMT program in lung epithelial cells through β-catenin, and that this process is controlled by JNK1.
lung; epithelium; Wnt3a; fibrosis; epithelial to mesenchymal transition
Airway epithelial cell defenses to viral infections are often compromised in disease or injury. Danger molecules, including ATP, are released during infection and contribute to nucleotide receptor–dependent inflammatory responses, largely through P2X7. Although respiratory epithelium has been shown to express a variety of nucleotide receptors, the functional contribution of P2X7 to the epithelial cell inflammatory response is unclear. We used human donor bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) and primary brushed epithelium to explore responses upon nucleotide and Toll-like receptor stimulation. P2X7 messenger RNA and protein were observed in unprimed BECs, whereas inflammatory cytokine stimulation increased both messenger RNA and protein. Functional pore activity characteristic of P2X7 was observed in BECs, and IL-1β was rapidly released by BECs after Toll-like receptor 3 agonist, polyinosine-polycytidylic acid, priming followed by ATP administration, although no change was observed in IL-18 release. BECs produced more IL-1β after stimulation with polyinosine-polycytidylic acid than LPS, showing a different preferential response than monocytes. In addition, blockade of nucleotide receptors with oxidized ATP significantly increased human rhinovirus (HRV) recovered 24 hours after infection in BECs, whereas 2′-3′-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl) ATP treatment of brushed epithelial cells and respiratory cell lines nonsignificantly decreased HRV recovery. IL-1β release was detected after HRV infection in both BECs and brushed cells, but BzATP did not significantly increase IL-1β release further. BEC processing of pro–IL-1β to the mature, cleaved, 17-kD form was confirmed by Western blotting. These results support the expression of functional P2X7 in human lung epithelium, although its role in epithelial pathogen defense is likely independent of IL-1 family cytokine processing.
P2X7; IL-1β; human rhinovirus; respiratory epithelium; danger signaling
Proliferation and differentiation of the pulmonary epithelium after injury is a critical process in the defense against the external environment. Defects in this response can result in airway remodeling, such as mucus cell metaplasia (MCM), commonly seen in patients with chronic lung disease. We have previously shown that amphiregulin (AREG), a ligand to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), is induced during the repair/differentiation process elicited by naphthalene-induced lung injury. Thus, we hypothesized that AREG signaling plays an important role in epithelial proliferation and differentiation of the repairing airway. Mice deficient in AREG and lung epithelial EGFR were used to define roles for AREG-dependent EGFR signaling in airway repair and remodeling. We show that AREG and epithelial EGFR expression is dispensable to pulmonary epithelial repair after naphthalene-induced lung injury, but regulates secretory cell differentiation to a mucus-producing phenotype. We show that the pulmonary epithelium is the source of AREG, suggesting that naphthalene-induced MCM is mediated through an autocrine signaling mechanism. However, induction of MCM resulting from allergen exposure was independent of AREG. Our data demonstrate that AREG-dependent EGFR signaling in airway epithelial cells contributes to MCM in naphthalene-induced lung injury. We conclude that AREG may represent a determinant of nonallergic chronic lung diseases complicated by MCM.
Clara cells; epidermal growth factor receptor; amphiregulin; mucus cell metaplasia
Local or systemic inflammation can result in acute lung injury (ALI), and is associated with capillary leakage, reduced lung compliance, and hypoxemia. Curcumin, a plant-derived polyphenolic compound, exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties, but its poor solubility and limited oral bioavailability reduce its therapeutic potential. A novel curcumin formulation (CDC) was developed by complexing the compound with hydroxypropyl-γ-cyclodextrin (CD). This results in greatly enhanced water solubility and stability that facilitate direct pulmonary delivery. In vitro studies demonstrated that CDC increased curcumin’s association with and transport across Calu-3 human airway epithelial cell monolayers, compared with uncomplexed curcumin solubilized using DMSO or ethanol. Importantly, Calu-3 cell monolayer integrity was preserved after CDC exposure, whereas it was disrupted by equivalent uncomplexed curcumin solutions. We then tested whether direct delivery of CDC to the lung would reduce severity of ALI in a murine model. Fluorescence microscopic examination revealed an association of curcumin with cells throughout the lung. The administration of CDC after LPS attenuated multiple markers of inflammation and injury, including pulmonary edema and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue. CDC also reduced oxidant stress in the lungs and activation of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB. These results demonstrate the efficacy of CDC in a murine model of lung inflammation and injury, and support the feasibility of developing a lung-targeted, curcumin-based therapy for the treatment of patients with ALI.
cyclodextrin; LPS; turmeric; Calu-3; oxidative stress; TEER