Robert Silbajoris

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States

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Publications (20)72.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Changes in air temperature are associated with an increase in cardiovascular events, but the role of procoagulant and proinflammatory blood markers is still poorly understood. The authors investigated the association between air temperature and fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1, interleukin-6 and high-sensitivity C reactive protein in two potentially susceptible groups. This prospective panel study was conducted between March 2007 and December 2008 in Augsburg, Germany. The study population comprised 187 participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance and 87 participants with genetic polymorphisms on the detoxification and inflammation pathways. Overall, 1766 repeated blood measurements were collected. Hourly meteorology data were available from a central measurement site. The association between temperature and blood markers was analysed with additive mixed models. For type 2 diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance participants, the authors observed immediate, lagged and cumulative increases in fibrinogen (range of percentage changes in geometric mean: 0.6%-0.8%) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (6.0%-10.1%) in association with a 5°C temperature decrement. Participants with a body mass index above 30 kg/m(2) as well as females showed particularly strong fibrinogen effects. In participants with the special genetic background, 5°C decreases in the 5-day average of temperature led to a change of 8.0% (95% CI 0.5% to 16.2%) in interleukin-6 and of -8.4% (95% CI -15.8% to -0.3%) in high-sensitivity C reactive protein, the latter driven by physically active individuals. The authors observed different temperature effects on blood markers in two potentially susceptible groups probably indicating varying underlying biological mechanisms. This study results might provide a link between temperature and cardiovascular events.
    Occupational and environmental medicine 07/2012; 69(9):670-8. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Airway inflammation is a hallmark of asthma, and suggests a dysregulation of homeostatic mechanisms. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression necessary for the proper function of cellular processes. We tested the hypothesis that differences between healthy and asthmatic subjects may be a result of distinct miRNA cellular profiles that lead to differential regulation of inflammatory genes. We collected human bronchial epithelial cells from seven healthy donors and seven patients with asthma, and profiled miRNA expression, using the Affymetrix (Santa Clara, CA) miRNA array platform. Results were confirmed according to quantitative RT-PCR on RNA isolated from 16 healthy and 16 asthmatic donors. We identified 66 miRNAs that were significantly different (≥ 1.5-fold; P ≤ 0.05) between the two groups, and validated three of them in epithelial cells from 16 asthmatic and 16 healthy subjects. Molecular network analysis indicated that putative targets were principally involved in regulating the expression of inflammatory pathway genes (P ≤ 10(-4)). Our analysis confirmed the prediction that the expression of IL-8, Cox2, and TNF-α was up-regulated in asthmatic cells, whereas the expression of IL-6 was lower compared with that in healthy control subjects. Network analysis was also used to identify a novel asthma-associated gene. The top-ranked predicted target of the highly down-regulated miRNA-203 in asthmatic cells was the aquaporin gene AQP4. Its expression was confirmed to be significantly higher in cells from patients with asthma. Overall, these data suggest that the heightened inflammatory pathway activation observed in patients with asthma may be attributed to underlying aberrant miRNA expression.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 06/2012; 47(4):536-42. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toxicological studies have correlated inflammatory effects of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) with its organic constituents, such as the organic electrophile 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ). To elucidate the mechanisms involved in 1,2-NQ-induced inflammatory responses, we examined the role of oxidant stress in 1,2-NQ-induced expression of inflammatory and adaptive genes in a human airway epithelial cell line. We measured cytosolic redox status and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in living cells using the genetically encoded green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based fluorescent indicators roGFP2 and HyPer, respectively. Expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mRNA was measured in BEAS-2B cells exposed to 1,2-NQ for 1-4 hr. Catalase overexpression and metabolic inhibitors were used to determine the role of redox changes and H2O2 in 1,2-NQ-induced gene expression. Cells expressing roGFP2 and HyPer showed a rapid loss of redox potential and an increase in H2O2 of mitochondrial origin following exposure to 1,2-NQ. Overexpression of catalase diminished the H2O2-dependent signal but not the 1,2-NQ-induced loss of reducing potential. Catalase overexpression and inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration diminished elevations in IL-8 and COX-2 induced by exposure to 1,2-NQ, but potentiated HO-1 mRNA levels in BEAS cells. These data show that 1,2-NQ exposure induces mitochondrial production of H2O2 that mediates the expression of inflammatory genes, but not the concurrent loss of reducing redox potential in BEAS cells. 1,2-NQ exposure also causes marked expression of HO-1 that appears to be enhanced by suppression of H2O2. These findings shed light into the oxidant-dependent events that underlie cellular responses to environmental electrophiles.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 02/2012; 120(2):267-74. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to ambient air particulate matter (PM) has been shown to increase rates of cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality, but the underlying mechanisms are still not well understood.Objective: We examined signaling events involved in the expression of the inflammatory gene interleukin-8 (IL-8) in human airway epithelial cells (HAECs) exposed to ambient PM collected in an urban area of Mexicali, Mexico. We studied IL-8 expression and regulatory signaling pathways in cultured HAECs exposed to Mexicali PM suspended in media for 0-4 hr. Exposure resulted in a dose-dependent, 2- to 8-fold increase in IL-8 mRNA expression relative to controls. PM exposure induced IL-8 transcriptional activity in BEAS-2B cells that was dependent on the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) response element in the IL-8 promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed a 3-fold increase in binding of the p65 (RelA) NF-κB isoform to the IL-8 promoter sequence in HAECs exposed to PM. Western blot analyses showed elevated levels of phosphorylation of p65 but no changes in IκBα phosphorylation or degradation. IL-8 expression was blunted in a dose-dependent manner in BEAS-2B cells transduced with a lentivirus encoding a dominant negative p65 mutant in which phosphorylation sites were inactivated. Taken together, these findings show that the increase in IL-8 mRNA expression in HAECs exposed to PM10 (PM ≤ 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter) is mediated through an NF-κB-dependent signaling mechanism that occurs through a pathway involving direct phosphorylation of the transcription factor p65 in the absence of IκBα degradation. These data show that exposure to PM10 in ambient air can induce inflammatory responses by activating specific signaling mechanisms in HAECs.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 06/2011; 119(10):1379-83. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coarse, fine, and ultrafine particulate matter (PM) fractions possess different physical properties and chemical compositions and may produce different adverse health effects. Studies were undertaken to determine whether or not gene expression patterns may be used to discriminate among the three size fractions. Airway epithelial cells obtained from 6 normal individuals were exposed to Chapel Hill coarse, fine or ultrafine PM (250 μg/ml) for 6 and 24 h (n=3 different individuals each). RNA was isolated and hybridized to Affymetrix cDNA microarrays. Significant genes were identified and mapped to canonical pathways. Expression of selected genes was confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The numbers of genes altered by coarse, fine, and ultrafine PM increased from 0, 6, and 17 at 6 h to 1281, 302, and 455 at 24 h, respectively. The NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response, cell cycle:G2/M DNA damage checkpoint regulation, and mitotic roles of polo-like kinase were the top three pathways altered by all three fractions. Fine and ultrafine PM displayed more similar gene expression patterns. One example was the increased expression of metallothionein isoforms, reflecting the higher zinc content associated with fine and ultrafine fractions. A set of 10 genes was identified that could discriminate fine and ultrafine PM from coarse PM. These results indicate that common properties shared by the three size fractions as well as size-specific factors, e.g., compositions, may determine the effects on gene expression. Genomic markers may be used to discriminate coarse from fine and ultrafine PM.
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 01/2011; 74(5):296-312. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) induces inflammatory signaling characterized by MAP kinase-mediated activation of NFkB and AP-1 in vitro and in bronchial biopsies obtained from human subjects exposed to DEP. NFkB and AP-1 activation results in the upregulation of genes involved in promoting inflammation in airway epithelial cells, a principal target of inhaled DEP. IL-8 is a proinflammatory chemokine expressed by the airway epithelium in response to environmental pollutants. The mechanism by which DEP exposure induces IL-8 expression is not well understood. In the current study, we sought to determine whether DEP with varying organic content induces IL-8 expression in lung epithelial cells, as well as, to develop a method to rapidly evaluate the upstream mechanism(s) by which DEP induces IL-8 expression. Exposure to DEP with varying organic content differentially induced IL-8 expression and IL-8 promoter activity human airway epithelial cells. Mutational analysis of the IL-8 promoter was also performed using recombinant human cell lines expressing reporters linked to the mutated promoters. Treatment with a low organic-containing DEP stimulated IL-8 expression by a mechanism that is predominantly NFkB-dependent. In contrast, exposure to high organic-containing DEP induced IL-8 expression independently of NFkB through a mechanism that requires AP-1 activity. Our study reveals that exposure to DEP of varying organic content induces proinflammatory gene expression through multiple specific mechanisms in human airway epithelial cells. The approaches used in the present study demonstrate the utility of a promoter-reporter assay ensemble for identifying transcriptional pathways activated by pollutant exposure.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Nanodiamond particles (NDP) prepared by detonational processes have a number of industrial and analytical applications. Previous in vitro studies have reported NDP to be biologically inert with negligible cytotoxicity, implying that they are potentially suitable for novel drug delivery applications. Separate studies, however, have shown that elemental carbon particles, a material closely related to NDP, can induce inflammatory responses in the lung. To assess the potential toxicity of exposure to NDP, we examined its effects on IL-8 expression by human airway epithelial cells (HAEC) in vitro. Four-hour exposures of HAEC to 66 µg/ml NDP resulted in IL-8 mRNA increases up to 70-fold over control levels and were accompanied by up to 14-fold increases in IL-8 protein levels in the media. Adenoviral overexpression of catalase significantly reduced NDP-induced IL-8 mRNA expression in HAEC. Interestingly, exposure to NDP did not increase IL-8 transcriptional activity, as measured with the use of IL-8 promoter reporter constructs. Rather, NDP treatment was found to markedly increase the half-life of IL8-mRNA transcripts in HAEC. These findings show a pronounced increase in the expression of IL-8 in HAEC, suggesting that NDP inhalation can cause inflammatory responses in the human lung.
    07/2009; 3(2):152-160.
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to zinc-laden particulate matter in ambient and occupational settings has been associated with proinflammatory responses in the lung. Cyclooxygenase 2-derived eicosanoids are important modulators of airway inflammation. In this study, we characterized the transcriptional and posttranscriptional events that regulate COX-2 expression in a human bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B exposed to Zn2+. Zn2+ exposure resulted in pronounced increases in COX-2 mRNA and protein expression, which were prevented by pretreatment with the transcription inhibitor actinomycin D, implying the involvement of transcriptional regulation. This was supported by the observation of increased COX-2 promoter activity in Zn2+-treated BEAS-2B cells. Mutation of the cAMP response element (CRE), but not the kappaB-binding sites in the COX-2 promoter markedly reduced COX-2 promoter activity induced by Zn2+. Inhibition of NFkappaB activation did not block Zn2+-induced COX-2 expression. Measurement of mRNA stability demonstrated that Zn2+ exposure impaired the degradation of COX-2 mRNA in BEAS-2B cells. This message stabilization effect of Zn2+ exposure was shown to be dependent on the integrity of the 3'-untranslated region found in the COX-2 transcript. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the CRE and mRNA stability regulates COX-2 expression induced in BEAS-2B cells exposed to extracellular Zn2+.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 05/2008; 231(2):260-6. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have implicated zinc (Zn2+) in the toxicity of ambient particulate matter (PM) inhalation. We previously showed that exposure to metal-laden PM inhibits protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) activity in human primary bronchial epithelial cells (HAEC) and leads to Src-dependent activation of EGFR signaling in B82 and A431 cells. In order to elucidate the mechanism of Zn2+-induced EGFR activation in HAEC, we treated HAEC with 500 microM ZnSO4 for 5-20 min and measured the state of activation of EGFR, c-Src and PTPs. Western blots revealed that exposure to Zn2+ results in increased phosphorylation at both trans- and autophosphorylation sites in the EGFR. Zn2+-mediated EGFR phosphorylation did not require ligand binding and was ablated by the EGFR kinase inhibitor PD153035, but not by the Src kinase inhibitor PP2. Src activity was inhibited by Zn2+ treatment of HAEC, consistent with Src-independent EGFR transactivation in HAEC exposed to Zn2+. The rate of exogenous EGFR dephosphorylation in lysates of HAEC exposed to Zn2+ or V4+ was significantly diminished. Moreover, exposure of HAEC to Zn2+ also resulted in a significant impairment of dephosphorylation of endogenous EGFR. These data show that Zn2+-induced activation of EGFR in HAEC involves a loss of PTP activities whose function is to dephosphorylate EGFR in opposition to baseline EGFR kinase activity. These findings also suggest that there are marked cell-type-specific differences in the mechanism of EGFR activation induced by Zn2+ exposure.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 08/2006; 214(1):16-23. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) expression is induced by physiological and inflammatory stimuli. Regulation of COX-2 expression is stimulus and cell type specific. Exposure to Zn2+ has been associated with activation of multiple intracellular signaling pathways as well as the induction of COX-2 expression. This study aims to elucidate the role of intracellular signaling pathways in Zn2+-induced COX-2 expression in human bronchial epithelial cells. Inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) potently block Zn2+-induced COX-2 mRNA and protein expression. Overexpression of adenoviral constructs encoding dominant-negative Akt kinase downstream of PI3K or wild-type phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10, an important PI3K phosphatase, suppresses COX-2 mRNA expression induced by Zn2+. Zn2+ exposure induces phosphorylation of the tyrosine kinases, including Src and EGF receptor (EGFR), and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Blockage of these kinases results in inhibition of Zn2+-induced Akt phosphorylation as well as COX-2 protein expression. Overexpression of dominant negative p38 constructs suppresses Zn2+-induced increase in COX-2 promoter activity. In contrast, the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and the extracellular signal-regulated kinases have minimal effect on Akt phosphorylation and COX-2 expression. Inhibition of p38, Src, and EGFR kinases with pharmacological inhibitors markedly reduces Akt phosphorylation induced by Zn2+. However, the PI3K inhibitors do not show inhibitory effects on p38, Src, and EGFR. These data suggest that p38 and EGFR kinase-mediated Akt activation is required for Zn2+-induced COX-2 expression and that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway plays a central role in this event.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 12/2005; 289(5):L883-9. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies suggest that ultrafine particles contribute to particulate matter-induced adverse health effects. Interleukin (IL)-8 is an important proinflammatory cytokine in the human lung that is induced in respiratory cells exposed to a variety of environmental insults, including ambient air ultrafine particles. In this study, we examined the effect of a model ultrafine particle on IL-8 expression and the cellular mechanisms responsible for this event. Here, we report that carbonaceous ultrafine particles consisting of synthetic elemental carbon particles (UfCP) markedly increase the expression of IL-8 mRNA and protein in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells. IL-8 promoter activity was increased by UfCP exposure in NHBE cells, indicating UfCP-induced IL-8 expression is transcriptionally regulated. IL-8 expression in NHBE is known to be regulated by nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation. However, UfCP did not induce inhibitory factor kappaBalpha degradation, NF-kappaB-DNA binding, or NF-kappaB-dependent promoter activity in NHBE cells, indicating that UfCP induces IL-8 expression through a mechanism that is independent of NF-kappaB activation. Additionally, we observed that UfCP exposure induces the phosphorylation and activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in a biphasic manner and that the inhibition of p38 MAPK activity can block IL-8 mRNA expression induced by UfCP in NHBE cells. These results demonstrate that UfCP-induced expression of IL-8 involves a transcriptional mechanism and activation of p38 MAPK in NHBE cells.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 04/2005; 288(3):L432-41. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary cultures of normal human airway epithelial cells (NHBE) respond to ambient air pollution particulate matter (PM) by increased production of the cytokine IL-8, and the induction of several oxidant stress response genes. Components of ambient air PM responsible for stimulating epithelial cells have not been conclusively identified, although metal contaminants, benzo[a]pyrene and biological matter have been implicated. Stimulation of IL-8 release from NHBE with coarse (PM(2.5-10)), fine (PM2.5), and UF particle fractions has shown that the coarse particle fraction has the greatest effect on the epithelial cells as well as alveolar macrophages (AM). Since this fraction concentrates fugitive dusts and particle-associated microbial matter, it was hypothesized that NHBE may recognize PM through microbial pattern recognition receptors TLR2 and TLR4, as has been previously shown with AM. NHBE were shown to release IL-8 when exposed to a Gram-positive environmental isolate of Staphylococcus lentus, and lower levels when exposed to Gram-negative Pseudomonas spp. Comparison of TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA expression in NHBE and AM showed that NHBE express similar levels of TLR2 mRNA as the AM, but expressed very low levels of TLR4. When NHBE were stimulated with PM(2.5-10), PM2.5, and UF PM, in the presence or absence of inhibitors of TLR2 and TLR4 activation, a blocking antibody to TLR2 inhibited production of IL-8, while TLR4 antagonist E5531 or the LPS inhibitor Polymixin B had no effect. Furthermore, effects on expression of TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA, as well as the stress protein HSP70 was assessed in NHBE exposed to PM. TLR4 expression was increased in these cells while TLR2 mRNA levels were unchanged. Hsp70 was increased by PM(2.5-10) > PM2.5 > UF PM suggesting the possibility of indirect activation of TLR pathway by this endogenous TLR2/4 agonist.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 02/2005; 203(1):45-52. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that exposure to zinc ions can activate epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) signaling in murine fibroblasts and A431 cells through a mechanism involving Src kinase. While studying the effects of zinc ions in normal human bronchial epithelial cell, we uncovered evidence for an additional mechanism of Zn(2+)-induced EGFR activation. Exposure to Zn(2+) induced phosphorylation of EGFR at tyrosine 1068, a major autophosphorylation site, in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. This effect of Zn(2+) on EGFR was significantly blocked with an antibody against the ligand-binding domain of the receptor. Neutralizing antibodies against EGFR ligands revealed the involvement of heparin-binding EGF (HB-EGF) in Zn(2+)-induced EGFR phosphorylation. This observation was further supported by immunoblots showing elevated levels of HB-EGF released by Zn(2+)-exposed cells. Zymography showed the existence of matrix metalloproteinase-3 in Zn(2+)-challenged cells. Incubation with a specific matrix metalloproteinase-3 inhibitor suppressed Zn(2+)-induced EGFR phosphorylation as well as HB-EGF release. Therefore, these data support an autocrine or paracrine mechanism whereby Zn(2+) induces EGFR phosphorylation through the extracellular release of EGFR ligands, which may be mediated by metalloproteinases.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 05/2004; 30(4):540-7. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite a lack of transferrin, hypotransferrinemic (Hp) mice demonstrate an accumulation of iron in peripheral organs including the lungs. One potential candidate for such transferrin-independent uptake of iron is divalent metal transporter-1 (DMT1), an established iron transporter. We tested the hypothesis that increased concentrations of iron in the lungs of Hp mice are associated with elevations in DMT1 expression. With the use of inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy, measurements of nonheme iron confirmed significantly elevated concentrations in the lung tissue of Hp mice relative to the wild-type mice. Western blot analyses for the expression of two isoforms of DMT1 in the Hp mice relative to the wild-type animals demonstrated an elevation for the isoform that lacks an iron-responsive element (IRE) with significant decrements in the expression of +IRE DMT1. With the use of immunohistochemistry, -IRE DMT1 was localized to both airway epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages in wild-type mice. Staining appeared increased in both types of cells in the Hp mice. Elevated concentrations of both tissue nonheme iron and expression of -IRE DMT1 in the Hp mice were associated with increased quantities of -IRE mRNA. There was no difference between wild-type and homozygotic Hp mice in the amount of mRNA for DMT1 +IRE. We conclude that differences between Hp and wild-type mice in nonheme iron concentrations were accompanied by increases in the expression of -IRE DMT1. Increased expression of -IRE DMT1 in the lungs of the Hp mice could be responsible for elevated concentrations of the metal in these tissues.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 07/2003; 284(6):L938-44. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    James M Samet, Robert Silbajoris, Tony Huang, Ilona Jaspers
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    ABSTRACT: Metallic constituents contained in ambient particulate matter have been associated with adverse effects in a number of epidemiologic, in vitro, and in vivo studies. Residual oil fly ash (ROFA) is a metallic by-product of the combustion of fossil fuel oil, which has been shown to induce a variety of proinflammatory responses in lung cells. We have examined signaling pathways activated in response to ROFA exposure and recently reported that ROFA treatment activates multiple mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in the rat lung. In the present study we extended our investigations on the mechanism of toxicity of ROFA to include transcription factors whose activities are regulated by MAP kinases as well as possible effectors of transcriptional changes that mediate the effects of ROFA. We applied immunohistochemical methods to detect ROFA-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF kappa B), activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2), c-Jun, and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in intact lung tissue and confirmed and characterized their functional activation using DNA binding assays. We performed these studies using a perfused rabbit lung model that is devoid of blood elements in order to distinguish between intrinsic lung cell effects and effects that are secondary to inflammatory cell influx. We report here that exposure to ROFA results in a rapid activation of all of the transcription factors studied by exerting direct effects on lung cells. These findings validate the use of immunohistochemistry to detect transcription factor activation in vivo and demonstrate the utility of studying signaling changes in response to environmental exposures.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 11/2002; 110(10):985-90. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated increased human morbidity and mortality with elevations in the concentration of ambient air particulate matter (PM). Fugitive fly ash from the combustion of oil and residual fuel oil significantly contributes to the ambient air particle burden. Residual oil fly ash (ROFA) is remarkable in the capacity to provoke injury in experimental systems. The unique composition of this emission source particle makes it particularly useful as a surrogate for ambient air PM in studies of biologic effects testing the hypothesis that metals mediate the biologic effects of air pollution particles. A majority of the in vitro and animal model investigations support the postulate that transition metals present in ROFA (especially vanadium) participate in Fenton-like chemical reactions to produce reactive oxygen species. This is associated with tyrosine phosphorylation, nuclear factor kappa B and other transcription factor activation, induction of inflammatory mediator expression, and inflammatory lung injury. It is also evident that vanadium accounts for a significant portion of the biologic activity of ROFA. The extrapolation of this body of investigation on ROFA to the field of ambient air PM is difficult, as particles in numerous environments have such small amounts of vanadium.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2002; 110 Suppl 1:89-94. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Residual oil fly ash (ROFA) is a constituent of pollutant particles that can produce lung injury and activate protein tyrosine phosphorylation cascade. In this study, we determined whether or not protein tyrosine phosphorylation caused lung injury, and if so, identified critical tyrosinephosphorylated proteins that mediated the injury. ROFA was instilled intratracheally into perfused rabbit lungs and injury responses, including increase in pulmonary artery pressure (Ppa), lung weight gain, as well as release of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, and nitrite/nitrate were measured. ROFA increased Ppa and IL-1beta, but inhibited nitrite/nitrate accumulation. Vanadyl sulfate at concentration equivalent to the amount of vanadium detected in the perfusate of ROFA-treated lungs induced similar changes. ROFA enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of lung proteins, including a 170-kDa protein, likely the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor as shown by immunoprecipitation. Pretreatment with genistein, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, blocked the increase in Ppa and tyrosine phosphorylation of the 170-kDa protein. Intravascular administration of human EGF increased Ppa, and pretreatment with PD153035, an EGF receptor-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor, attenuated ROFA-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction. These results indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation of EGF receptors in the lung, possibly as a result of inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatases, mediates constriction of pulmonary vessels induced by ROFA.
    Experimental Lung Research 01/2002; 28(1):19-38. · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Residual oil fly ash (ROFA) is a particulate pollutant produced in the combustion of fuel oil. Exposure to ROFA is associated with adverse respiratory effects in humans, induces lung inflammation in animals, and induces inflammatory mediator expression in cultured human airway epithelial cells (HAEC). ROFA has a high content of transition metals, including vanadium, a potent tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor that we have previously shown to disregulate phosphotyrosine metabolism and activate mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascades in HAEC. In order to study MAPK activation in response to in vivo metal exposure, we used immunohistochemical methods to detect levels of phosphorylated protein tyrosines (P-Tyr) and the MAPKs ERK1/2, JNK, and P38 in lung sections from rats intratracheally exposed to ROFA. After a 1-h exposure to 500 microg ROFA, rat lungs showed no histological changes and no significant increases in immunostaining for either P-Tyr or phospho-(P-) MAPKs compared to saline-instilled controls. At 4 h of exposure, there was mild and variable inflammation in the lung, which was accompanied by an increase in specific immunostaining for P-Tyr and P-MAPKs in airway and alveolar epithelial cells and resident macrophages. By 24 h of exposure, there was a pronounced inflammatory response to ROFA instillation and a marked increase in levels of P-Tyr and P-MAPKs present within the alveolar epithelium and in the inflammatory cells, while the airway epithelium showed a continued increase in the expression of P-ERK1/2. By comparison, HAEC cultures exposed to 100 microg/ml ROFA for 20 min resulted in marked increases in P-Tyr and P-MAPKs, which persisted after 24 h of exposure. P-Tyr levels continued to accumulate for up to 24 h in HAEC exposed to ROFA. These results demonstrate in vivo activation in cell signaling pathways in response to pulmonary exposure to particulate matter, and support the relevance of in vitro studies in the identification of mechanisms of lung injury induced by pollutant inhalation.
    Inhalation Toxicology 07/2000; 12(6):453-68. · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • J M Samet, R Silbajoris, W Wu, L M Graves
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    ABSTRACT: We previously showed that exposure to metal-laden combustion particles disregulates protein tyrosine phosphate homeostasis in human airway epithelial cells (HAEC). More recently, we reported that exposure to certain metal ions activates mitogen-activated protein kinases in HAEC. To study the mechanism responsible, we examined the effects of arsenic (As), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn) on tyrosine phosphate catabolism in BEAS S6 cells or cultured human bronchial epithelial cells. Western blots and immunocytochemical analyses showed that exposure to noncytotoxic levels of As, V, or Zn resulted in increased levels of protein phosphotyrosines in HAEC. Tyrosine phosphatase activity, measured against [(32)P]-labeled PolyGlu:Tyr, was markedly inhibited in cells treated with V or Zn but was unaffected by exposure to As. Fast performance liquid chromatography fractionation and subsequent in-gel phosphatase activity assay of HAEC protein extracts revealed the presence of numerous tyrosine phosphatases, of varying molecular weights, that were effectively inhibited by exposure to V or Zn ions. As had no discernible effect on these enzymes. The protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B, immunoprecipitated from HAEC, was similarly inhibited by V and Zn but not by As ions. These data show that V and Zn may induce tyrosine phosphate accumulation by inhibiting dephosphorylation and implicate kinase activation as the mechanism in HAEC exposed to As. These findings suggest that metal exposure can activate signaling pathways through multiple mechanisms.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 10/1999; 21(3):357-64. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Wehave,previously shown,that exposure to zinc ions can activate EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling in murine,fibroblasts and A431 cells through a mechanism involving Src kinase. While studying the effects of zinc ions in normal human bronchial epithelial cell, we uncovered,evidence ,for an additional ,mechanism ,of Zn,-induced EGFR activation.