Induces STAT6-Dependent Acute Airway Eosinophilia and Epithelial FIZZ1 Expression That Promotes Airway Fibrosis and Epithelial Thickness

Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0635, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 03/2012; 188(6):2622-9. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1101632
Source: PubMed


The fungal allergen, Alternaria, is specifically associated with severe asthma, including life-threatening exacerbations. To better understand the acute innate airway response to Alternaria, naive wild-type (WT) mice were challenged once intranasally with Alternaria. Naive WT mice developed significant bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia following Alternaria challenge when analyzed 24 h later. In contrast to Alternaria, neither Aspergillus nor Candida induced bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia. Gene microarray analysis of airway epithelial cell brushings demonstrated that Alternaria-challenged naive WT mice had a >20-fold increase in the level of expression of found in inflammatory zone 1 (FIZZ1/Retnla), a resistin-like molecule. Lung immunostaining confirmed strong airway epithelial FIZZ1 expression as early as 3 h after a single Alternaria challenge that persisted for ≥5 d and was significantly reduced in STAT6-deficient, but not protease-activated receptor 2-deficient mice. Bone marrow chimera studies revealed that STAT6 expressed in lung cells was required for epithelial FIZZ1 expression, whereas STAT6 present in bone marrow-derived cells contributed to airway eosinophilia. Studies investigating which cells in the nonchallenged lung bind FIZZ1 demonstrated that CD45(+)CD11c(+) cells (macrophages and dendritic cells), as well as collagen-1-producing CD45(-) cells (fibroblasts), can bind to FIZZ1. Importantly, direct administration of recombinant FIZZ1 to naive WT mice led to airway eosinophilia, peribronchial fibrosis, and increased thickness of the airway epithelium. Thus, Alternaria induces STAT6-dependent acute airway eosinophilia and epithelial FIZZ1 expression that promotes airway fibrosis and epithelial thickness. This may provide some insight into the uniquely pathogenic aspects of Alternaria-associated asthma.

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    • "Consistent with the latter finding, in the present study FIZZ1 was shown to promote migration of CD11c+ BMDCs in vitro, while the BLM-induced recruitment of CD11c+ cells to the lung was abrogated in FIZZ1 deficient mice, similar to that seen in FIZZ2 deficient mice [29]. Indeed, FIZZ1 can bind to lung CD45+CD11c+ dendritic cells in a fungal allergen (Alternaria) induced asthma model, in addition to collagen-1 producing CD45- fibroblasts [38]. FIZZ1 can stimulate the production of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) in lung resident cells [9], suggesting that it could also indirectly attract BM-derived cells by increasing production of chemoattractants (such as SDF-1) in the fibrotic lung. "
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    ABSTRACT: FIZZ (found in inflammatory zone) 1, a member of a cysteine-rich secreted protein family, is highly induced in lung allergic inflammation and bleomycin induced lung fibrosis, and primarily expressed by airway and type II alveolar epithelial cells. This novel mediator is known to stimulate α-smooth muscle actin and collagen expression in lung fibroblasts. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vivo effects of FIZZ1 on the development of lung fibrosis by evaluating bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in FIZZ1 deficient mice. FIZZ1 knockout mice exhibited no detectable abnormality. When these mice were treated with bleomycin they exhibited significantly impaired pulmonary fibrosis relative to wild type mice, along with impaired proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression. Deficient lung fibroblast activation was also noted in the FIZZ1 knockout mice. Moreover, recruitment of bone marrow-derived cells to injured lung was deficient in FIZZ1 knockout mice. Interestingly in vitro FIZZ1 was shown to have chemoattractant activity for bone marrow cells, including bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Finally, overexpression of FIZZ1 exacerbated fibrosis. These findings suggested that FIZZ1 exhibited profibrogenic properties essential for bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis, as reflected by its ability to induce myofibroblast differentiation and recruit bone marrow-derived cells.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Recent reports have suggested a role for serine and aspartate proteases in the cellular effects of Alternaria but, to our knowledge, this is the first work which suggests that both classes of protease exert significant effects. For example, it has been suggested that the active component(s) of Alternaria in the induction of proinflammatory responses in bronchial epithelial cells is serine protease(s) acting on PAR-2 [40], although this has not been confirmed in vivo [49]. In contrast, it has been suggested recently that the actions of Alternaria on epithelial cells and eosinophils are sensitive to aspartate protease inhibition, but not to serine protease or cysteine protease inhibition [50]–[52]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sensitization and exposure to the allergenic fungus Alternaria alternata has been associated with increased risk of asthma and asthma exacerbations. The first cells to encounter inhaled allergens are epithelial cells at the airway mucosal surface. Epithelial barrier function has previously been reported to be defective in asthma. This study investigated the contribution of proteases from Alternaria alternata on epithelial barrier function and inflammatory responses and compared responses of in vitro cultures of differentiated bronchial epithelial cells derived from severely asthmatic donors with those from non-asthmatic controls. Polarised 16HBE cells or air-liquid interface (ALI) bronchial epithelial cultures from non-asthmatic or severe asthmatic donors were challenged apically with extracts of Alternaria and changes in inflammatory cytokine release and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) were measured. Protease activity in Alternaria extracts was characterised and the effect of selectively inhibiting protease activity on epithelial responses was examined using protease inhibitors and heat-treatment. In 16HBE cells, Alternaria extracts stimulated release of IL-8 and TNFα, with concomitant reduction in TER; these effects were prevented by heat-treatment of the extracts. Examination of the effects of protease inhibitors suggested that serine proteases were the predominant class of proteases mediating these effects. ALI cultures from asthmatic donors exhibited a reduced IL-8 response to Alternaria relative to those from healthy controls, while neither responded with increased thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) release. Only cultures from asthmatic donors were susceptible to the barrier-weakening effects of Alternaria. Therefore, the bronchial epithelium of severely asthmatic individuals may be more susceptible to the deleterious effects of Alternaria.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Previous studies provide conflicting evidence regarding the in vivo involvement of Fizz1 in promoting forms of pulmonary fibrosis [7-10,14]. Fizz1 overexpression using adenoviral gene transfer or hypoxia increased the recruitment of bone marrow derived cells (BMD) to the lung and increased vascular remodeling with fibrotic changes localized to pulmonary arteries [8,15]. In a mouse model of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, the recruitment of BMD cells was associated with a concomitant increase in Fizz1 levels in the lung. "
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    ABSTRACT: Resistin-like molecule alpha or found in inflammatory zone protein (Fizz1) is increased in pulmonary epithelial cells and also in limited amounts by other lung cells during various lung injuries and fibrosis. However, the direct role of Fizz1 produced in the pulmonary epithelium has not been determined. Fizz1 Transgenic mice (CCSP/Fizz1) were generated that overexpress Fizz1 in the lung epithelium under the control of a doxycycline (Dox) inducible lung epithelial cell specific promoter Scgb1a1 (Clara cell secretory protein, CCSP). Histology and FACS analysis of lung cells were used to identify the direct effects of Fizz1 in the transgenic mice (Dox treated) when compared with control (CCSP/-) mice. Intratracheal bleomycin sulfate or silica in saline and saline alone were used to study the role of Fizz1 during bleomycin- and silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis in CCSP/Fizz1 and CCSP/- mice. Weight change, pulmonary inflammation, and fibrosis were assessed 10 days post bleomycin or 28 days post silica challenge. When CCSP/Fizz1 mice were fed Dox food, elevated Fizz1 protein was detected in lung homogenates by western blot. Lungs of mice in which Fizz1 was induced in the epithelium contained increased lung cells staining for CD11c and F4/80 by FACS analysis consistent with increased dendritic cells however, no changes were observed in the percentage of interstitial macrophages compared to CCSP/- controls. No significant changes were found in the lung histology of CCSP/Fizz1 mice after up to 8 weeks of overexpression compared to CCSP/- controls. Overexpression of Fizz1 prior to challenge or following challenge with bleomycin or silica did not significantly alter airway inflammation or fibrosis compared to control mice. The current study demonstrates that epithelial cell derived Fizz1 is sufficient to increase the bone-marrow derived dendritic cells in the lungs, but it is not sufficient to cause lung fibrosis or alter chemical or particle-induced fibrosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Respiratory research
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