LL-37 is a human cationic host defense peptide that is present in the specific granules of neutrophils, produced by epithelial cells from a variety of tissues, and is upregulated during inflammation, infection, and injury. It has been proposed to have a variety of antimicrobial functions, including both direct antimicrobial activity and immunomodulatory functions. Using the TUNEL assay it was demonstrated that LL-37 induced apoptosis in vitro in the A549 human lung and 16HBE4o- human airway epithelial cell lines, and in vivo in the murine airway. Peptide-induced apoptosis in vitro involved the activation of caspase pathways and was substantially inhibited by an inhibitor of caspase 3. Apoptosis was also inhibited by human serum, but not fetal bovine serum. Similarly, human but not fetal bovine serum inhibited the cellular internalization of LL-37 and the production of IL-8 in response to LL-37 treatment of epithelial cells. The protective effects of human serum were also observed with high-density lipoproteins but not by the core peptide apolipoprotein A1, providing one possible mechanism of human serum inhibition of apoptosis. We propose that LL-37–induced apoptosis of epithelial cells at low serum tissue sites may have a protective role against bacterial infection.
apoptosis; cathelicidin; epithelial cells; host defense peptide; LL-37
Differences in airway epithelial biology between mice and humans have presented challenges to evaluating gene therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) using murine models. In this context, recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) type 2 and rAAV5 vectors have very different transduction efficiencies in human air-liquid interface (ALI) airway epithelia (rAAV2 ≅ rAAV5) as compared with mouse lung (rAAV5≫rAAV2). It is unclear if these differences are due to species-specific airway biology or limitations of ALI cultures to reproduce in vivo airway biology. To this end, we compared rAAV2 and rAAV5 transduction biology in mouse and human ALI cultures, and investigated the utility of murine ΔF508 cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) ALI epithelia to study CFTR complementation. Our results demonstrate that mouse ALI epithelia retain in vivo preferences for rAAV serotype transduction from the apical membrane (rAAV5≫rAAV2) not seen in human epithelia (rAAV2 ≅ rAAV5). Viral binding of rAAV2 and rAAV5 to the apical surface of mouse ALI airway epithelia was not significantly different, and proteasome-modulating agents significantly enhanced rAAV2 transduction to a level equivalent to that of rAAV5 in the presence of these agents, suggesting that the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway represents a more significant intracellular block for rAAV2 transduction of mouse airway epithelia. Interestingly, cAMP-inducible chloride currents were enhanced in ΔF 508C FTR mouse ALI cultures, making this model incompatible with CFTR complementation studies. These studies emphasize species-specific differences in airway biology between mice and humans that significantly influence the use of mice as surrogate models for rAAV transduction and gene therapy for CF.
recombinant adeno-associated virus; airway model; serotype; tropism
The molecular mechanisms of airway smooth muscle hypertrophy, a feature of severe asthma, are poorly understood. We previously established a conditionally-immortalized human bronchial smooth muscle cell line with a temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen. Temperature shift and loss of large T cause G1-phase cell cycle arrest that is accompanied by increased airway smooth muscle cell size. In the present study, we hypothesized that phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E (eIF4E)-binding protein (4E-BP), which subsequently releases eIF4E and initiates cap-dependent mRNA translation, was required for airway smooth muscle hypertrophy. Treatment of cells with chemical inhibitors of PI 3-kinase and mTOR blocked protein synthesis and cell growth while decreasing the phosphorylation of 4E-BP and increasing the binding of 4E-BP to eIF4E, consistent with the notion that 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and eIF4E function are required for hypertrophy. To test this directly, we infected cells with a retrovirus encoding a phosphorylation site mutant of 4E-BP1 (AA-4E-BP-1) that dominantly inhibits eIF4E. Upon temperature shift, cells infected with AA-4E-BP-1, but not empty vector, failed to undergo hypertrophic growth. We conclude that phosphorylation of 4EBP, eIF4E release and cap-dependent protein synthesis are required for hypertrophy of human airway smooth muscle cells.
Differences in airway epithelial biology between mice and humans have presented challenges to evaluating gene therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) using murine models. In this context, recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) type 2 and rAAV5 vectors have very different transduction efficiencies in human air–liquid interface (ALI) airway epithelia (rAAV2 ≅ rAAV5) as compared with mouse lung (rAAV5 >> rAAV2). It is unclear if these differences are due to species-specific airway biology or limitations of ALI cultures to reproduce in vivo airway biology. To this end, we compared rAAV2 and rAAV5 transduction biology in mouse and human ALI cultures, and investigated the utility of murine ΔF508 cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) ALI epithelia to study CFTR complementation. Our results demonstrate that mouse ALI epithelia retain in vivo preferences for rAAV serotype transduction from the apical membrane (rAAV5 >> rAAV2) not seen in human epithelia (rAAV2 ≅ rAAV5). Viral binding of rAAV2 and rAAV5 to the apical surface of mouse ALI airway epithelia was not significantly different, and proteasome-modulating agents significantly enhanced rAAV2 transduction to a level equivalent to that of rAAV5 in the presence of these agents, suggesting that the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway represents a more significant intracellular block for rAAV2 transduction of mouse airway epithelia. Interestingly, cAMP-inducible chloride currents were enhanced in ΔF508CFTR mouse ALI cultures, making this model incompatible with CFTR complementation studies. These studies emphasize species-specific differences in airway biology between mice and humans that significantly influence the use of mice as surrogate models for rAAV transduction and gene therapy for CF.
recombinant adeno-associated virus; airway model; serotype; tropism
The molecular mechanisms of airway smooth muscle hypertrophy, a feature of severe asthma, are poorly understood. We previously established a conditionally immortalized human bronchial smooth muscle cell line with a temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen. Temperature shift and loss of large T cause G1-phase cell cycle arrest that is accompanied by increased airway smooth muscle cell size. In the present study, we hypothesized that phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E (eIF4E)-binding protein (4E-BP), which subsequently releases eIF4E and initiates cap-dependent mRNA translation, was required for airway smooth muscle hypertrophy. Treatment of cells with chemical inhibitors of PI 3-kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin blocked protein synthesis and cell growth while decreasing the phosphorylation of 4E-BP and increasing the binding of 4E-BP to eIF4E, consistent with the notion that 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and eIF4E function are required for hypertrophy. To test this directly, we infected cells with a retrovirus encoding a phosphorylation site mutant of 4E-BP1 (AA-4E-BP-1) that dominantly inhibits eIF4E. Upon temperature shift, cells infected with AA-4E-BP-1, but not empty vector, failed to undergo hypertrophic growth. We conclude that phosphorylation of 4E-BP, eIF4E release, and cap-dependent protein synthesis are required for hypertrophy of human airway smooth muscle cells.
translation; protein synthesis; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; mammalian target of rapamycin
γ-Glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) plays critical roles in glutathione homeostasis and metabolism. Rat GGT is a single-copy gene from which seven types of GGT mRNA with a common protein encoding sequence, but different 5′-untranslated regions, may be transcribed. We previously showed that type V-2 was the predominant form of GGT mRNA in rat L2 epithelial cells, and that it could be induced by 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) through the electrophile response element (EpRE) located in GGT promoter 5 (GP5). Here, we report transcription factors binding to GP5 EpRE and the involved signaling pathways. Immunodepletion gel shift assays demonstrated that GP5 EpRE bound JunB, c-Jun, FosB, and Fra2 from unstimulated cells, and that after exposure to HNE, EpRE binding complexes contained nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf) 1, Nrf2, JunB, c-Jun, FosB, c-Fos, Fra1, and Fra2. HNE-induced binding of Nrf2 and c-Jun in GP5 EpRE was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Using reporter assays and specific inhibitors, we found that HNE induction of rat GGT mRNA V-2 was dependent on activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), but not protein kinase C or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Pretreatment with ERK and p38MAPK inhibitors also blocked HNE-increased EpRE binding. HNE-increased nuclear content of Nrf1, Nrf2, and c-Jun in L2 cells was partially blocked by inhibition of either ERK1/2 or p38MAPK and completely blocked by simultaneous inhibition of both MAPKs. In conclusion, HNE induces GGT mRNA V-2 through altered EpRE transcription factor binding mediated by both ERK and p38MAPK.
electrophile response element; γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; glutathione; 4-hydroxynonenal; nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2
Severe impairment of mucociliary transport (MCT) is a hallmark of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Recent studies demonstrate that pharmacologic inhibition of anion and liquid secretion in pig tracheas models the MCT defect in CF through depletion of the periciliary fluid component of airway surface liquid. In the present study, the effectiveness of various aqueous instillates on rehydration of the airway surface and restoration of MCT was assessed in this model. Excised porcine tracheas were mounted in a chamber that permitted simultaneous measurement of MCT and adventitial exposure of the airways to Krebs solution. When anion and liquid secretion were inhibited by treatment with bumetanide and dimethylamiloride, MCT was greatly reduced. Luminal instillation of aqueous solutions containing surface-active substances (1% Tween80 or calfactant) transiently restored MCT to high rates in nearly all tissues. Mucosal treatment with only Krebs solution or hypertonic saline restored MCT in only one half of the tracheas. We conclude that aqueous salt solutions alone can hydrate airway surfaces and restore MCT in some tissues, but surface-active substances may provide additional benefit in restoring MCT in this model of mucociliary stasis. We speculate that administration of surface-active substances, by aerosol or lavage, might help to restore MCT in the airways of patients with CF.
airway surface liquid; cystic fibrosis; mucociliary transport; pigs; surfactants
The loss of TSC2 function is associated with the pathobiology of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), which is characterized by the abnormal proliferation, migration, and differentiation of smooth muscle–like cells within the lungs. Although the etiology of LAM remains unknown, clinical and genetic evidence provides support for the neoplastic nature of LAM. The goal of this study was to determine the role of tumor suppressor TSC2 in the neoplastic potential of LAM cells. We show that primary cultures of human LAM cells exhibit increased migratory activity and invasiveness, which is abolished by TSC2 re-expression. We found that TSC2 also inhibits cell migration through its N-terminus, independent of its GTPase-activating protein activity. LAM cells show increased stress fiber and focal adhesion formation, which is attenuated by TSC2 re-expression. The small GTPase RhoA is activated in LAM cells compared with normal human mesenchymal cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of Rho activity abrogates LAM cell migration; RhoA activity was also abolished by TSC2 re-expression or TSC1 knockdown with specific siRNA. These data demonstrate that TSC2 controls cell migration through its N-terminus by associating with TSC1 and regulating RhoA activity, suggesting that TSC2 may play a critical role in modulating cell migration and invasiveness, which contributes to the pathobiology of LAM.
lung; RhoA GTPase; smooth muscle cells; TSC1
Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is a major cause of allograft dysfunction after lung transplantation and is thought to result from immunologically mediated airway epithelial destruction and luminal fibrosis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) have been implicated in the regulation of lung inflammation, airway epithelial repair, and extracellular matrix remodeling and therefore may participate in the pathogenesis of OB. The goals of this study were to determine the expression profiles of MMPs and TIMPs and the role of TIMP-1 in the development of airway obliteration using the murine heterotopic tracheal transplant model of OB. We demonstrate the selective induction of MMP-3, MMP-9, MMP-12, and TIMP-1 in a temporally restricted manner in tracheal allografts compared with isografts. In contrast, the expression of MMP-7, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3 was decreased in allografts relative to isografts during the period of graft rejection. TIMP-1 protein localized to epithelial, mesenchymal, and inflammatory cells in the tracheal grafts in a temporally and spatially restricted manner. Using TIMP-1–deficient mice, we demonstrate that the absence of TIMP-1 in the donor trachea or the allograft recipient reduced luminal obliteration and increased re-epithelialization in the allograft compared with wild-type control at 28 d after transplantation. Our findings provide direct evidence that TIMP-1 contributes to the development of airway fibrosis in the heterotopic tracheal transplant model, and suggest a potential role for this proteinase inhibitor in the pathogenesis of OB in patients with lung transplant.
heterotopic tracheal transplant; matrix metalloproteinase; obliterative bronchiolitis; tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase
Asbestos causes pulmonary toxicity in part by generating reactive oxygen species that cause DNA damage. We previously showed that the mitochondria-regulated (intrinsic) death pathway mediates alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) DNA damage and apoptosis. Because p53 regulates the DNA damage response in part by inducing intrinsic cell death, we determined whether p53-dependent transcriptional activity mediates asbestos-induced AEC mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis. We show that inhibitors of p53-dependent transcriptional activation (pifithrin and type 16-E6 protein) block asbestos-induced AEC mitochondrial membrane potential change (ΔΨm), caspase 9 activation, and apoptosis. We demonstrate that asbestos activates p53 promoter activity, mRNA levels, protein expression, and Bax and p53 mitochondrial translocation. Further, pifithrin, E6, phytic acid, or ρ0-A549 cells (cells incapable of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production) block asbestos-induced p53 activation. Finally, we show that asbestos augments p53 expression in cells at the bronchoalveolar duct junctions of rat lungs and that phytic acid prevents this. These data suggest that p53-dependent transcription pathways mediate asbestos-induced AEC mitochondria-regulated apoptosis. This suggests an important interactive effect between p53 and the mitochondria in the pathogenesis of asbestos-induced pulmonary toxicity that may have broader implications for our understanding of pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer.
asbestos; DNA damage; epithelium; free radicals; p53
Caveolin-1 has been reported to regulate apoptosis, lipid metabolism, and endocytosis in macrophages. In the present study, we demonstrate that caveolin-1 can act as a potent immunomodulatory molecule. We first observed caveolin-1 expression in murine alveolar macrophages by Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. Loss-of-function experiments using small interfering RNA showed that downregulating caveolin-1 expression in murine alveolar and peritoneal macrophages increased LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α and IL-6 production but decreased anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 production. Gain-of-function experiments demonstrated that overexpression of caveolin-1 in RAW264.7 cells decreased LPS-induced TNF-α and IL-6 production and augmented IL-10 production. p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation was increased by overexpressing caveolin-1 in RAW264.7 cells, whereas c-Jun N-terminal kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase MAPK, and Akt phosphorylation were inhibited. The antiinflammatory modulation of LPS-induced cytokine production by caveolin-1 was significantly abrogated by the administration of p38 inhibitor SB203580 in RAW264.7 cells. Peritoneal macrophages isolated from MKK3 null mice did not demonstrate any modulation of LPS-induced cytokine production by caveolin-1. LPS-induced activation of NF-κB and AP-1 determined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay were significantly reduced by overexpressing caveolin-1 in RAW264.7 cells. The reductions were attenuated by the administration of p38 inhibitor SB203580. Taken together, our data suggest that caveolin-1 acts as a potent immunomodulatory effecter molecule in immune cells and that the regulation of LPS-induced cytokine production by caveolin-1 involves the MKK3/p38 MAPK pathway.
caveolin-1; cytokines; inflammation; lipopolysaccharide; macrophages
We evaluated the role of Syk, using an inhibitor, on allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation in a system shown to be B cell– and mast cell–independent. Sensitization of BALB/c mice with ovalbumin (OVA) and alum after three consecutive OVA challenges resulted in AHR to inhaled methacholine and airway inflammation. The Syk inhibitor R406 (30 mg/kg, administered orally, twice daily) prevented the development of AHR, increases in eosinophils and lymphocytes and IL-13 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and goblet cell metaplasia when administered after sensitization and before challenge with OVA. Levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IFN-γ in BAL fluid and allergen-specific antibody levels in serum were not affected by treatment. Because many of these responses may be influenced by dendritic cell function, we investigated the effect of R406 on bone marrow–derived dendritic cell (BMDC) function. Co-culture of BMDC with immune complexes of OVA and IgG anti-OVA together with OVA-sensitized spleen mononuclear cells resulted in increases in IL-13 production. IL-13 production was inhibited if the BMDCs were pretreated with the Syk inhibitor. Intratracheal transfer of immune complex-pulsed BMDCs (but not nonpulsed BMDCs) to naive mice before airway allergen challenge induced the development of AHR and increases in BAL eosinophils and lymphocytes. All of these responses were inhibited if the transferred BMDCs were pretreated with R406. These results demonstrate that Syk inhibition prevents allergen-induced AHR and airway inflammation after systemic sensitization and challenge, at least in part through alteration of DC function.
AHR; dendritic cells; eosinophils; mice; Syk
We tested the hypothesis that cholinergic stimulation and cyclic stretch regulate inflammatory gene expression in intact airway smooth muscle by measuring mRNA expression in bovine tracheal smooth muscle using limited microarray analysis and RT-PCR. Carbachol (1 μM) induced significant increases in the expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, COX-2, IL-8, and plasminogen activator, urokinase type (PLAU) to levels ranging from 1.3- to 3.1-fold of control. Sinusoidal length oscillation at an amplitude of 10% muscle length and a frequency of 1 Hz induced significant increases in the expression of CCL-2, COX-2, IL-1β, and IL-6 to levels ranging from 12- to 206-fold of control. Decreasing the oscillatory amplitude by 50% did not significantly change inflammatory gene expression. In contrast, decreasing the oscillatory frequency by 50% significantly attenuated inflammatory gene expression by 76–93%. Nifedipine (1 μM) had an insignificant effect on carbachol-induced gene expression, but significantly inhibited sinusoidal length oscillation-induced inflammatory gene expression by 40–78%. Correlation analysis revealed two groups of genes with differential responses to sinusoidal length oscillation. The highly responsive group included COX-2, IL-6, and IL-8, which exhibited 45- to 364-fold increases in gene expression in response to sinusoidal length oscillation. The moderately responsive group included CCL2 and PLAU, which exhibited 13- to 19-fold increases in gene expression in response to sinusoidal oscillation. These findings suggest that cyclic stretch regulates inflammatory gene expression in intact airway smooth muscle in an amplitude- and frequency-dependent manner by modulating the activity of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels.
airway smooth muscle; COX-2; IL-6; IL-8; nifedipine
Pulmonary infection is the dominant clinical feature of cystic fibrosis (CF), but the basis for this susceptibility remains incompletely understood. One hypothesis is that CF airway surface liquid (ASL) is abnormal and interferes with neutrophil function. To study this possibility, we developed an in vitro system in which we collected ASL from primary cultures of normal and CF airway epithelial cells. Microbial killing was less efficient when bacteria were incubated with neutrophils in the presence of ASL from CF epithelia compared with normal ASL. Antimicrobial functions of human neutrophils were assessed in ASL from CF and normal epithelia using a combination of quantitative bacterial culture, flow cytometry, and microfluorescence imaging. The results of these assays of neutrophil function were indistinguishable in CF and normal ASL. In contrast, the direct bactericidal activity of ASL to Escherichia coli and to clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was substantially less in CF than in normal ASL, even when highly diluted in media of identical ionic strength. Together, these observations indicate that the antimicrobial properties of ASL in CF are compromised in a manner independent of ionic strength of the ASL, and that this effect is not mediated through a direct effect of the ASL on phagocyte function.
airway surface liquid; cystic fibrosis; inflammation; ionic strength; neutrophil
Deletion of phenylalanine 508 (ΔF508) accounts for nearly 70% of all mutations that occur in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The ΔF508 mutation is a class II processing mutation that results in very little or no mature CFTR protein reaching the apical membrane and thus no cAMP-mediated Cl− conductance. Therapeutic strategies have been developed to enhance processing of the defective ΔF508 CFTR molecule so that a functional cAMP-regulated Cl− channel targets to the apical membrane. Sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium (SERCA) inhibitors, curcumin and thapsigargin, have been reported to effectively correct the CF ion transport defects observed in the ΔF508 CF mice. We investigated the effect of these compounds in human airway epithelial cells to determine if they could induce ΔF508 CFTR maturation, and Cl− secretion. We also used Baby Hamster Kidney cells, heterologously expressing ΔF508 CFTR, to determine if SERCA inhibitors could interfere with the interaction between calnexin and CFTR and thereby correct the ΔF508 CFTR misfolding defect. Finally, at the whole animal level, we tested the ability of curcumin and thapsigargin to (1) induce Cl− secretion and reduce hyperabsorption of Na+ in the nasal epithelia of the ΔF508 mouse in vivo, and (2) induce Cl− secretion in intestine (jejunum and distal colon) and the gallbladder of the ΔF508 CF mouse. We conclude that curcumin and thapsigargin failed to induce maturation of ΔF508 CFTR, or induce Cl− secretion, as measured by biochemical and electrophysiologic techniques in a variety of model systems ranging from cultured cells to in vivo studies.
ΔF508 CF mouse; CFTR trafficking; Cl− channel; curcumin
Glucocorticoids regulate gene expression via binding of the ligand-activated glucocorticoid receptor (GR) to glucocorticoid-responsive elements (GRE) in target gene promoters. The MUC5AC gene, which encodes the protein backbone of an abundant secreted airway mucin, has several putative GRE cis-elements in its 5′ sequence. Mechanism(s) whereby glucocorticoids regulate mucin genes have not previously been described. In this study, the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex) decreased MUC5AC mRNA abundance in A549 and NCI-H292 cell lines and primary differentiated normal bronchial epithelial cells by 50–80%, suggesting a common mechanism of MUC5AC gene repression in human lung epithelial cells. Kinetic analyses showed that MUC5AC mRNA was not significantly decreased until 6 h after Dex exposure, and that nuclear translocation of GR was biphasic, suggesting that Dex-mediated cis-repression of MUC5AC gene expression was a delayed response of GR translocation. Transfection analyses demonstrated that Dex transcriptionally repressed the MUC5AC promoter. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with wild-type and mutant oligonucleotide probes showed that GR bound to two GRE cis-sites (nucleotides −930 to −912 and −369 to −351) in the MUC5AC promoter. Analyses of mutated MUC5AC promoter constructs demonstrated that NF-κB cis-sites were not involved in Dex-mediated repression of MUC5AC. Dex did not alter mRNA stability of MUC5AC transcripts. Taken together, the data indicate that Dex transcriptionally mediates repression of MUC5AC gene expression in human lung epithelial cells at quiescent states after binding of GR to one or more GRE cis-elements in the MUC5AC promoter.
MUC5AC mucin gene; gene repression; dexamethasone; lung cells; glucocorticoids
Manganese transport into the blood can result from inhaling metal-containing particles. Intestinal manganese and iron absorption is mediated by divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) and is upregulated in iron deficiency. Since iron status alters absorption of Fe and Mn in the gut, we tested the hypothesis that iron status may alter pulmonary transport of these metals. DMT1 expression in the lungs was evaluated to explore its role in metal transport. The pharmacokinetics of intratracheally instilled 54Mn or 59Fe in repeatedly bled or iron oxide–exposed rats were compared with controls. Iron oxide exposure caused a reduction in pulmonary transport of 54Mn and 59Fe, and decreased uptake in other major organs. Low iron status from repeated bleeding also reduced pulmonary transport of iron but not of manganese. However, uptake of manganese in the brain and of iron in the spleen increased in bled rats. DMT1 transcripts were detected in airway epithelium, alveolar macrophages, and bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue in all rats. Focal increases were seen in particle-containing macrophages and adjacent epithelial cells, but no change was observed in bled rats. Although lung DMT1 expression did not correlate with iron status, differences in pharmacokinetics of instilled metals suggest that their potential toxicity can be modified by iron status.
anemia; DMT1; iron status: manganese; transport
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in shaping antiviral immune responses in the respiratory tract. Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently identified pathogen and like its better known relative, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), has been increasingly recognized as a major cause of respiratory morbidity in infants and in elderly persons. In the present study, we examined susceptibility as well as cellular responses of human DCs to hMPV compared with RSV. Monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs) were susceptible to infection by both viruses, but only RSV was able to induce a productive infection with release of viral progeny. Despite the fact that viral infection resulted in phenotypic maturation of moDCs, as shown by the upregulation of cell surface markers and antigen-presenting molecules (MHC I and II, CD80, CD83, CD86, CD38), RSV-infected moDCs showed a severely impaired capacity to stimulate CD4+ T cell proliferation. Compared with hMPV, RSV was a more potent inducer of inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-10, and IL-12p70 in both moDCs and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). On the other hand, hMPV, but not RSV, was able to trigger production of IFN-α by moDCs, while both viruses strongly induced IFN-α in pDCs. Finally, both viruses strikingly suppressed IFN-α production by moDCs or pDCs stimulated with synthetic dsRNA and CpG-ODN, respectively. The findings provide novel evidence that RSV and hMPV differentially activate human DCs and may use distinct mechanisms to interfere with the host innate and adaptive immune responses.
dendritic cells; respiratory syncytial virus; human metapneumovirus; interferon type I; innate immunity
Alcohol abuse increases the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome and causes oxidative stress and cellular dysfunction in the lung. The mechanisms of ethanol (EtOH)-induced oxidative stress in the lung remain to be defined. Chronic alcohol ingestion has been associated with increased renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activity. Therefore, the current study investigated the ability of lisinopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, to modulate oxidative stress in the lung after chronic EtOH ingestion in a well-established rat model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed liquid diets containing EtOH (36% of calories) or maltose-dextrin as an isocaloric substitution for EtOH (Control) for 6 wk. Selected animals were also treated with lisinopril (3 mg/liter) for 6 wk. Chronic EtOH ingestion increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid glutathione disulfide levels and superoxide formation in lung parenchyma. These effects of EtOH were attenuated by lisinopril treatment. Chronic EtOH ingestion failed to increase ACE expression or angiotensin II levels in lung homogenates, but increased angiotensinogen, angiotensin II type 1 and type 2 receptor levels, and ACE activity. Chronic EtOH ingestion also increased the levels of the NADPH oxidase subunit, gp91phox, an effect that was attenuated by lisinopril, but had no effect on lung p22phox or p47phox levels. These findings suggest that EtOH-mediated RAS activation plays an important role in pulmonary oxidative stress and provide new insights into mechanisms by which EtOH causes oxidative stress in the lung and potential strategies of lung protection through ACE inhibition.
ARDS; chronic ethanol ingestion; lung; NADPH oxidase; superoxide
We combined two techniques, radiolabeled aerosol inhalation delivery and induced sputum, to examine in vivo the time course of particle uptake by airway macrophages in 10 healthy volunteers. On three separate visits, induced sputum was obtained 40, 100, and 160 min after inhalation of radiolabeled sulfur colloid (SC) aerosol (Tc99 m-SC, 0.2 μm colloid size delivered in 6-μm droplets). On a fourth visit (control) with no SC inhalation, induced sputum was obtained and SC particles were incubated (37°C) in vitro with sputum cells for 40, 100, and 160 min (matching the times associated with in vivo sampling). Total and differential cell counts were recorded for each sputum sample. Compared with 40 min (6 ± 3%), uptake in vivo was significantly elevated at 100 (31 ± 5%) and 160 min (27 ± 4%); both were strongly associated with the number of airway macrophages (R = 0.8 and 0.7, respectively); and the number and proportion of macrophages at 40 min were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated compared with control (1,248 ± 256 versus 555 ± 114 cells/mg; 76 ± 6% versus 60 ± 5%). Uptake in vitro increased in a linear fashion over time and was maximal at 160 min (40 min, 12 ± 2%; 100 min, 16 ± 4%; 160 min, 24 ± 6%). These data suggest that airway surface macrophages in healthy subjects rapidly engulf insoluble particles. Further, macrophage recruitment and phagocytosis-modifying agents are factors in vivo that likely affect particle uptake and its time course.
airway macrophages; induced sputum; mucociliary clearance; radiolabeled particles
Pulmonary accumulation of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis/usual interstitial pneumonia (IFP/UIP) has been linked to (1) increased migration of a circulating pool of fibrocytes, (2) cell proliferation, and (3) resistance to apoptosis. The mechanism of physiologic apoptosis of lung fibroblasts is poorly understood. Using normal and fibrotic human lung fibroblasts and the human lung fibroblast cell line, MRC-5, we examined the regulation of Fas-induced apoptosis by the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IFN-γ. Herein, we show that the basal resistance of lung fibroblasts and myofibroblasts to Fas-induced apoptosis is overcome by sensitization with TNF-α. IFN-γ did not sensitize cells to Fas-induced apoptosis, but exhibited synergistic activity with TNF-α. Sensitization by TNF-α was observed in MRC-5 cells and in fibroblasts and myofibroblasts from normal and fibrotic human lung, suggesting that this represents a conserved mechanism to engage Fas-induced apoptosis. The mechanism of sensitization was localized at the level of recruitment of the adapter protein, FADD, to the cytoplasmic domain of Fas. Collectively, these findings suggest that fibroblast apoptosis involves two steps, sensitization and induction, and that inadequate pulmonary inflammation in IPF/UIP may favor fibroblast accumulation by reducing sensitization to apoptosis.
fibroblast; TNF-α; Fas; apoptosis; pulmonary fibrosis
Resolution of alveolar epithelial/capillary membrane damage after acute lung injury requires coordinated and effective tissue repair to reestablish a functional alveolar epithelial/capillary membrane barrier. We hypothesized that signaling pathways important in lung alveolar bud ontogeny are activated in the recovery and remodeling phases after profound oxidant stress lung injury in a murine model. To test this, we characterized the expression of noncanonical β-catenin pathway proteins E-cadherin, integrin-linked kinase–1, and β-catenin in mice undergoing normoxic recovery after exposure to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, ionol) and concomitant sublethal (75% O2) hyperoxia. Mice developed early acute lung injury with subsequent inflammation, collagen deposition, interstitial cellular proliferation, and lung architectural distortion. Reduced E-cadherin expression after 6 d of BHT and hyperoxia was accompanied by enhanced expression and nuclear localization of β-catenin and increased integrin-linked kinase-1 expression during subsequent normoxic recovery. This resulted in increased expression of the cotranscriptional regulators TCF-1 and -3 and cyclin D1. Proliferation of murine lung epithelial-12 cells in vitro after 8 h of treatment with BHT quinone-methide and hyperoxia and 48 h of normoxic recovery was enhanced 2.7-fold compared with vehicle-treated control mice at the same time point. BHT/hyperoxia-exposed mice treated with the pan-caspase inhibitor z-ASP had increased acute lung injury and reduced survival despite the presence of TUNEL-positive cells, suggesting enhanced lung cell necrosis. β-Catenin expression was reduced in z-ASP–co-treated lungs after BHT/hyperoxia. The noncanonical cadherin–β-catenin axis is associated with fibroproliferative repair after BHT/hyperoxia exposure and may regulate epithelial proliferation and lung matrix remodeling and repair in response to lung injury.
β-catenin; E-cadherin; lung injury repair; cell junctions; caspase
Although smooth muscle hypertrophy is present in asthmatic airways, little is known about the biochemical pathways regulating airway smooth muscle protein synthesis, cell size, or accumulation of contractile apparatus proteins. We sought to develop a model of airway smooth muscle hypertrophy in primary cells using a physiologically relevant stimulus. We hypothesized that transforming growth factor (TGF)-β induces hypertrophy in primary bronchial smooth muscle cells. Primary human bronchial smooth muscle cells isolated from unacceptable lung donor tissue were studied. Cells were seeded on uncoated plastic dishes at 50% confluence and TGF-β was added. Experiments were performed in the absence of serum. TGF-β increased cell size and total protein synthesis, expression of α-smooth muscle actin and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, formation of actomyosin filaments, and cell shortening to acetylcholine. Further, TGF-β increased airway smooth muscle α-actin synthesis in the presence of the transcriptional inhibitor actinomycin D, evidence that translational control is a physiologically important element of the observed hypertrophy. TGF-β induced the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor-4E–binding protein, a signaling event specifically involved in translational control. Finally, two inhibitors of 4E-binding protein phosphorylation, the phosphoinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 and a phosphorylation site mutant of 4E-binding protein-1 that dominantly inhibits eukaryotic initiation factor-4E, each blocked TGF-β– induced α-actin expression and cell enlargement. We conclude that TGF-β induces hypertrophy of primary bronchial smooth muscle cells. Further, phosphorylation of 4E-binding protein is required for the observed hypertrophy.
4E-binding protein; α-smooth muscle actin; eukaryotic initiation factor-4E; mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR); phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase
Th2 cytokines induce the release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from cultured human airway smooth muscle cells. The objective of this study was to examine the mechanistic basis for IL-4– and IL-13–induced VEGF release and to determine whether genetic differences are responsible for donor-to-donor variability in VEGF release. We measured VEGF mRNA expression by real-time PCR, mRNA stability using actinomycin D, and promoter activity with a VEGF-promoter luciferase reporter construct. We measured IL-4– and IL-13–induced VEGF release in cells from 21 donors by ELISA, genotyped the cells for common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the IL-4Rα (Ile50Val, Ser478Pro, and Gln551Arg) and VEGF (−460T/C, −160C/T, −152G/A, +405C/G and +936 C/T) genes, and stratified the data by IL-4Rα and VEGF genotype. IL-4 and IL-13 increased VEGF release and VEGF mRNA expression. IL-4 also increased mRNA stability but did not affect VEGF promoter activity. There was marked donor-to-donor variability in VEGF release from smooth muscle cells. The presence of Val50, Pro478/Arg551, or the Val50/Pro478/Arg551 IL-4Rα haplotype had little effect on VEGF release. VEGF genotype at +405 or +936 alone had no effect on VEGF release, whereas cells bearing at least one −460C/−152A/+405G VEGF allele had lower release of VEGF in response to IL-13 or IL-4 than cells with other genotypes. Our data suggest that IL-4 and IL-13 mediate their effects on VEGF expression post-transcriptionally and indicate that polymorphisms in the VEGF, but not the IL-4Rα, gene affect VEGF release from smooth muscle cells.
asthma; IL-4Rα; polymorphism; TNFα; mRNA stability
Rhinovirus (RV) infection is the major cause of common colds and of asthma exacerbations. Because the epithelial cell layer is the primary target of RV infection, we hypothesize that RV-induced airway disease is associated with the perturbation of airway epithelial gene expression. In this study, well differentiated primary human airway epithelial cells were infected with either RV16 (major group) or RV1B (minor group). Transcriptional gene profiles from RV-infected and mock-infected control cells were analyzed by Affymetrix Genechip, and changes of the gene expression were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR analysis. At 24 h after infection, 48 genes induced by both viruses were identified. Most of these genes are related to the IFN pathway, and have been documented to have antiviral functions. Indeed, a significant stimulation of IFN-β secretion was detected after RV16 infection. Neutralizing antibody specific to IFN-β and a specific inhibitor of the Janus kinase pathway both significantly blocked the induction of RV-inducible genes. Further studies demonstrated that 2-aminopurine, a specific inhibitor double-stranded RNA–dependent protein kinase, could block both IFN-β production and RV-induced gene expression. Thus, IFN-β–dependent pathway is a part of the double-stranded RNA–initiated pathway that is responsible for RV-induced gene expression. Consistent with its indispensable role in the induction of antiviral genes, deactivation of this signaling pathway significantly enhanced viral production. Because increase of viral yield is associated with the severity of RV-induced airway illness, the discovery of an epithelial antiviral signaling pathway in this study will contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of RV-induced colds and asthma exacerbations.
airway epithelium; gene expression; rhinovirus; transcriptional profiling