The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Attenuates Tobacco Smoke-induced Cyclooxygenase-2 and Prostaglandin Production in Lung Fibroblasts through Regulation of the NF-κB Family Member RelB
ABSTRACT Diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer caused by cigarette smoke affect millions of people worldwide. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that influences responses to certain environmental pollutants such as tobacco smoke. However, the physiological function(s) of the AhR is unknown. Herein we propose that the physiologic role of the AhR is to limit inflammation. We show that lung fibroblasts from AhR(-/-) mice produce a heightened inflammatory response to cigarette smoke, typified by increased levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandins (PGs), when compared with wild type (AhR(+/+)) fibroblasts. This response was dependent on AhR expression as transient transfection of an AhR expression plasmid into AhR(-/-) fibroblasts significantly attenuated the smoke-induced COX-2 and PG production, confirming the anti-inflammatory role of the AhR. The AhR can interact with NF-kappaB. However, the heightened inflammatory response observed in AhR(-/-) fibroblasts was not the result of NF-kappaB (p50/p65) activation. Instead it was coupled with a loss of the NF-kappaB family member RelB in AhR(-/-) fibroblasts. Taken together, these studies provide compelling evidence that AhR expression limits proinflammatory COX-2 and PG production by maintaining RelB expression. The association between RelB and AhR may represent a new therapeutic and more selective target with which to combat inflammation-associated diseases.
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ABSTRACT: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor, mediates toxicity of several classes of xenobiotics and also has important physiological roles in differentiation, reproduction, and immunity, although the endogenous ligand(s) mediating these functions is/are as yet unidentified. One candidate endogenous ligand, 2-(1'H-indolo-3'-carbonyl)-thiazole-4-carboxylic acid methyl ester (ITE), is a potent AhR agonist in vitro, activates the murine AhR in vivo, but does not induce toxicity. We hypothesized that ITE and the toxic ligand, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), may modify transcription of different sets of genes to account for their different toxicity. To test this hypothesis, primary mouse lung fibroblasts were exposed to 0.5muM ITE, 0.2nM TCDD, or vehicle for 4 h, and total gene expression was evaluated using microarrays. After this short-term and low-dose treatment, several hundred genes were changed significantly, and the response to ITE and TCDD was remarkably similar, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Induced gene sets included the expected battery of AhR-dependent xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes, as well as several sets that reflect the inflammatory role of lung fibroblasts. Real time quantitative RT-qPCR assay of several selected genes confirmed these microarray data and further suggested that there may be kinetic differences in expression between ligands. These data suggest that ITE and TCDD elicit an analogous change in AhR conformation such that the initial transcription response is the same. Furthermore, if the difference in toxicity between TCDD and ITE is mediated by differences in gene expression, then it is likely that secondary changes enabled by the persistent TCDD, but not by the shorter lived ITE, are responsible.Toxicological Sciences 11/2009; 114(1):90-100. DOI:10.1093/toxsci/kfp285 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that increased expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the lungs of patients is a key event in the pathogenesis of lung diseases. In this study, we investigated the involvement of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), IkappaB kinase alpha/beta (IKKalpha/beta), and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling pathways in thrombin-induced COX-2 expression in human lung fibroblasts (WI-38). Treatment of WI-38 cells with thrombin caused increased COX-2 expression in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Treatment of WI-38 cells with PD 98059 (2-[2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl]-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one, a MEK inhibitor) inhibited thrombin-induced COX-2 expression and COX-2-luciferase activity. Stimulation of cells with thrombin caused an increase in ERK phosphorylation in a time-dependent manner. In addition, treatment of WI-38 cells with Bay 117082, an IkappaB phosphorylation inhibitor, and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), an NF-kappaB inhibitor, inhibited thrombin-induced COX-2 expression. The thrombin-induced increase in COX-2-luciferase activity was also blocked by the dominant negative IkappaBalpha mutant (IkappaBalphaM). Treatment of WI-38 cells with thrombin induced IKKalpha/beta and IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, IkappaBalpha degradation, and kappaB-luciferase activity. The thrombin-mediated increases in IKKalpha/beta phosphorylation and kappaB-luciferase activity were inhibited by PD 98059. Taken together, these results suggest that the ERK-dependent IKKalpha/beta/NF-kappaB signaling pathway plays an important role in thrombin-induced COX-2 expression in human lung fibroblasts.European journal of pharmacology 08/2009; 618(1-3):70-5. DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2009.07.007 · 2.68 Impact Factor
- Advances in Immunology 02/1995; 60:37-56. DOI:10.1016/S0065-2776(08)60583-0 · 5.53 Impact Factor