Retinoic acid inhibits elastase-induced injury in human lung epithelial cell lines

Department of Geriatric and Respiratory Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 4.11). 04/2003; 28(3):296-304. DOI: 10.1165/rcmb.4845
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The protective effects of retinoic acid on elastase-induced lung epithelial cell injury were studied using elastase extracted from purulent human sputum, the BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cell line, A549 human type II lung cell line, and primary cultures of human tracheal epithelial cells. Elastase decreased viability of BEAS-2B cells, A549 cells, and human tracheal epithelial cells in concentration- and time-dependent fashions. Elastase also induced apoptosis of BEAS-2B cells, A549 cells, and the tracheal epithelial cells detected with cell death detection enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) methods. Retinoic acid alone did not affect the viability of BEAS-2B cells, A549 cells, or the tracheal epithelial cells, and did not induce apoptosis of the cells. However, retinoic acid prevented the decreases in the viability and reduced apoptosis of BEAS-2B cells, A549 cells, and the tracheal epithelial cells induced by elastase. Likewise, retinoic acid inhibited caspase 3 activity in BEAS-2B cells and A549 cells induced by elastase, as well as proteolytic activity of elastase. Furthermore, caspase 3 inhibitor inhibited the elastase-induced apoptosis of the cells. These findings suggest that retinoic acid may inhibit elastase-induced lung epithelial cell injury partly through the inhibition of proteolytic activity of elastase and through the inhibition of caspase 3 activity by elastase. Retinoic acid may, therefore, have protective effects against the elastase-induced lung injury and subsequent development of pulmonary emphysema.

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