[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is postulated to have a role in ARDS. The functional VEGF + 936 polymorphic T allele is associated with an increased susceptibility to and severity of ARDS. The reasons for this are unclear. We hypothesized that the T allele would be associated with an alteration in the relation between epithelial lining fluid (ELF) and plasma VEGF levels as a potential explanation for its association with susceptibility to and severity of ARDS.
Plasma and ELF VEGF protein levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from 10 at-risk patients receiving mechanical ventilation and 16 ARDS patients with the T allele, as well as 18 at-risk patients receiving mechanical ventilation and 26 ARDS patients without the T allele (wild-type CC genotype).
The T allele was associated with a significantly lower mean ELF VEGF level in ARDS patients (2,090 +/- 758 pg/mL vs 3,292 +/- 865 pg/mL, p < 0.05) and mean ELF/plasma VEGF level ratio (13.7 +/- 4.6 pg/mL vs 94.7 +/- 51.2 pg/mL, p < 0.01). There was no relation between the T allele and plasma VEGF level, oxygenation, or acute physiology score in at-risk and ARDS patients. ELF VEGF levels were significantly higher than plasma levels in both cohorts except for at-risk patients without the T allele (wild-type CC genotype).
The T allele is associated with a significant decrease in ELF levels and the ELF/plasma ratio in ARDS patients. This may explain the increased susceptibility and physiologic derangement in ARDS patients with the T allele. We speculate VEGF has a protective function in the lung. Further studies are necessary to clarify the underlying mechanisms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Membrane-associated TNF-alpha cleavage is required to yield the 17.5-kD soluble product. This process is poorly understood in human cells, and no studies have related this process to the alveolar macrophage (AM). TNF-alpha-converting enzyme (TACE) is known to cleave TNF at the Ala-76-Val-77 site. We have evaluated the expression, regulation, and catalytic function of TACE in healthy human AMs. TACE was detected on the surface of AMs using flow cytometry. TACE protein can be upregulated by LPS (P = 0.036) and IFN-gamma. LPS-induced expression is downregulated by IL-10 (P = 0.04) and TNF-alpha. TACE regulation was observed at the mRNA level. TACE catalytic activity as assessed by cleavage of glutathione S-transferase-proTNF fusion protein correlates significantly with TACE protein expression (P = 0.04). However, cleavage and soluble TNF-alpha release by AMs was inhibited by matrix metalloproteinase and serine protease inhibitors, suggesting a role for a serine protease in this process. We confirmed the presence of proteinase-3 (PR-3) on the AM surface that was functionally capable of TNF cleavage. PR-3 mRNA expression was not found in AMs. However, we determined that PR-3 from neutrophil supernatants could bind to the AM membrane, suggesting that AM-derived PR-3 is from an exogenous source, which is important in the context of inflammation.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 03/2006; 34(2):219-25. · 4.15 Impact Factor