ABSTRACT: Airway epithelial cells are the first cells to be challenged upon contact with the conidia of Aspergillus. In response, they express pattern-recognition receptors that play fundamental roles as sentinels and mediators of pulmonary innate immunity. The C-type lectin Dectin-1 is expressed predominantly on the surface of myeloid lineage cells. We examined the induction, regulation, and functions of Dectin-1 in pulmonary epithelial cells by challenging human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells with A. fumigatus. Inflammatory, antimicrobial peptide genes and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were quantified, with and without knockdown of Dectin-1. We found that A. fumigatus induced the expression of Dectin-1 mRNA and protein in HBE cells in a toll-like receptor (TLR) 2-dependent manner. In addition, A. fumigatus-mediated generation of ROS was dependent on the upregulation of Dectin-1. Moreover, A. fumigatus actively induced the expression of TNFα, GM-CSF, IL8, HBD2, and HBD9. Knockdown of Dectin-1 inhibited TNFα, IL8, HBD2, and HBD9 expression. Hence, Dectin-1 was required for the upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and antimicrobial peptides. Finally, knockdown of TLR2 significantly inhibited Dectin-1 upregulation. Our results demonstrate the novel induction of Dectin-1 in human bronchial epithelial cells and its critical role in the innate immune response against A. fumigatus in non-phagocytic cells.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology 05/2012; 31(10):2755-64. · 2.86 Impact Factor