Early Growth Response-1 Suppresses Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor–Mediated Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Lung Remodeling in Mice

Section of Neonatology, Perinatal & Pulmonary Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 03/2009; 41(4):415-25. DOI: 10.1165/rcmb.2008-0470OC
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha and its receptor, the epidermal growth factor receptor, are induced after lung injury and are associated with remodeling in chronic pulmonary diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis and asthma. Expression of TGF-alpha in the lungs of adult mice causes fibrosis, pleural thickening, and pulmonary hypertension, in addition to increased expression of a transcription factor, early growth response-1 (Egr-1). Egr-1 was increased in airway smooth muscle (ASM) and the vascular adventitia in the lungs of mice conditionally expressing TGF-alpha in airway epithelium (Clara cell secretory protein-rtTA(+/-)/[tetO](7)-TGF-alpha(+/-)). The goal of this study was to determine the role of Egr-1 in TGF-alpha-induced lung disease. To accomplish this, TGF-alpha-transgenic mice were crossed to Egr-1 knockout (Egr-1(ko/ko)) mice. The lack of Egr-1 markedly increased the severity of TGF-alpha-induced pulmonary disease, dramatically enhancing airway muscularization, increasing pulmonary fibrosis, and causing greater airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Smooth muscle hyperplasia, not hypertrophy, caused the ASM thickening in the absence of Egr-1. No detectable increases in pulmonary inflammation were found. In addition to the airway remodeling disease, vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension were also more severe in Egr-1(ko/ko) mice. Thus, Egr-1 acts to suppress epidermal growth factor receptor-mediated airway and vascular muscularization, fibrosis, and airway hyperresponsiveness in the absence of inflammation. This provides a unique model to study the processes causing pulmonary fibrosis and ASM thickening without the complicating effects of inflammation.

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Available from: Timothy D Le Cras, Sep 28, 2015
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    • "All mice were anesthetized with a mixture of ketamine/xylaxin/acepromazine (4∶1:1) by i.p. injection 48 hours after the last HDM exposure and before AHR was assessed. Airway resistance to increasing doses of methacholine was measured as previously described [18], [20]. Briefly, the trachea of each mouse was cannulated and connected to a flexiVent system (SCIREQ, Montreal, QC, Canada). "
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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays an important role in cell growth/differentiation, integrating environmental cues, and regulating immune responses. Our lab previously demonstrated that inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin prevented house dust mite (HDM)-induced allergic asthma in mice. Here, we utilized two treatment protocols to investigate whether rapamycin, compared to the steroid, dexamethasone, could inhibit allergic responses during the later stages of the disease process, namely allergen re-exposure and/or during progression of chronic allergic disease. In protocol 1, BALB/c mice were sensitized to HDM (three i.p. injections) and administered two intranasal HDM exposures. After 6 weeks of rest/recovery, mice were re-exposed to HDM while being treated with rapamycin or dexamethasone. In protocol 2, mice were exposed to HDM for 3 or 6 weeks and treated with rapamycin or dexamethasone during weeks 4-6. Characteristic features of allergic asthma, including IgE, goblet cells, airway hyperreactivity (AHR), inflammatory cells, cytokines/chemokines, and T cell responses were assessed. In protocol 1, both rapamycin and dexamethasone suppressed goblet cells and total CD4(+) T cells including activated, effector, and regulatory T cells in the lung tissue, with no effect on AHR or total inflammatory cell numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Rapamycin also suppressed IgE, although IL-4 and eotaxin 1 levels were augmented. In protocol 2, both drugs suppressed total CD4(+) T cells, including activated, effector, and regulatory T cells and IgE levels. IL-4, eotaxin, and inflammatory cell numbers were increased after rapamycin and no effect on AHR was observed. Dexamethasone suppressed inflammatory cell numbers, especially eosinophils, but had limited effects on AHR. We conclude that while mTOR signaling is critical during the early phases of allergic asthma, its role is much more limited once disease is established.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54426. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0054426 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "This possibility is supported by mathematical simulations [5] but still lacks confirmatory biological data. The importance of ASM mass to AHR was well demonstrated using a murine gene knockout model of early growth response-1 which following stimulation with transforming growth factor alpha has pronounced ASM thickening and a severe form of AHR (compared with other models) [69]. The ASM growth was attributed solely to ASM hyperplasia which is the predominant pathology seen in severe asthma [70]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The primary functional abnormality in asthma is airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR)-excessive airway narrowing to bronchoconstrictor stimuli. Our understanding of the underlying mechanism(s) producing AHR is incomplete. While structure-function relationships have been evoked to explain AHR (e.g., increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass in asthma) more recently there has been a focus on how the dynamic mechanical environment of the lung impacts airway responsiveness in health and disease. The effects of breathing movements such as deep inspiration reveal innate protective mechanisms in healthy individuals that are likely mediated by dynamic ASM stretch but which may be impaired in asthmatic patients and thereby facilitate AHR. This perspective considers the evidence for and against a role of dynamic ASM stretch in limiting the capacity of airways to narrow excessively. We propose that lung function measured after bronchial provocation in the laboratory and changes in lung function perceived by the patient in everyday life may be quite different in their dependence on dynamic ASM stretch.
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