Expression of c-erbB receptors and ligands in the bronchial epithelium of asthmatic subjects
ABSTRACT The c-erbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases act in a combinatorial fashion to regulate cell behavior. Disturbances in this system have been associated with neoplastic and inflammatory diseases.
Although expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR; c-erbB1) is increased in the bronchial epithelium in asthma, there is no information on expression of other members of the c-erbB receptor and ligand family that can modulate EGFR function.
Immunohistochemistry was used to compare expression of EGFR, c-erbB2, c-erbB3, epidermal growth factor, heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor, and transforming growth factor alpha in bronchial biopsy specimens from normal and asthmatic subjects. Scrape-wounded monolayers of 16HBE 14o(-) cells were used as an in vitro model of damage and repair. Changes in EGFR, c-erbB2, and c-erbB3 distribution were measured by means of immunocytochemistry, whereas tyrosine phosphorylation was measured by means of immunoprecipitation and Western blotting.
Although epithelial staining for the EGFR was significantly increased in asthmatic epithelium (P <.001), there was no difference in staining for the other receptors and ligands studied. In scrape-wounded epithelial monolayers, tyrosine phosphorylation of EGFR, c-erbB2, and c-erbB3 occurred immediately after damage; however, only EGFR showed a change in expression in response to damage.
Even though EGFR levels are increased in asthma, this is not linked to changes in expression of its activating ligands or other c-erbB receptors. Because bronchial epithelial cells respond to physical damage through activation of several c-erbB family members, the shift in favor of increased EGFR levels in asthma may lead to altered epithelial function by influencing the number and type of heterodimeric signaling complexes, assuming sufficient ligand availability.
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ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor (EGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), the AA and BB isoforms of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are involved in the pathogenesis of airway inflammation in asthma. In the present study, the associations between asthmatic phenotypes and the expression levels of these mediators in induced sputum and serum were investigated. A total of 62 asthmatic patients were divided into eosinophilic or neutrophilic phenotypes by cytological classification of the induced sputum. In addition, patients were classified according to lung function (FEV1/FVC >70% or FEV1/FVC <70%) and asthma severity (mild, moderate or severe). The concentrations of EGF, bFGF, PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB and VEGF in the serum and induced sputum were measured using sandwich enzyme immunoassays. VEGF levels in the serum and induced sputum were higher in patients with an eosinophilic phenotype compared with those with a neutrophilic phenotype. In addition, VEGF expression was higher in patients with an FEV1/FVC value of <70% as compared with patients with an FEV1/FVC value of >70%. Furthermore, the levels of VEGF were higher in patients with severe asthma compared with the patients with mild and moderate asthma. There were no statistically significant differences observed with regard to EGF, bFGF, PDGF-AA and PDGF-BB levels among the various phenotypes. Therefore, the observations of the present study indicated that increased VEGF expression in the serum and induced sputum of patients may be associated with eosinophilic airway inflammation, severe airflow limitation and the severity of asthma.Experimental and therapeutic medicine 08/2014; 8(2):573-578. DOI:10.3892/etm.2014.1759 · 0.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family of receptors and the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family are active in diverse biological processes and are central mediators in the initiation and maintenance of fibrosis in many diseases. Transforming growth factor-α (TGFα) is a ligand for the EGFR, and doxycycline (Dox)-inducible transgenic mice conditionally expressing TGFα specifically in the lung epithelium develop progressive fibrosis. The αvβ6 integrin is an important in vivo activator of TGF-β activation in the lung. Immunohistochemical analysis of αvβ6 protein expression and bronchoalveolar analysis of TGFβ pathway signaling indicates activation of the αvβ6/TGFβ pathway only at later time points after lung fibrosis was already established in the TGFα model. To determine the contribution of the αvβ6/TGFβ pathway on the progression of established fibrotic disease, TGFα transgenic mice were administered Dox for 4 weeks which leads to extensive fibrosis; these mice were then treated with a function blocking anti-αvβ6 antibody with continued administration of Dox for an additional 4 weeks. Compared to TGFα transgenic mice treated with control antibody, αvβ6 inhibition significantly attenuated pleural thickening and altered the decline in lung mechanics. To test the effects of genetic loss of the β6 integrin, TGFα transgenic mice were mated with β6 null mice and the degree of fibrosis compared in adult mice following 8 weeks of Dox administration. Genetic ablation of the β6 integrin attenuated histologic and physiologic changes in the lungs of TGFα transgenic mice although a significant degree of fibrosis still developed.AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 02/2014; 306(8). DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00357.2013 · 4.04 Impact Factor