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1.  Cigarette Smoke–Induced CXCR3 Receptor Up-Regulation Mediates Endothelial Apoptosis 
Endothelial monocyte–activating polypeptide II (EMAP II) and interferon-inducible protein (IP)–10 are proinflammatory mediators, which in addition to their chemokine activities, selectively induce apoptosis in endothelial cells and are up-regulated in the lungs of cigarette smoke–exposed humans. Previously, we showed that EMAP II is an essential mediator of cigarette smoke–induced lung emphysema in mice linking endothelial cell apoptosis with inflammation. Here we addressed the role of the CXCR3 receptor in EMAP II–induced and IP-10–induced apoptosis in endothelial cells and its regulation by cigarette smoke. We found that both neutralizing antibodies and small inhibitory RNA to CXCR3 abrogated EMAP II–induced and IP-10–induced endothelial caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation. CXCR3 receptor surface expression in human lung microvascular endothelial cells and in lung tissue endothelium was up-regulated by exposure to cigarette smoke. In tissue culture conditions, EMAP II–induced and IP-10–induced apoptosis was enhanced by preincubation with cigarette smoke extract. Interestingly, serum starvation also induced CXCR3 up-regulation and enhanced EMAP II–induced endothelial apoptosis. Signal transduction via p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation was essential for CXCR3-induced cell death, but not for CXCR3 receptor up-regulation by cigarette smoke. In turn, protein nitration was required for CXCR3 receptor up-regulation by cigarette smoke and consequently for subsequent CXCR3-induced cell death. In conclusion, the concerted up-regulation of proinflammatory EMAP II, IP-10, and CXCR3 by cigarette smoke could sustain a cascade of cell death that may promote the alveolar tissue loss noted in human emphysema.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2012-0132OC
PMCID: PMC3547093  PMID: 22936405
CXCR3; endothelial; apoptosis; lung; emphysema
2.  Inflammatory Transcriptome Profiling of Human Monocytes Exposed Acutely to Cigarette Smoke 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30120.
Background
Cigarette smoking is responsible for 5 million deaths worldwide each year, and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and lung diseases. Cigarette smoke contains a complex mixture of over 4000 chemicals containing 1015 free radicals. Studies show smoke is perceived by cells as an inflammatory and xenobiotic stimulus, which activates an immune response. The specific cellular mechanisms driving cigarette smoke-induced inflammation and disease are not fully understood, although the innate immune system is involved in the pathology of smoking related diseases.
Methodology/Principle findings
To address the impact of smoke as an inflammagen on the innate immune system, THP-1 cells and Human PBMCs were stimulated with 3 and 10% (v/v) cigarette smoke extract (CSE) for 8 and 24 hours. Total RNA was extracted and the transcriptome analysed using Illumina BeadChip arrays. In THP-1 cells, 10% CSE resulted in 80 genes being upregulated and 37 downregulated by ≥1.5 fold after 8 hours. In PBMCs stimulated with 10% CSE for 8 hours, 199 genes were upregulated and 206 genes downregulated by ≥1.5 fold. After 24 hours, the number of genes activated and repressed by ≥1.5 fold had risen to 311 and 306 respectively. The major pathways that were altered are associated with cell survival, such as inducible antioxidants, protein chaperone and folding proteins, and the ubiquitin/proteosome pathway.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that cigarette smoke causes inflammation and has detrimental effects on the metabolism and function of innate immune cells. In addition, THP-1 cells provide a genetically stable alternative to primary cells for the study of the effects of cigarette smoke on human monocytes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030120
PMCID: PMC3281820  PMID: 22363418
3.  Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cigarette smoke-induced lung damage and prevention by vitamin C 
Background
Cigarette smoke-induced cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung injury are not clear. Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture containing long-lived radicals, including p-benzosemiquinone that causes oxidative damage. Earlier we had reported that oxidative protein damage is an initial event in smoke-induced lung injury. Considering that p-benzosemiquinone may be a causative factor of lung injury, we have isolated p-benzosemiquinone and compared its pathophysiological effects with cigarette smoke. Since vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, we have also determined the modulatory effect of vitamin C for preventing the pathophysiological events.
Methods
Vitamin C-restricted guinea pigs were exposed to cigarette smoke (5 cigarettes/day; 2 puffs/cigarette) for 21 days with and without supplementation of 15 mg vitamin C/guinea pig/day. Oxidative damage, apoptosis and lung injury were assessed in vitro, ex vivo in A549 cells as well as in vivo in guinea pigs. Inflammation was measured by neutrophilia in BALF. p-Benzosemiquinone was isolated from freshly prepared aqueous extract of cigarette smoke and characterized by various physico-chemical methods, including mass, NMR and ESR spectroscopy. p-Benzosemiquinone-induced lung damage was examined by intratracheal instillation in guinea pigs. Lung damage was measured by increased air spaces, as evidenced by histology and morphometric analysis. Oxidative protein damage, MMPs, VEGF and VEGFR2 were measured by western blot analysis, and formation of Michael adducts using MALDI-TOF-MS. Apoptosis was evidenced by TUNEL assay, activation of caspase 3, degradation of PARP and increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio using immunoblot analysis and confocal microscopy.
Results
Exposure of guinea pigs to cigarette smoke resulted in progressive protein damage, inflammation, apoptosis and lung injury up to 21 days of the experimental period. Administration of 15 mg of vitamin C/guinea pig/day prevented all these pathophysiological effects. p-Benzosemiquinone mimicked cigarette smoke in causing protein modification and apoptosis in vitro and in A549 cells ex vivo as well as apoptosis and lung damage in vivo. All these pathophysiological events were also prevented by vitamin C.
Conclusion
p-Benzosemiquinone appears to be a major causative factor of cigarette smoke-induced oxidative protein damage that leads to apoptosis and lung injury. The pathophysiological events are prevented by a moderately large dose of vitamin C.
doi:10.1186/1476-9255-5-21
PMCID: PMC2615750  PMID: 19014449
4.  Pleiotrophin Induces Transdifferentiation of Monocytes Into Functional Endothelial Cells 
Objective
Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a cytokine that is expressed by monocytes/macrophages in ischemic tissues and that promotes neovascularization, presumably by stimulating proliferation of local endothelial cells. However, the effect of PTN on monocytes/macrophages remains unknown. We investigated the role of PTN in regulating the phenotype of monocytes/macrophages.
Methods and Results
RT-PCR, real-time PCR, and fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis revealed that the expression of PTN by monocytic cells led to a downregulation of CD68, c-fms, and CD14 monocytic cell markers and an upregulation of FLK-1, Tie-2, vascular endothelial-cadherin, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, endothelial NO synthase, von Willebrand factor, CD34, GATA-2, and GATA-3 endothelial cell markers. Fibrin gel assays showed that the treatment of mouse and human monocytic cells with PTN led to the formation of tube-like structures. In vivo studies showed that PTN-expressing monocytic cells incorporated into the blood vessels of the quail chorioallantoic membrane. The intracardial injection of PTN-expressing monocytic cells into chicken embryos showed that cells integrated only into the developing vasculature. Finally, the injection of PTN-expressing monocytes into a murine ischemic hindlimb model significantly improved perfusion of the ischemic tissue.
Conclusions
PTN expression by monocytes/macrophages led to a downregulation of their monocytic cell markers and an upregulation of endothelial cell characteristics, thus inducing the transdifferentiation of monocytes into functional endothelial cells.
doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000222017.05085.8e
PMCID: PMC3579570  PMID: 16614316
transdifferentiation; pleiotrophin; macrophage; endothelial cell
5.  Nicotine-mediated induction of E-selectin in aortic endothelial cells requires Src kinase and E2F1 transcriptional activity 
Smoking is highly correlated with enhanced likelihood of atherosclerosis by inducing endothelial dysfunction. In endothelial cells, various cell-adhesion molecules including E-selectin, are shown to be upregulated upon exposure to nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco smoke; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying this induction are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that nicotine induced E-selectin transcription in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) could be significantly blocked by α7-nAChR subunit inhibitor, α-BT, Src-kinase inhibitor, PP2, or siRNAs against Src or β-Arrestin-1 (β-Arr1). Further, chromatin immunoprecipitations show that E-selectin is an E2F1 responsive gene and nicotine stimulation results in increased recruitment of E2F1 on E-selectin promoter. Inhibiting E2F1 activity using RRD-251, a disruptor of the Rb-Raf-1 kinase interaction, could significantly inhibit the nicotine induced recruitment of E2F1 to the E-selectin promoter as well as E-selectin expression. Interestingly, stimulation of HAECs with nicotine results in increased adhesion of U937 monocytic cells to HAECs and could be inhibited by pre-treatment with RRD-251. Similarly, depletion of E2F1 or Src using RNAi blocked the increased adhesion of monocytes to nicotine stimulated HAECs. These results suggest that nicotine stimulated adhesion of monocytes to endothelial cells is dependent on the activation of α7-nAChRs, β-Arr1 and cSrc regulated increase in E2F1-mediated transcription of E-selectin gene. Therefore, agents such as RRD-251 that can target activity of E2F1 may have potential therapeutic benefit against cigarette-smoke induced atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.12.127
PMCID: PMC3273677  PMID: 22240023
E-selectin; atherosclerosis; monocyte adhesion; RRD-251; β-arrestin-1; Src; Rb
6.  Modulation of gene expression in endothelial cells by hyperlipaemic postprandial serum from healthy volunteers 
Genes & Nutrition  2010;5(3):263-274.
A single high-fat challenge induces plasmatic pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative responses in the postprandial state, even in healthy men. This period is also associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction, which is an early event in the development of cardiovascular diseases. However, knowledge about the mechanisms involved in postprandial hyperlipaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction is sparse. An objective of our study was to characterize the behaviour and gene expression of vascular endothelial cells exposed to postprandial hyperlipaemic sera. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured in media containing 10% serum from healthy men withdrawn either before or 4 h after a high-fat challenge. Endothelial cell proliferation, adhesion and migration were then assessed. The transcriptomic profiles of endothelial cells exposed to pre and postprandial sera were also compared. Exposure to postprandial hyperlipaemic sera significantly decreased HUVEC proliferation when compared to preprandial serum (P < 0.0001), while no changes in migration or endothelial/monocyte interactions were observed. The transcriptomic analysis revealed changes in the expression of 675 genes, of which 431 have a known function. Among them, a set of differentially expressed genes was linked to cell cycle regulation and apoptosis and are regulated in favour of cell cycle arrest or death. This result was confirmed by measuring the induction of apoptosis after postprandial sera exposure (P = 0.011). Taken together, the transcriptomic results and pathway analysis showed that postprandial serum promotes apoptosis in HUVECs, potentially through the activation of the p53 network. We conclude that upon postprandial serum exposure, vascular endothelial cells transcriptionally regulate genes involved in the control of cell cycle and death to favour growth arrest and apoptosis. These findings support the hypothesis that postprandial hyperlipaemia is associated with vascular dysfunction and offer new insights into the mechanisms involved.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0166-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0166-x
PMCID: PMC2935529  PMID: 21052530
Postprandial hyperlipaemia; Vascular endothelial cells; Nutrigenomics; Apoptosis atherogenesis
7.  Potential proinflammatory effects of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles on endothelial cells in a monocyte–endothelial cell coculture model 
Currently, synthetic hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (HANPs) are used in nanomedicine fields. The delivery of nanomedicine to the bloodstream exposes the cardiovascular system to a potential threat. However, the possible adverse cardiovascular effects of HANPs remain unclear. Current observations using coculture models of endothelial cells and monocytes with HANPs to mimic the complex physiological functionality of the vascular system demonstrate that monocytes could play an important role in the mechanisms of endothelium dysfunction induced by the exposure to HANPs. Our transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed that both monocytes and endothelial cells could take up HANPs. Moreover, our findings demonstrated that at a subcytotoxic dose, HANPs alone did not cause direct endothelial cell injury, but they did induce an indirect activation of endothelial cells, resulting in increased interleukin-6 production and elevated adhesion molecule expression after coculture with monocytes. The potential proinflammatory effect of HANPs is largely mediated by the release of soluble factors from the activated monocytes, leading to an inflammatory response of the endothelium, which is possibly dependent on p38/c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and nuclear factor-kappa B signaling activation. The use of in vitro monocyte–endothelial cell coculture models for the biocompatibility assessment of HANPs could reveal their potential proinflammatory effects on endothelial cells, suggesting that exposure to HANPs possibly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S56298
PMCID: PMC3956627  PMID: 24648726
coculture; monocytes; endothelial cells; inflammation; hydroxyapatite nanoparticles
8.  Cigarette smoke induces β2-integrin-dependent neutrophil migration across human endothelium 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):75.
Background
Cigarette smoking induces peripheral inflammatory responses in all smokers and is the major risk factor for neutrophilic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cigarette smoke on neutrophil migration and on β2-integrin activation and function in neutrophilic transmigration through endothelium.
Methods and results
Utilizing freshly isolated human PMNs, the effect of cigarette smoke on migration and β2-integrin activation and function in neutrophilic transmigration was studied. In this report, we demonstrated that cigarette smoke extract (CSE) dose dependently induced migration of neutrophils in vitro. Moreover, CSE promoted neutrophil adherence to fibrinogen. Using functional blocking antibodies against CD11b and CD18, it was demonstrated that Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) is responsible for the cigarette smoke-induced firm adhesion of neutrophils to fibrinogen. Furthermore, neutrophils transmigrated through endothelium by cigarette smoke due to the activation of β2-integrins, since pre-incubation of neutrophils with functional blocking antibodies against CD11b and CD18 attenuated this transmigration.
Conclusion
This is the first study to describe that cigarette smoke extract induces a direct migratory effect on neutrophils and that CSE is an activator of β2-integrins on the cell surface. Blocking this activation of β2-integrins might be an important target in cigarette smoke induced neutrophilic diseases.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-12-75
PMCID: PMC3128861  PMID: 21651795
9.  A Novel Anti-Inflammatory and Pro-Resolving Role for Resolvin D1 in Acute Cigarette Smoke-Induced Lung Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58258.
Introduction
Cigarette smoke is a profound pro-inflammatory stimulus that contributes to acute lung injuries and to chronic lung disease including COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis). Until recently, it was assumed that resolution of inflammation was a passive process that occurred once the inflammatory stimulus was removed. It is now recognized that resolution of inflammation is a bioactive process, mediated by specialized lipid mediators, and that normal homeostasis is maintained by a balance between pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving pathways. These novel small lipid mediators, including the resolvins, protectins and maresins, are bioactive products mainly derived from dietary omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). We hypothesize that resolvin D1 (RvD1) has potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects in a model of cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation.
Methods
Primary human lung fibroblasts, small airway epithelial cells and blood monocytes were treated with IL-1β or cigarette smoke extract in combination with RvD1 in vitro, production of pro-inflammatory mediators was measured. Mice were exposed to dilute mainstream cigarette smoke and treated with RvD1 either concurrently with smoke or after smoking cessation. The effects on lung inflammation and lung macrophage populations were assessed.
Results
RvD1 suppressed production of pro-inflammatory mediators by primary human cells in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of mice with RvD1 concurrently with cigarette smoke exposure significantly reduced neutrophilic lung inflammation and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while upregulating the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. RvD1 promoted differentiation of alternatively activated (M2) macrophages and neutrophil efferocytosis. RvD1 also accelerated the resolution of lung inflammation when given after the final smoke exposure.
Conclusions
RvD1 has potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving effects in cells and mice exposed to cigarette smoke. Resolvins have strong potential as a novel therapeutic approach to resolve lung injury caused by smoke and pulmonary toxicants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058258
PMCID: PMC3590122  PMID: 23484005
10.  An Analysis of the Role of Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines in the Carcinogenicity of Tobacco Smoke 
Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture consisting of more than 4500 chemicals, including several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA). TSNA typically form in tobacco during the post-harvest period, with some fraction being transferred into mainstream smoke when a cigarette is burned during use. The most studied of the TSNA is 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). NNK has been shown to be carcinogenic in laboratory animals. Studies examining the carcinogenicity of NNK frequently are conducted by injecting rodents with a single dose of 2.5 to 10 μmol of pure NNK; the amount of NNK contained in all of the mainstream smoke from about 3700 to 14,800 typical U.S. cigarettes. Extrapolated to a 70-kg smoker, the carcinogenic dose of pure NNK administered to rodents would be equivalent to the amount of NNK in all of the mainstream smoke of 22 to 87 million typical U.S. cigarettes. Furthermore, extrapolating results from rodent studies based on a single injection of pure NNK to establish a causative role for NNK in the carcinogenicity of chronic tobacco smoke exposure in humans is not consistent with basic pharmacological and toxicological principles. For example, such an approach fails to consider the effect of other smoke constituents upon the toxicity of NNK. In vitro studies demonstrate that nicotine, cotinine, and aqueous cigarette “tar” extract (ACTE) all inhibit the mutagenic activity of NNK. In vivo studies reveal that the formation of pulmonary DNA adducts in mice injected with NNK is inhibited by the administration of cotinine and mainstream cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke has been shown to modulate the metabolism of NNK, providing a mechanism for the inhibitory effects of cigarette smoke and cigarette smoke constituents on NNK-induced tumorigenesis. NNK-related pulmonary DNA adducts have not been detected in rodents exposed to cigarette smoke, nor has the toxicity of tobacco smoke or tobacco smoke condensate containing marked reductions in TSNA concentrations been shown to be reduced in any biological assay. In summary, there is no experimental evidence to suggest that reduction of TSNA will reduce the mutagenic, cytotoxic, or carcinogenic potential of tobacco smoke.
PMCID: PMC2651603  PMID: 19330121
mainstream cigarette smoke; tobacco-specific nitrosamines; 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)
11.  In vitro and clinical studies examining the expression of osteopontin in cigarette smoke-exposed endothelial cells and cigarette smokers 
Background
Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity and is associated with cardiovascular disease via contributory processes such as endothelial dysfunction, inflammation and thrombosis. Cigarette smoke both contains and stimulates the production of cellular oxidants and it may also promote vascular inflammation. Osteopontin is a non-collagenous matrix protein first identified in bone and there is increasing evidence for its role in inflammation and cardiovascular disease via its action as a soluble cytokine.
Methods
In this study we have examined the mechanisms underlying the expression of osteopontin in human vascular endothelial cells in vitro following exposure to cigarette smoke particulate matter (PM), using PCR, electrochemiluminescence, immunostaining and Western blotting. We further determined if serum osteopontin levels changed in humans who quit smoking.
Results
Non-cytotoxic concentrations of PM increased osteopontin levels in cultured human endothelial cells and this effect was reduced in the presence of ascorbate, suggesting a role for oxidants in the response to PM. However, oxidant production played no role in the PM-evoked induction MMP-3, an enzyme which cleaves osteopontin. In smokers who quit smoking for 5 days, serum osteopontin levels were significantly lowered compared to those measured prior to smoking cessation.
Conclusions
In vitro cigarette smoke extract exposure induced osteopontin expression in human endothelial cells in an oxidative stress-dependent manner, which may involve MMP-3 cleavage. In humans, serum osteopontin was decreased with short-term smoking cessation. Endothelial-derived osteopontin may contribute to inflammation in smokers, and may also contribute to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease-related processes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-75
PMCID: PMC3465212  PMID: 22978720
Osteopontin; In vitro; Endothelial cells; MMP-3; Smoking; Atherosclerosis
12.  Cigarette smoke promotes dendritic cell accumulation in COPD; a Lung Tissue Research Consortium study 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):45.
Background
Abnormal immune responses are believed to be highly relevant in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dendritic cells provide a critical checkpoint for immunity by their capacity to both induce and suppress immunity. Although evident that cigarette smoke, the primary cause of COPD, significantly influences dendritic cell functions, little is known about the roles of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of COPD.
Methods
The extent of dendritic cell infiltration in COPD tissue specimens was determined using immunohistochemical localization of CD83+ cells (marker of matured myeloid dendritic cells), and CD1a+ cells (Langerhans cells). The extent of tissue infiltration with Langerhans cells was also determined by the relative expression of the CD207 gene in COPD versus control tissues. To determine mechanisms by which dendritic cells accumulate in COPD, complimentary studies were conducted using monocyte-derived human dendritic cells exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE), and dendritic cells extracted from mice chronically exposed to cigarette smoke.
Results
In human COPD lung tissue, we detected a significant increase in the total number of CD83+ cells, and significantly higher amounts of CD207 mRNA when compared with control tissue. Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells exposed to CSE (0.1-2%) exhibited enhanced survival in vitro when compared with control dendritic cells. Murine dendritic cells extracted from mice exposed to cigarette smoke for 4 weeks, also demonstrated enhanced survival compared to dendritic cells extracted from control mice. Acute exposure of human dendritic cells to CSE induced the cellular pro-survival proteins heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and B cell lymphoma leukemia-x(L) (Bcl-xL), predominantly through oxidative stress. Although activated human dendritic cells conditioned with CSE expressed diminished migratory CCR7 expression, their migration towards the CCR7 ligand CCL21 was not impaired.
Conclusions
These data indicate that COPD is associated with increased numbers of cells bearing markers associated with Langerhans cells and mature dendritic cells, and that cigarette smoke promotes survival signals and augments survival of dendritic cells. Although CSE suppressed dendritic cell CCR7 expression, migration towards a CCR7 ligand was not diminished, suggesting that reduced CCR7-dependent migration is unlikely to be an important mechanism for dendritic cell retention in the lungs of smokers with COPD.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-45
PMCID: PMC2867978  PMID: 20420706
13.  Toll-like receptor-4 mediates cigarette smoke-induced cytokine production by human macrophages 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):66.
Background
The major risk factor for the development of COPD is cigarette smoking. Smoking causes activation of resident cells and the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the lungs, which leads to release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemotactic factors, oxygen radicals and proteases. In the present study evidence is found for a new cellular mechanism that refers to a link between smoking and inflammation in lungs.
Methods
Employing human monocyte-derived macrophages, different techniques including FACS analysis, Cytometric Bead Array Assay and ELISA were achieved to evaluate the effects of CS on pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion including IL-8. Then, Toll-like receptor neutralization was performed to study the involvement of Toll-like receptor-4 in IL-8 production. Finally, signaling pathways in macrophages after exposure to CS medium were investigated performing ELISA and Western analysis.
Results
We demonstrate that especially human monocytes are sensitive to produce IL-8 upon cigarette smoke stimulation compared to lymphocytes or neutrophils. Moreover, monocyte-derived macrophages produce high amounts of the cytokine. The IL-8 production is dependent on Toll-like receptor 4 stimulation and LPS is not involved. Further research resolved the cellular mechanism by which cigarette smoke induces cytokine production in monocyte-derived macrophages. Cigarette smoke causes subsequently a concentration-dependent phosphorylation of IRAK and degradation of TRAF6. Moreover, IκBα was phosphorylated which suggests involvement of NF-κB. In addition, NFκB -inhibitor blocked cigarette smoke-induced IL-8 production.
Conclusion
These findings link cigarette smoke to inflammation and lead to new insights/therapeutic strategies in the pathogenesis of lung emphysema.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-7-66
PMCID: PMC1481582  PMID: 16620395
14.  Leukocyte-endothelial interaction is augmented by high glucose concentrations and hyperglycemia in a NF-kB-dependent fashion. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1998;101(9):1905-1915.
We addressed the role of hyperglycemia in leukocyte-endothelium interaction under flow conditions by exposing human umbilical vein endothelial cells for 24 h to normal (5 mM), high concentration of glucose (30 mM), advanced glycosylation end product-albumin (100 microg/ml), or hyperglycemic (174-316 mg/dl) sera from patients with diabetes and abnormal hemoglobin A1c (8.1+/-1.4%). At the end of incubation endothelial cells were perfused with total leukocyte suspension in a parallel plate flow chamber under laminar flow (1.5 dyn/cm2). Rolling and adherent cells were evaluated by digital image processing. Results showed that 30 mM glucose significantly (P < 0. 01) increased the number of adherent leukocytes to endothelial cells in respect to control (5 mM glucose; 151+/-19 versus 33+/-8 cells/mm2). A similar response was induced by endothelial stimulation with IL-1beta, here used as positive control (195+/-20 cells/mm2). The number of rolling cells on endothelial surface was not affected by high glucose level. Stable adhesion of leukocytes to glucose-treated as well as to IL-1beta-stimulated endothelial cells was preceded by short interaction of leukocytes with the endothelial surface. The distance travelled by leukocytes before arrest on 30 mM glucose, or on IL-1beta-treated endothelial cells, was significantly (P < 0.01) higher than that observed for leukocytes adhering on control endothelium (30 mM glucose: 76.7+/-3.5; IL1beta: 69.7+/-4 versus 5 mM glucose: 21.5+/-5 microm). Functional blocking of E-selectin, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 on endothelial cells with the corresponding mouse mAb significantly inhibited glucose-induced increase in leukocyte adhesion (67+/-16, 83+/-12, 62+/-8 versus 144+/-21 cells/ mm2). Confocal fluorescence microscopy studies showed that 30 mM glucose induced an increase in endothelial surface expression of E-selectin, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay of nuclear extracts of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) exposed for 1 h to 30 mM glucose revealed an intense NF-kB activation. Treatment of HUVEC exposed to high glucose with the NF-kB inhibitors pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate (100 microM) and tosyl-phe-chloromethylketone (25 microM) significantly reduced (P < 0.05) leukocyte adhesion in respect to HUVEC treated with glucose alone. A significant (P < 0.01) inhibitory effect on glucose-induced leukocyte adhesion was observed after blocking protein kinase C activity with staurosporine (5 nM). When HUVEC were treated with specific antisense oligodesoxynucleotides against PKCalpha and PKCepsilon isoforms before the addition of 30 mM glucose, a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the adhesion was also seen. Advanced glycosylation end product-albumin significantly increased the number of adhering leukocytes in respect to native albumin used as control (110+/-16 versus 66+/-7, P < 0.01). Sera from diabetic patients significantly (P < 0.01) enhanced leukocyte adhesion as compared with controls, despite normal levels of IL-1beta and TNFalpha in these sera. These data indicate that high glucose concentration and hyperglycemia promote leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium through upregulation of cell surface expression of adhesive proteins, possibly depending on NF-kB activation.
PMCID: PMC508777  PMID: 9576755
15.  Anti-TNF-α Activity of Portulaca oleracea in Vascular Endothelial Cells 
Vascular inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerosis, a main complication of diabetes. The present study investigated whether an aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea (AP) prevents the TNF-α-induced vascular inflammatory process in the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC). The stimulation of TNF-α induced overexpression of adhesion molecules affects vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and E-selectin for example. However, AP significantly suppressed TNF-α-induced over-expression of these adhesion molecules in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, pretreatment with AP dose-dependently reduced an increase of the adhesion of HL-60 cells to TNF-α-induced HUVEC. Furthermore, we observed that stimulation of TNF-α significantly increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. However, pretreatment with AP markedly blocked TNF-α-induced ROS production in a dose-dependent manner. The western blot and immunofluorescence analysis showed that AP inhibited the translocation of p65 NF-κB to the nucleus. In addition, AP suppressed the TNF-α-induced degradation of IκB-α and attenuated the TNF-α-induced NF-κB binding. AP also effectively reduced TNF-α-induced mRNA expressions of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and interleukin (IL)-8 in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, AP prevents the vascular inflammatory process through the inhibition of intracellular ROS production and NF-κB activation as well as the reduction of adhesion molecule expression in TNF-α-induced HUVEC. These results suggested that AP might have a potential therapeutic effect by inhibiting the vascular inflammation process in vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.
doi:10.3390/ijms13055628
PMCID: PMC3382818  PMID: 22754320
Portulaca oleracea; inflammation; NF-κB; reactive oxygen species (ROS); atherosclerosis
16.  Prunella vulgaris Suppresses HG-Induced Vascular Inflammation via Nrf2/HO-1/eNOS Activation 
Vascular inflammation is an important factor which can promote diabetic complications. In this study, the inhibitory effects of aqueous extract from Prunella vulgaris (APV) on high glucose (HG)-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) are reported. APV decreased HG-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin. APV also dose-dependently inhibited HG-induced adhesion of HL-60 monocytic cells. APV suppressed p65 NF-κB activation in HG-treated cells. APV significantly inhibited the formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). HG-stimulated HUVEC secreted gelatinases, however, APV inhibited it. APV induced Akt phosphorylation as well as activation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), eNOS, and nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which may protect vascular inflammation caused by HG. In conclusion, APV exerts anti-inflammatory effect via inhibition of ROS/NF-κB pathway by inducing HO-1 and eNOS expression mediated by Nrf2, thereby suggesting that Prunella vulgaris may be a possible therapeutic approach to the inhibition of diabetic vascular diseases.
doi:10.3390/ijms13011258
PMCID: PMC3269750  PMID: 22312316
Prunella vulgaris; inflammation; NF-κB; eNOS; Nrf2; atherosclerosis
17.  Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-related cell adhesion molecules are co-expressed in the human lung and their expression can be modulated in bronchial epithelial cells by non-typable Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, TLR3, and type I and II interferons 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):85.
Background
The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-related cell adhesion molecules CEACAM1 (BGP, CD66a), CEACAM5 (CEA, CD66e) and CEACAM6 (NCA, CD66c) are expressed in human lung. They play a role in innate and adaptive immunity and are targets for various bacterial and viral adhesins. Two pathogens that colonize the normally sterile lower respiratory tract in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) and Moraxella catarrhalis. Both pathogens bind to CEACAMs and elicit a variety of cellular reactions, including bacterial internalization, cell adhesion and apoptosis.
Methods
To analyze the (co-) expression of CEACAM1, CEACAM5 and CEACAM6 in different lung tissues with respect to COPD, smoking status and granulocyte infiltration, immunohistochemically stained paraffin sections of 19 donors were studied. To address short-term effects of cigarette smoke and acute inflammation, transcriptional regulation of CEACAM5, CEACAM6 and different CEACAM1 isoforms by cigarette smoke extract, interferons, Toll-like receptor agonists, and bacteria was tested in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells by quantitative PCR. Corresponding CEACAM protein levels were determined by flow cytometry.
Results
Immunohistochemical analysis of lung sections showed the most frequent and intense staining for CEACAM1, CEACAM5 and CEACAM6 in bronchial and alveolar epithelium, but revealed no significant differences in connection with COPD, smoking status and granulocyte infiltration. In NHBE cells, mRNA expression of CEACAM1 isoforms CEACAM1-4L, CEACAM1-4S, CEACAM1-3L and CEACAM1-3S were up-regulated by interferons alpha, beta and gamma, as well as the TLR3 agonist polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C). Interferon-gamma also increased CEACAM5 expression. These results were confirmed on protein level by FACS analysis. Importantly, also NTHI and M. catarrhalis increased CEACAM1 mRNA levels. This effect was independent of the ability to bind to CEACAM1. The expression of CEACAM6 was not affected by any treatment or bacterial infection.
Conclusions
While we did not find a direct correlation between CEACAM1 expression and COPD, the COPD-associated bacteria NTHi and M. catarrhalis were able to increase the expression of their own receptor on host cells. Further, the data suggest a role for CEACAM1 and CEACAM5 in the phenomenon of increased host susceptibility to bacterial infection upon viral challenge in the human respiratory tract.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-14-85
PMCID: PMC3765474  PMID: 23941132
CEACAM1; CEACAM5 (CEA); CEACAM6; Lung; Normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells; Interferon; Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C); Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI); Moraxella catarrhalis
18.  Ginkgo biloba extract reduces high-glucose-induced endothelial adhesion by inhibiting the redox-dependent interleukin-6 pathways 
Background
Chronic elevation of glucose level activates vascular inflammation and increases endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes, an early sign of atherogenesis. This study aimed to elucidate the detailed mechanisms of high-glucose-induced endothelial inflammation, and to investigate the potential effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE), an antioxidant herbal medicine, on such inflammation.
Materials and methods
Human aortic endothelial cells were cultured in high glucose or mannitol as osmotic control for 4 days. The expression of cytokines and adhesion molecules and the adhesiveness of endothelial cells to monocytes were examined. The effects of pretreatment of GBE or N-acetylcysteine, an antioxidant, were also investigated.
Results
Either high glucose or mannitol significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, interleukin-6 secretion, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression, as well as endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes. The high-glucose-induced endothelial adhesiveness was significantly reduced either by an anti-ICAM-1 antibody or by an interleukin-6 neutralizing antibody. Interleukin-6 (5 ng/ml) significantly increased endothelial ICAM-1 expression. Piceatannol, a signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1/3 inhibitor, but not fludarabine, a STAT1 inhibitor, suppressed high-glucose-induced ICAM-1 expression. Pretreatment with GBE or N-acetylcysteine inhibited high-glucose-induced ROS, interleukin-6 production, STAT1/3 activation, ICAM-1 expression, and endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes.
Conclusions
Long-term presence of high glucose induced STAT3 mediated ICAM-1 dependent endothelial adhesiveness to monocytes via the osmotic-related redox-dependent interleukin-6 pathways. GBE reduced high-glucose-induced endothelial inflammation mainly by inhibiting interleukin-6 activation. Future study is indicated to validate the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory strategy targeting on interleukin-6 for endothelial protection in in vivo and clinical hyperglycemia.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-49
PMCID: PMC3434011  PMID: 22553973
Antioxidant, Endothelial cells; Ginkgo biloba extract; Glucose; Intercellular adhesion molecule −1; Interleukin −6
19.  Functional characterization of the matrix metalloproteinase-1 cigarette smoke-responsive region and association with the lung health study 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):79.
Background
Prior studies have demonstrated that the distal 1.5 kb of the MMP-1 promoter is fundamental in directing the induction of the MMP-1 gene by cigarette smoke.
Methods
To characterize the genetic variants in the MMP-1 cigarette smoke-responsive element, deep re-sequencing of this element was performed on DNA samples from participants in the Lung Health Study. Furthermore, evidence of Sp1 binding to the MMP-1 promoter was assessed using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays and the influence of cigarette smoke exposure on this interaction was evaluated in cultured human small airway epithelial cells.
Results
Ten polymorphisms (four novel) were detected in the cigarette smoke-responsive element. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays to assess the protein-DNA interactions at Sp1 sites in the MMP-1 promoter showed increased binding to the Sp1 sites in the cigarette smoke-responsive element in small airway epithelial cells treated with cigarette smoke extract. In contrast, a Sp1 site outside of the element exhibited the opposite effect. None of the polymorphisms were more prevalent in the fast decliners versus the slow decliners (fast decliners = mean −4.14% decline in FEV1% predicted per year vs. decline in FEV1% predicted per year).
Conclusions
Sequencing analyses identified four novel polymorphisms within the cigarette smoke-responsive element of the MMP-1 promoter. This study identifies functional activity within the cigarette smoke-responsive element that is influenced by cigarette smoke and examines this region of the promoter within a small patient population.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-13-79
PMCID: PMC3509005  PMID: 22992122
Chromatin immunoprecipitation; COPD; Metalloproteinase; Polymorphisms; Transcription factors
20.  Polymorphonuclear leukocyte adhesion triggers the disorganization of endothelial cell-to-cell adherens junctions 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1996;135(2):497-510.
Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) infiltration into tissues is frequently accompanied by increase in vascular permeability. This suggests that PMN adhesion and transmigration could trigger modifications in the architecture of endothelial cell-to-cell junctions. In the present paper, using indirect immunofluorescence, we found that PMN adhesion to tumor necrosis factor-activated endothelial cells (EC) induced the disappearance from endothelial cell-to-cell contacts of adherens junction (AJ) components: vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin. Immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis of the VE- cadherin/catenin complex showed that the amount of beta-catenin and plakoglobin was markedly reduced from the complex and from total cell extracts. In contrast, VE-cadherin and alpha-catenin were only partially affected. Disorganization of endothelial AJ by PMN was not accompanied by EC retraction or injury and was specific for VE- cadherin/catenin complex, since platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1) distribution at cellular contacts was unchanged. PMN adhesion to EC seems to be a prerequisite for VE-cadherin/catenin complex disorganization. This phenomenon could be fully inhibited by blocking PMN adhesion with an anti-integrin beta 2 mAb, while it could be reproduced by any condition that induced increase of PMN adhesion, such as addition of PMA or an anti-beta 2-activating mAb. The effect on endothelial AJ was specific for PMN since adherent activated lymphocytes did not induce similar changes. High concentrations of protease inhibitors and oxygen metabolite scavengers were unable to prevent AJ disorganization mediated by PMN. PMN adhesion to EC was accompanied by increase in EC permeability in vitro. This effect was dependent on PMN adhesion, was not mediated by proteases and oxygen- reactive metabolites, and could be reproduced by EC treatment with EGTA. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis showed that VE-cadherin distribution was affected by PMN adhesion to the vessel wall in vivo too. This work suggests that PMN adhesion could trigger intracellular signals in EC that possibly regulate VE-cadherin /catenin complex disorganization. This effect could increase EC permeability and facilitate PMN transmigration during the acute inflammatory reaction.
PMCID: PMC2121047  PMID: 8896605
21.  The effects of second-hand smoke on biological processes important in atherogenesis 
Background
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in western societies and cigarette smoke is among the factors that strongly contribute to the development of this disease. The early events in atherogenesis are stimulated on the one hand by cytokines that chemoattract leukocytes and on the other hand by decrease in circulating molecules that protect endothelial cells (ECs) from injury. Here we focus our studies on the effects of "second-hand" smoke on atherogenesis.
Methods
To perform these studies, a smoking system that closely simulates exposure of humans to second-hand smoke was developed and a mouse model system transgenic for human apoB100 was used. These mice have moderate lipid levels that closely mimic human conditions that lead to atherosclerotic plaque formation.
Results
"Second-hand" cigarette smoke decreases plasma high density lipoprotein levels in the blood and also decreases the ratios between high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein and triglyceride, and high density lipoprotein and total cholesterol. This change in lipid profiles causes not only more lipid accumulation in the aorta but also lipid deposition in many of the smaller vessels of the heart and in hepatocytes. In addition, mice exposed to smoke have increased levels of Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein–1 in circulation and in the heart/aorta tissue, have increased macrophages in the arterial walls, and have decreased levels of adiponectin, an EC-protective protein. Also, cytokine arrays revealed that mice exposed to smoke do not undergo the switch from the pro-inflammatory cytokine profile (that develops when the mice are initially exposed to second-hand smoke) to the adaptive response. Furthermore, triglyceride levels increase significantly in the liver of smoke-exposed mice.
Conclusion
Long-term exposure to "second-hand" smoke creates a state of permanent inflammation and an imbalance in the lipid profile that leads to lipid accumulation in the liver and in the blood vessels of the heart and aorta. The former potentially can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and the latter to heart attacks.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-7-1
PMCID: PMC1774583  PMID: 17210084
22.  Osteoprotegerin up regulates endothelial cell adhesion molecule response to tumor necrosis factor-α associated with induction of Angiopoietin-2 
Cardiovascular research  2007;76(3):494-505.
Objective
Osteoprotegerin (OPG) and osteopontin (OPN) have been identified within unstable atherosclerosis and circulating concentrates have been linked to cardiovascular events. We studied the influence of OPG and OPN on endothelial adhesion molecule expression and monocyte binding.
Methods
Resting or tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) activated human endothelial cells were incubated with OPG (0, 0.5, 5, and 10ng/mL) or OPN (0, 2.5, 10 and 50nmol/L). The expression of endothelial genes and proteins were investigated with the Olig GEArray microarray series, multiplexed gene expression analysis, flow cytometry, ELISA and immunohistochemistry. Monocyte binding studies were carried out using fluorescently labeled THP-1 cells and analysed by flow cytometry.
Results
OPG but not OPN stimulated a dose dependent increase in the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin by endothelial cells in the presence of TNF-α (p≤0.05) which was reflected by enhanced binding of THP-1 monocytes. In the absence of TNF-α, OPG had no significant effect on adhesion molecule expression but upregulated angiopoietin-2. When the induction of angiopoietin-2 was inhibited using interfering RNA the ability of OPG to upregulate adhesion molecules in the presence of TNF-α was abolished. OPN did not effect adhesion molecule expression by resting or activated endothelial cells.
Conclusion
OPG upregulates angiopoietin-2 in human endothelial cells sensitizing them to the effects of TNF-α. These findings suggest a mechanism by which OPG may stimulate inflammation in atheroma and thereby promote the progression and complications of atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1016/j.cardiores.2007.07.017
PMCID: PMC2128766  PMID: 17706953
23.  Graphical Modeling of Gene Expression in Monocytes Suggests Molecular Mechanisms Explaining Increased Atherosclerosis in Smokers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e50888.
Smoking is a risk factor for atherosclerosis with reported widespread effects on gene expression in circulating blood cells. We hypothesized that a molecular signature mediating the relation between smoking and atherosclerosis may be found in the transcriptome of circulating monocytes. Genome-wide expression profiles and counts of atherosclerotic plaques in carotid arteries were collected in 248 smokers and 688 non-smokers from the general population. Patterns of co-expressed genes were identified by Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and network structure of the pattern-specific gene modules was inferred by the PC-algorithm. A likelihood-based causality test was implemented to select patterns that fit models containing a path “smoking→gene expression→plaques”. Robustness of the causal inference was assessed by bootstrapping. At a FDR ≤0.10, 3,368 genes were associated to smoking or plaques, of which 93% were associated to smoking only. SASH1 showed the strongest association to smoking and PPARG the strongest association to plaques. Twenty-nine gene patterns were identified by ICA. Modules containing SASH1 and PPARG did not show evidence for the “smoking→gene expression→plaques” causality model. Conversely, three modules had good support for causal effects and exhibited a network topology consistent with gene expression mediating the relation between smoking and plaques. The network with the strongest support for causal effects was connected to plaques through SLC39A8, a gene with known association to HDL-cholesterol and cellular uptake of cadmium from tobacco, while smoking was directly connected to GAS6, a gene reported to have anti-inflammatory effects in atherosclerosis and to be up-regulated in the placenta of women smoking during pregnancy. Our analysis of the transcriptome of monocytes recovered genes relevant for association to smoking and atherosclerosis, and connected genes that before, were only studied in separate contexts. Inspection of correlation structure revealed candidates that would be missed by expression-phenotype association analysis alone.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050888
PMCID: PMC3553098  PMID: 23372645
24.  DNA damage response induced by exposure of human lung adenocarcinoma cells to smoke from tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes 
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)  2010;9(11):2170-2176.
Cigarette smoke (CS) is the major cause of lung cancer and contributes to the development of other malignancies. Attempts have been made to construct reduced toxicity cigarettes, presumed to have diminished genotoxic potential. One such product on the market is the tobacco and nicotine free (T&N-free) cigarette type made from lettuce and herbal extracts. We have recently developed a sensitive assay of the genotoxicity of CS based on cytometric analysis of induction of the DNA damage response (DDR) in normal human pulmonary endothelial or A549 pulmonary adenocarcinoma cells. In the present study, we observed that exposure of A549 cells to CS from T&N-free cigarettes induced a smoke-dose dependent DDR as evidenced by phosphorylation (activation) of the Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein kinase and of the histone H2AX (γH2AX). the extent of DDR induced by T&N-free smoke was distinctly greater than that induced by comparable doses of CS from reference cigarettes (2R4F) containing tobacco and nicotine. The pattern of DDR induced by T&N-free smoke was similar to that of 2R4F cigarettes in terms of the cell cycle phase specificity and involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The data also imply that similar to 2R4F exposure of cells to T&N-free smoke leads to formation of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) resulting from collapse of replication forks upon collision with the primary ssDNA lesions induced by smoke. Since DSBs are potentially carcinogenic our data indicate that smoking tobacco and nicotine-free cigarettes is at least as hazardous as smoking cigarettes containing tobacco and nicotine.
PMCID: PMC3032023  PMID: 20404482
ATM activation; histone H2AX phosphorylation; gammaH2AX; DNA double-strand breaks; DNA replication; laser scanning cytometry; cell cycle
25.  Cigarette smoke-exposed neutrophils die unconventionally but are rapidly phagocytosed by macrophages 
Cell Death & Disease  2011;2(3):e131-.
Pulmonary accumulation of neutrophils is typical for active smokers who are also predisposed to multiple inflammatory and infectious lung diseases. We show that human neutrophil exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE) leads to an atypical cell death sharing features of apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis. Accumulation of tar-like substances in autophagosomes is also apparent. Before detection of established cell death markers, CSE-treated neutrophils are effectively recognized and non-phlogistically phagocytosed by monocyte-derived macrophages. Blockade of LOX-1 and scavenger receptor A, but not MARCO or CD36, as well as pre-incubation with oxLDL, inhibited phagocytosis, suggesting that oxLDL-like structures are major phagocytosis signals. Specific lipid (β-carotene and quercetin), but not aqueous, antioxidants increased the pro-phagocytic effects of CSE. In contrast to non-phlogistic phagocytosis, degranulation of secondary granules, as monitored by lactoferrin release, was apparent on CSE exposure, which is likely to promote pulmonary inflammation and tissue degradation. Furthermore, CSE-exposed neutrophils exhibited a compromised ability to ingest the respiratory pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, which likely contributes to bacterial persistence in the lungs of smokers and is likely to promote further pulmonary recruitment of neutrophils. These data provide mechanistic insight into the lack of accumulation of apoptotic neutrophil populations in the lungs of smokers and their increased susceptibility to degradative pulmonary diseases and bacterial infections.
doi:10.1038/cddis.2011.13
PMCID: PMC3101810  PMID: 21412277
cell death; monocytes/macrophages; neutrophils; phagocytosis; scavenger receptors; tobacco smoke

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