[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies showed an association between latent adenoviral infection with expression of the adenoviral E1A gene and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The present study focuses on how the adenoviral E1A gene could alter expression of growth factors by human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. The data show that connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 1 mRNA and protein expression were upregulated in E1A-positive HBE cells. Upregulation of CTGF in this in vitro model was independent of TGF-beta secreted into the growth medium. Comparison of E1A-positive with E1A-negative HBE cells showed that both expressed cytokeratin but only E1A-positive cells expressed the mesenchymal markers vimentin and alpha-smooth muscle actin. We conclude that latent infection of epithelial cells by adenovirus E1A could contribute to airway remodeling in COPD by the viral E1A gene, inducing TGF-beta 1 and CTGF expression and shifting cells to a more mesenchymal phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibrosis around the smooth muscle of asthmatic airway walls leads to irreversible airway obstruction. Bronchial epithelial cells release granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in asthmatics and are in close proximity to airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC). The findings in this study demonstrate that GM-CSF induces confluent, prolonged, serum-deprived cultures of ASMC to increase expression of collagen I and fibronectin. GM-CSF also induced ASMC to increase the expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta receptors type I, II, and III (TbetaR-I, TbetaR-II, TbetaR-III), but had no detectable effect on the release of TGF-beta1 by the same ASMC. The presence of GM-CSF also induced the association of TGF-beta1 with TbetaR-III, which enhances binding of TGF-beta1 to TbetaR-II. The induction of TbetaRs was parallel to the increased induction of phosphorylated Smad2 (pSmad2) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), indicative of TGF-beta-mediated connective tissue synthesis. Dexamethasone decreased GM-CSF-induced TbetaR-I, TbetaR-II, TbetaR-III, pSmad2, CTGF, collagen I, and fibronectin. In conclusion, GM-CSF increases the responsiveness of ASMC to TGF-beta1-mediated connective tissue expression by induction of TbetaRs, which is inhibited by corticosteroids.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In severe or chronic asthma, there is an increase in airway smooth muscle cell (ASMC) mass as well as an increase in connective tissue proteins in the smooth muscle layer of airways. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) exists in three isoforms in mammals and is a potent regulator of connective tissue protein synthesis. Using immunohistochemistry, we had previously demonstrated that ASMCs contain large quantities of TGF-beta1-3. In this study, we demonstrate that bovine ASMC-derived TGF-beta associates with the TGF-beta latency binding protein-1 (LTBP-1) expressed by the same cells. The TGF-beta associated with LTBP-1 localizes TGF-beta extracellularly. Furthermore, plasmin, a serine protease, regulates the secretion of a biologically active form of TGF-beta by ASMCs as well as the release of extracellular TGF-beta. The biologically active TGF-beta released by plasmin induces ASMCs to synthesize collagen I in an autocrine manner. The autocrine induction of collagen expression by ASMCs may contribute to the irreversible fibrosis and remodeling seen in the airways of some asthmatics.