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.
Previous observations by our laboratory indicate that the presence of anti–IL-8 autoantibody:IL-8 immune complexes in lung fluids from patients with acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) comprises an important prognostic indicator in the development and ultimate outcome of ALI/ARDS. We also showed that these complexes display proinflammatory activity toward neutrophils through the engagement of FcγRIIa receptors. Because sepsis is one of the most common risk factors for ALI/ARDS, the initial goal of our present study involved investigating the effects of LPS on the expression of FcγRIIa receptors in neutrophils. Our results indicate that LPS triggers an increase in the expression of FcγRIIa on the neutrophil surface, which leads to shortening of the molecular distance between FcγRIIa and Toll-like receptor–4 (TLR4). When such neutrophils are stimulated with anti–IL-8:IL-8 complexes, the TLR4 cascade becomes activated via the engagement of FcγRIIa. The underlying molecular mechanism has been subsequently examined and involves Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk). In conclusion, our study reveals the existence of Btk-dependent molecular cooperation between FcγRIIa and TLR4 signaling cascades in LPS-“primed” human neutrophils. Furthermore, we used fluorescence lifetime imaging to study the interactions between TLR4 and FcγRIIa in human alveolar neutrophils from patients with ALI/ARDS. The results from these experiments confirm the existence of the molecular cooperation between TLR4 and FcγRIIa.
neutrophil; FcуRIIa; TLR4; Btk
β2-Adrenoceptor (β2AR) agonists are the most effective class of bronchodilators and a mainstay of asthma management. The first potent β2AR agonist discovered and widely used in reversing the airway constriction associated with asthma exacerbation was the endogenous activator of the β2AR, epinephrine. In this study, we demonstrate that activation of the β2AR by epinephrine is paradoxically required for development of the asthma phenotype. In an antigen-driven model, mice sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin showed marked elevations in three cardinal features of the asthma phenotype: inflammatory cells in their bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, mucin over production, and airway hyperresponsiveness. However, genetic depletion of epinephrine using mice lacking the enzyme to synthesize epinephrine, phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, or mice that had undergone pharmacological sympathectomy with reserpine to deplete epinephrine, had complete attenuation of these three cardinal features of the asthma phenotype. Furthermore, administration of the long-acting β2AR agonist, formoterol, a drug currently used in asthma treatment, to phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase–null mice restored the asthma phenotype. We conclude that β2AR agonist–induced activation is needed for pathogenesis of the asthma phenotype. These findings also rule out constitutive signaling by the β2AR as sufficient to drive the asthma phenotype, and may help explain why chronic administration of β2AR agonists, such as formoterol, have been associated with adverse outcomes in asthma. These data further support the hypothesis that chronic asthma management may be better served by treatment with certain “β-blockers.”
β2-adrenoceptor agonists; formoterol; epinephrine; murine model; asthma
Lung transplantation is considered the definitive treatment for many end-stage lung diseases. However, the lung is rejected more commonly than other solid organ allografts. Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is the leading cause of chronic allograft dysfunction, and the key reason why the 5-year survival of lung transplant recipients is only 50%. The pathophysiology of OB is incompletely understood. Although a clear role for the immune response to donor antigens has been observed (also known as anti-human leukocyte antigens), evidence is emerging about the role of autoimmunity to self-antigens. This review highlights the current understanding of humoral immunity in the development of OB after lung transplantation.
antibodies; lung transplant; obliterative bronchiolitis; rejection
Environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) in combustion-generated particulate matter (PM) are capable of inducing pulmonary pathologies and contributing to the development of environmental asthma. In vivo exposure of infant rats to EPFRs demonstrates their ability to induce airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine, a hallmark of asthma. However, the mechanisms by which combustion-derived EPFRs elicit in vivo responses remain elusive. In this study, we used a chemically defined EPFR consisting of approximately 0.2 μm amorphrous silica containing 3% cupric oxide with the organic pollutant 1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB-230). DCB-230 possesses similar radical content to urban-collected EPFRs but offers several advantages, including lack of contaminants and chemical uniformity. DCB-230 was readily taken up by BEAS-2B and at high doses (200 μg/cm2) caused substantial necrosis. At low doses (20 μg/cm2), DCB-230 particles caused lysosomal membrane permeabilization, oxidative stress, and lipid peroxidation within 24 hours of exposure. During this period, BEAS-2B underwent epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), including loss of epithelial cell morphology, decreased E-cadherin expression, and increased α–smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and collagen I production. Similar results were observed in neonatal air–liquid interface culture (i.e., disruption of epithelial integrity and EMT). Acute exposure of infant mice to DCB-230 resulted in EMT, as confirmed by lineage tracing studies and evidenced by coexpression of epithelial E-cadherin and mesenchymal α-SMA proteins in airway cells and increased SNAI1 expression in the lungs. EMT in neonatal mouse lungs after EPFR exposure may provide an explanation for epidemiological evidence supporting PM exposure and increased risk of asthma.
particulate matter; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; environmental asthma; pediatric
Raf-1 is a serine/threonine protein kinase that has an essential role in cell proliferation. The mechanisms that regulate Raf-1 in airway smooth muscle are not well understood. In this study, treatment with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) induced spatial redistribution of Raf-1 from the cytoplasm to the periphery of human airway smooth muscle cells. Moreover, a pool of Raf-1 was found in F-actin of human airway smooth muscle cells. Activation with PDGF led to an increase in the association of Raf-1 with cytoskeletal actin. Treatment of cells with the actin polymerization inhibitor latrunculin A (LAT-A), but not the microtubule depolymerizer nocodazole, inhibited the interaction of Raf-1 with actin in response to PDGF activation. Because abelson tyrosine kinase (Abl) is known to specifically regulate actin dynamics in smooth muscle, the role of Abl in modulating the coupling of Raf-1 with actin was also evaluated. Abl knockdown by RNA interference attenuated the association of Raf-1 with actin, which is recovered by Abl rescue. Treatment with LAT-A, but not nocodazole, inhibited the spatial redistribution of Raf-1 during PDGF activation. However, treatment with both LAT-A and nocodazole attenuated smooth muscle cell proliferation. Finally, Abl knockdown attenuated the redistribution of Raf-1 and cell proliferation, which were restored by Abl reexpression. The results suggest a novel mechanism that the interaction of Raf-1 with cytoskeletal actin is critical for Raf-1 redistribution and airway smooth muscle cell proliferation during activation with the growth factor.
Raf-1; actin polymerization; tyrosine kinase; smooth muscle; cell proliferation
The prevalence of asthma has increased in recent years, and is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation. Many patients report using alternative therapies to self-treat asthma symptoms as adjuncts to short-acting and long-acting β-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). As many as 40% of patients with asthma use herbal therapies to manage asthma symptoms, often without proven efficacy or known mechanisms of action. Therefore, investigations of both the therapeutic and possible detrimental effects of isolated components of herbal treatments on the airway are important. We hypothesized that ginger and its active components induce bronchodilation by modulating intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) in airway smooth muscle (ASM). In isolated human ASM, ginger caused significant and rapid relaxation. Four purified constituents of ginger were subsequently tested for ASM relaxant properties in both guinea pig and human tracheas: -gingerol, -gingerol, and -shogaol induced rapid relaxation of precontracted ASM (100–300 μM), whereas -gingerol failed to induce relaxation. In human ASM cells, exposure to -gingerol, -gingerol, and -shogaol, but not -gingerol (100 μM), blunted subsequent Ca2+ responses to bradykinin (10 μM) and S-(−)-Bay K 8644 (10 μM). In A/J mice, the nebulization of -gingerol (100 μM), 15 minutes before methacholine challenge, significantly attenuated airway resistance, compared with vehicle. Taken together, these novel data show that ginger and its isolated active components, -gingerol, -gingerol, and -shogaol, relax ASM, and -gingerol attenuates airway hyperresponsiveness, in part by altering [Ca2+]i regulation. These purified compounds may provide a therapeutic option alone or in combination with accepted therapeutics, including β2-agonists, in airway diseases such as asthma.
asthma; lung; herbal; botanica; bronchodilation
Current therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) focuses on minimizing the microbial community and the host’s immune response through the aggressive use of airway clearance techniques, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and treatments that break down the pervasive endobronchial biofilm. Antibiotic selection is typically based on the susceptibility of individual microbial strains to specific antibiotics in vitro. Often this approach cannot accurately predict medical outcomes because of factors both technical and biological. Recent culture-independent assessments of the airway microbial and viral communities demonstrated that the CF airway infection is considerably more complex and dynamic than previously appreciated. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary pressures that shape these communities is critically important for the optimal use of current therapies (in both the choice of therapy and timing of administration) and the development of newer strategies. The climax–attack model (CAM) presented here, grounded in basic ecological principles, postulates the existence of two major functional communities. The attack community consists of transient viral and microbial populations that induce strong innate immune responses. The resultant intense immune response creates microenvironments that facilitate the establishment of a climax community that is slower-growing and inherently resistant to antibiotic therapy. Newer methodologies, including sequence-based metagenomic analysis, can track not only the taxonomic composition but also the metabolic capabilities of these changing viral and microbial communities over time. Collecting this information for CF airways will enable the mathematical modeling of microbial community dynamics during disease progression. The resultant understanding of airway communities and their effects on lung physiology will facilitate the optimization of CF therapies.
cystic fibrosis; airway ecology; metagenomics
Supplemental oxygen used to treat infants born prematurely constitutes a major risk factor for long-term deficits in lung function and host defense against respiratory infections. Likewise, neonatal oxygen exposure results in alveolar simplification in adult mice, and enhances leukocyte recruitment and fibrosis when adult mice are infected with a sublethal dose of influenza A virus. Because pulmonary fibrosis was not observed in infected adult mice exposed to room air as neonates, previous neonatal oxygen exposure may have reprogrammed how the adult lung responds to epithelial injury. By administering bleomycin to adult mice exposed to room air or hyperoxia as neonates, we tested the hypothesis that neonatal hyperoxia enhances fibrosis when the epithelium is injured by direct fibrotic stimulus. Increased sensitivity to bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis was observed in adult mice exposed to neonatal hyperoxia, and was associated with increased numbers of leukocytes and an accumulation of active transforming growth factor (TGF)–β1 in the lung. Fate mapping of the respiratory epithelium revealed that the epithelial–mesenchymal transition was not a significant source of fibroblasts in room air–exposed or oxygen-exposed mice treated with bleomycin. Instead, the treatment of mice with anti–Gr-1 antibody that depletes neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells reduced the early activation of TGF-β1 and attenuated hyperoxia-enhanced fibrosis. Because bleomycin and influenza A virus both cause epithelial injury, understanding how neonatal hyperoxia reprograms the epithelial response to these two different injurious agents could lead to new therapeutic opportunities for treating lung diseases attributed to prematurity.
epithelial injury; neonatal; neutrophils; pulmonary fibrosis; Type II cells
Infants born with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are at increased risk of adverse pulmonary outcomes at birth, including meconium aspiration and persistent pulmonary hypertension. Preterm infants with IUGR are at especially high risk of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a disease hallmarked by alveolar hypoplasia. Although vitamin A supplementation has been shown to decrease the incidence of BPD or death in preterm very low birth weight infants, its potential to reduce BPD or death in preterm infants with IUGR remains unknown. We used a well-characterized rat model of caloric restriction to mimic IUGR and determine the impact of IUGR on lung development. We hypothesized that retinoic acid treatment would preserve alveolar formation through increases in key signaling molecules of the retinoic acid signaling pathway. Our results showed that alveolar hypoplasia caused by caloric restriction can be reversed with refeeding, and that retinoic acid prevents the alveolar hypoplasia coincident with the increased expression of elastin and retinoic acid receptor–α and decreased transforming growth factor–β activity in developing rat lungs. These findings suggest that alveolar hypoplasia attributable to caloric restriction is reversible, and raises the possibility that retinoic acid therapy may prove a useful strategy to prevent adverse pulmonary sequelae such as BPD in preterm infants with IUGR.
intrauterine growth retardation; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; vitamin A; RARα; TGF-β
Dysfunction of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) leads to chronic inflammation and infection of the respiratory tract. The role of CFTR for cells of the pulmonary immune system is only partly understood. The present study analyzes the phenotype and immune stimulatory capacity of lung dendritic cells (DCs) from CFTR knockout (CF) mice. Total numbers of conventional DCs, plasmacytoid DCs, and CD103-positive DCs were lower in CF mice compared with wild-type (WT) control mice, as was the expression of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules (MHCII), CD40, and CD86. After pulmonary infection with respiratory syncytial virus, DC numbers increased in WT mice but not in CF mice, and the T cell–stimulatory capacity of CF DCs was impaired. The culture of CF lung DCs with bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from WT mice increased the expression of MHCII, CD40, and CD86. The supplementation of CF BALF with sphingosine-1–phosphate (S1P), a mediator of immune cell migration and activation that is decreased in CF BALF, rescued the reduced expression of MHCII and CD40 in WT lung DCs and human blood DCs. These findings suggest that DCs are impaired in the CF lung, and that altered S1P affects lung DC function. These findings provide a novel link between defective CFTR and pulmonary innate immune dysfunction in CF.
cystic fibrosis; dendritic cells; sphingolipids
Autophagy is a homeostatic process common to all eukaryotic cells that serves to degrade intracellular components. Among three classes of autophagy, macroautophagy is best understood, and is the subject of this Review. The function of autophagy is multifaceted, and includes removal of long-lived proteins and damaged or unneeded organelles, recycling of intracellular components for nutrients, and defense against pathogens. This process has been extensively studied in yeast, and understanding of its functional significance in human disease is also increasing. This Review explores the basic machinery and regulation of autophagy in mammalian systems, methods employed to measure autophagic activity, and then focuses on recent discoveries about the functional significance of autophagy in respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, acute lung injury, and lymphangioleiomyomatosis.
autophagy; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; epithelial cells; fibroblasts
Although exposure to ambient hypoxia is known to cause proinflammatory vascular responses, the mechanisms initiating these responses are not understood. We tested the hypothesis that in systemic hypoxia, erythrocyte-derived H2O2 induces proinflammatory gene transcription in vascular endothelium. We exposed mice or isolated, perfused murine lungs to 4 hours of hypoxia (8% O2). Leukocyte counts increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage. The expression of leukocyte adhesion receptors, reactive oxygen species, and protein tyrosine phosphorylation increased in freshly recovered lung endothelial cells (FLECs). These effects were inhibited by extracellular catalase and by the removal of erythrocytes, indicating that the responses were attributable to erythrocyte-derived H2O2. Concomitant nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB and hypoxia-inducible factor–1α stabilization in FLECs occurred only in the presence of erythrocytes. Hemoglobin binding to the erythrocyte membrane protein, band 3, induced the release of H2O2 from erythrocytes and the p65 translocation in FLECs. These data indicate for the first time, to our knowledge, that erythrocytes are responsible for endothelial transcriptional responses in hypoxia.
hypoxia; erythrocytes; endothelium; lung; inflammation
Tissue factor (TF) initiates the extrinsic coagulation cascade and is a high-affinity receptor for coagulation factor VII. TF also participates in protease-activated receptor (PAR)1 and PAR2 activation. Human epithelial basal cells were previously purified on the basis of TF expression. The purpose of this study was to determine if tracheobronchial epithelial basal cell–associated TF drives coagulation and/or activates PARs to promote basal cell functions. We used human tracheobronchial tissues to isolate human airway epithelial cells using specific cell surface markers by flow cytometry and studied TF expression by immunostaining. TF-dependent fibrin network formation was observed by confocal and scanning electron microscopy. TF knockdown was done using short hairpin RNA, and TF mRNA was measured using quantitative RT-PCR. We found that 97 ± 5% of first-passage human tracheobronchial epithelial cells were basal cells, and 100% of these basal cells expressed TF. Basal cell–associated TF was active, but TF activity was dependent on added extrinsic coagulation cascade factors. TF inhibition caused basal cell apoptosis and necrosis. This was due to two parallel but interdependent TF-regulated processes: failure to generate a basal cell–associated fibrin network and suboptimal PAR1 and PAR2 activity. The data indicate that membrane surface TF mediates airway epithelial basal cell attachment, which maintains cell survival and mitotic potential. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of basal cell–associated TF activity in normal and injured tissues and of the potential for repair of airway epithelium in lung disease.
tissue factor; epithelium; clotting; fibrin; tracheobronchial
Danshen, the dried root of Salvia miltiorrhiza, is widely used in clinics in China for treating various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Sodium tanshinone IIA sulfonate (STS), a water-soluble derivative of tanshinone IIA isolated as the major active component from Danshen, was recently reported to be effective in attenuating the characteristic pulmonary vascular changes associated with chronically hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (CHPH); however, the underlying detailed mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of STS on basal intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) in distal pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) exposed to prolonged hypoxia or isolated from CHPH rats. SOCE measured by Mn2+ quenching of Fura-2 fluorescence in PASMCs from rats exposed to chronic hypoxia (10% O2, 21 d) was increased by 59%, and basal [Ca2+]i was increased by 119%; this effect was inhibited by intraperitoneal injection of STS. These inhibitory effects of STS on hypoxic increases of SOCE and basal [Ca2+]i were associated with reduced expression of canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC)1 and TRPC6 in distal pulmonary arterial smooth muscle and decreases on right ventricular pressure, right ventricular hypertrophy, and peripheral pulmonary vessel thickening. In ex vivo cultured distal PASMCs from normoxic rats, STS (0–25 μM) dose-dependently inhibited hypoxia-induced cell proliferation and migration, paralleled with attenuation in increases of basal [Ca2+]i, SOCE, mRNA, and protein expression of TRPC1 and TRPC6. STS also relieved right ventricular systolic pressure, right ventricular hypertrophy, and TRPC1 and TRPC6 protein expression in distal pulmonary arteries in a monocrotaline-induced rat model of pulmonary arterial hypertension. These results indicate that STS prevents pulmonary arterial hypertension development likely by inhibiting TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression, resulting in normalized basal [Ca2+]i and attenuated proliferation and migration of PASMCs.
STS; TRPC; SOCE; pulmonary hypertension
The quantitative histological analysis of airway innervation using tissue sections is challenging because of the sparse and patchy distribution of nerves. Here we demonstrate a method using a computational approach to measure airway nerve architecture that will allow for more complete nerve quantification and the measurement of structural peripheral neuroplasticity in lung development and disease. We demonstrate how our computer analysis outperforms manual scoring in quantifying three-dimensional nerve branchpoints and lengths. In murine lungs, we detected airway epithelial nerves that have not been previously identified because of their patchy distribution, and we quantified their three-dimensional morphology using our computer mapping approach. Furthermore, we show the utility of this approach in bronchoscopic forceps biopsies of human airways, as well as the esophagus, colon, and skin.
nerve; computational; modeling; neuroplasticity; three-dimensional
Elevated concentrations of plasminogen activator inhibitor–1 (PAI-1) are associated with pleural injury, but its effects on pleural organization remain unclear. A method of adenovirus-mediated delivery of genes of interest (expressed under a cytomegalovirus promoter) to rabbit pleura was developed and used with lacZ and human (h) PAI-1. Histology, β-galactosidase staining, Western blotting, enzymatic and immunohistochemical analyses of pleural fluids (PFs), lavages, and pleural mesothelial cells were used to evaluate the efficiency and effects of transduction. Transduction was selective and limited to the pleural mesothelial monolayer. The intrapleural expression of both genes was transient, with their peak expression at 4 to 5 days. On Day 5, hPAI-1 (40–80 and 200–400 nM of active and total hPAI-1 in lavages, respectively) caused no overt pleural injury, effusions, or fibrosis. The adenovirus-mediated delivery of hPAI-1 with subsequent tetracycline-induced pleural injury resulted in a significant exacerbation of the pleural fibrosis observed on Day 5 (P = 0.029 and P = 0.021 versus vehicle and adenoviral control samples, respectively). Intrapleural fibrinolytic therapy (IPFT) with plasminogen activators was effective in both animals overexpressing hPAI-1 and control animals with tetracycline injury alone. An increase in intrapleural active PAI-1 (from 10–15 nM in control animals to 20–40 nM in hPAI-1–overexpressing animals) resulted in the increased formation of PAI-1/plasminogen activator complexes in vivo. The decrease in intrapleural plasminogen-activating activity observed at 10 to 40 minutes after IPFT correlates linearly with the initial concentration of active PAI-1. Therefore, active PAI-1 in PFs affects the outcome of IPFT, and may be both a biomarker of pleural injury and a molecular target for its treatment.
pleural injury; plasminogen activator inhibitor–1; intrapleural fibrinolytic therapy
Key host responses to the stress induced by environmental exposure to cigarette smoke (CS) are responsible for initiating pathogenic effects that may culminate in emphysema development. CS increases lung ceramides, sphingolipids involved in oxidative stress, structural alveolar cell apoptosis, and inhibition of apoptotic cell clearance by alveolar macrophages, leading to the development of emphysema-like pathology. RTP801, a hypoxia and oxidative stress sensor, is also increased by CS, and has been recently implicated in both apoptosis and inflammation. We investigated whether inductions of ceramide and RTP801 are mechanistically linked, and evaluated their relative importance in lung cell apoptosis and airspace enlargement in vivo. As reported, direct lung instillation of either RTP801 expression plasmid or ceramides in mice triggered alveolar cell apoptosis and oxidative stress. RTP801 overexpression up-regulated lung ceramide levels 2.6-fold. In turn, instillation of lung ceramides doubled the lung content of RTP801. Cell sorting after lung tissue dissociation into single-cell suspension showed that ceramide triggers both endothelial and epithelial cell apoptosis in vivo. Interestingly, mice lacking rtp801 were protected against ceramide-induced apoptosis of epithelial type II cells, but not type I or endothelial cells. Furthermore, rtp801-null mice were protected from ceramide-induced alveolar enlargement, and exhibited improved static lung compliance compared with wild-type mice. In conclusion, ceramide and RTP801 participate in alveolar cell apoptosis through a process of mutual up-regulation, which may result in self-amplification loops, leading to alveolar damage.
emphysema; sphingolipids; apoptosis; cigarette smoke; stress response
Recent studies indicate that cyclic AMP (cAMP) induces cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen (CTLA) 4. CTLA4 is expressed in T cells, and is a negative regulator of T cell activation. CTLA4 expression is regulated by T cell receptor plus CD28 (adaptive immune signaling) at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. Here, we examine the pathways by which cAMP regulates CTLA4 expression, focusing on transcriptional activation. Elevating intracellular cAMP levels by cell-permeable cAMP analogs, the adenylyl cyclase activator, forskolin, or phosphodiesterase inhibitors increases CTLA4 mRNA expression in EL4 murine T cells and primary CD4+ T cells. Activation of protein kinase A (using the protein kinase A–selective agonist, N6-phenyladenosine-cAMP), but not exchange proteins activated by cAMP (using the exchange proteins activated by cAMP–selective 8-pCPT-2Me-cAMP), increases CTLA4 promoter activity. Mutation constructs of the CTLA4 promoter uncover an enhancer binding site located within the −150 to −130 bp region relative to the transcription start site. Promoter analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays suggest that cAMP response element–binding is a putative transcription factor induced by cAMP. We have previously shown that CTLA4 mediates decreased pulmonary inflammation in an LPS-induced murine model of acute lung injury (ALI). We observed that LPS can induce CTLA4 transcription via the same cAMP-inducible promoter region. The immunosuppressant, rapamycin, decreases cAMP and LPS-induced CTLA4 transcription in vitro. In vivo, LPS induces cAMP accumulation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, bronchoalveolar lavage cells, and lung tissues in ALI. We demonstrate that rapamycin decreases cAMP accumulation and CTLA4 expression in ALI. Together, these data suggest that cAMP may negatively regulate pulmonary inflammatory responses in vivo and in vitro by altering CTLA4 expression.
cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4; cAMP; acute lung injury; protein kinase A; rapamycin
Recently, we have suggested that down-regulation of homeostatic mesenchymal peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ signaling after in utero nicotine exposure might contribute to asthma. Here, we have exploited an in vivo rat model of asthma to determine if the effects of perinatal nicotine exposure on offspring pulmonary function and mesenchymal markers of airway contractility in both tracheal and lung parenchymal tissue are sex specific, and whether the protection afforded by the peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ agonist, rosiglitazone (RGZ), against the perinatal nicotine-induced effect on offspring lung is also sex specific. Pregnant rat dams received placebo, nicotine, or nicotine plus RGZ daily from Embryonic Day 6 until Postnatal Day 21, at which time lung resistance, compliance, tracheal contractility, and the expression of structural and functional mesenchymal markers of pulmonary contractility were determined. Compared with control animals, perinatal nicotine exposure caused a significant increase in airway resistance and a decrease in airway compliance after a methacholine challenge in both male and female offspring, with more pronounced changes in the males. In contrast to this, the effects of perinatal nicotine exposure on acetylcholine-induced tracheal constriction, along with the expression of its mesenchymal markers, were observed exclusively in the male offspring. Concomitant treatment with RGZ normalized the nicotine-induced alterations in pulmonary function in both sexes, as well as the male-specific effects on acetylcholine-induced tracheal constriction, along with the affected mesenchymal markers. These data suggest that perinatal nicotine exposure causes sex-specific perinatal cigarette smoke exposure–induced asthma, providing a powerful phenotypic model for unequivocally determining the underlying nature of the cell molecular mechanism for this disease.
nicotine; asthma; pregnancy; peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ; cigarette smoke
Previous work demonstrated that pre-exposure to ozone primes innate immunity and increases Toll-like receptor–4 (TLR4)–mediated responses to subsequent stimulation with LPS. To explore the pulmonary innate immune response to ozone exposure further, we investigated the effects of ozone in combination with Pam3CYS, a synthetic TLR2/TLR1 agonist. Whole-lung lavage (WLL) and lung tissue were harvested from C57BL/6 mice after exposure to ozone or filtered air, followed by saline or Pam3CYS 24 hours later. Cells and cytokines in the WLL, the surface expression of TLRs on macrophages, and lung RNA genomic expression profiles were examined. We demonstrated an increased WLL cell influx, increased IL-6 and chemokine KC (Cxcl1), and decreased macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α and TNF-α in response to Pam3CYS as a result of ozone pre-exposure. We also observed the increased cell surface expression of TLR4, TLR2, and TLR1 on macrophages as a result of ozone alone or in combination with Pam3CYS. Gene expression analysis of lung tissue revealed a significant increase in the expression of genes related to injury repair and the cell cycle as a result of ozone alone or in combination with Pam3CYS. Our results extend previous findings with ozone/LPS to other TLR ligands, and suggest that the ozone priming of innate immunity is a general mechanism. Gene expression profiling of lung tissue identified transcriptional networks and genes that contribute to the priming of innate immunity at the molecular level.
ozone; Toll-like receptors; air pollution; gene expression profiles; macrophages
Acute lung injury (ALI) causes significant morbidity and mortality. Fibroproliferation in ALI results in worse outcomes, but the mechanisms governing fibroproliferation remain poorly understood. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are important in lung injury resolution. Their role in fibroproliferation is unknown. We sought to identify the role of Tregs in ALI fibroproliferation, using a murine model of lung injury. Wild-type (WT) and lymphocyte-deficient Rag-1−/− mice received intratracheal LPS. Fibroproliferation was characterized by histology and the measurement of lung collagen. Lung fibrocytes were measured by flow cytometry. To dissect the role of Tregs in fibroproliferation, Rag-1−/− mice received CD4+CD25+ (Tregs) or CD4+CD25− Tcells (non-Tregs) at the time of LPS injury. To define the role of the chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 12 (CXCL12)–CXCR4 pathway in ALI fibroproliferation, Rag-1−/− mice were treated with the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 to block fibrocyte recruitment. WT and Rag-1−/− mice demonstrated significant collagen deposition on Day 3 after LPS. WT mice exhibited the clearance of collagen, but Rag-1−/− mice developed persistent fibrosis. This fibrosis was mediated by the sustained epithelial expression of CXCL12 (or stromal cell-derived factor 1 [SDF-1]) that led to increased fibrocyte recruitment. The adoptive transfer of Tregs resolved fibroproliferation by decreasing CXCL12 expression and subsequent fibrocyte recruitment. Blockade of the CXCL12–CXCR4 axis with AMD3100 also decreased lung fibrocytes and fibroproliferation. These results indicate a central role for Tregs in the resolution of ALI fibroproliferation by reducing fibrocyte recruitment along the CXCL12–CXCR4 axis. A dissection of the role of Tregs in ALI fibroproliferation may inform the design of new therapeutic tools for patients with ALI.
acute lung injury; fibroproliferative ARDS; fibrocytes; regulatory T cells; lung injury resolution
Vehicle exhaust is rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and is a dominant contributor to urban particulate pollution (PM). Exposure to PM is linked to respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in susceptible populations, such as children. PM can contribute to the development and exacerbation of asthma, and this is thought to occur because of the presence of electrophiles in PM or through electrophile generation via the metabolism of PAHs. Glutathione (GSH), an abundant intracellular antioxidant, confers cytoprotection through conjugation of electrophiles and reduction of reactive oxygen species. GSH-dependent phase II detoxifying enzymes glutathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase facilitate metabolism and conjugation, respectively. Ambient particulates are highly variable in composition, which complicates systematic study. In response, we have developed a replicable ultrafine premixed flame particle (PFP)-generating system for in vivo studies. To determine particle effects in the developing lung, 7–day-old neonatal and adult rats inhaled 22 μg/m3 PFP during a single 6-hour exposure. Pulmonary GSH and related phase II detoxifying gene and protein expression were evaluated 2, 24, and 48 hours after exposure. Neonates exhibited significant depletion of GSH despite higher initial baseline levels of GSH. Furthermore, we observed attenuated induction of phase II enzymes (glutamate cysteine ligase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase) in neonates compared with adult rats. We conclude that developing neonates have a limited ability to deviate from their normal developmental pattern that precludes adequate adaptation to environmental pollutants, which results in enhanced cytotoxicity from inhaled PM.
glutathione S-transferases; glutathione peroxidase; oxidative stress; lung development; ultrafine particulate matter