Th1 cytokine-induced syndecan-4 shedding by airway smooth muscle cells is dependent on mitogen-activated protein kinases

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Journal Article
American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 2012, 302 (7)
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In asthma, airway smooth muscle (ASM) chemokine secretion can induce mast cell recruitment into the airways. The functions of the mast cell chemoattractant CXCL10, and other chemokines, are regulated by binding to heparan sulphates such as syndecan-4. This study is the first demonstration that airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC) from people with and without asthma express and shed syndecan-4 under basal conditions. Syndecan-4 shedding was enhanced by stimulation for 24 h with the Th1 cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) or tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), but not interferon-γ (IFNγ), nor the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13. ASMC stimulation with IL-1β, TNF-α, and IFNγ (cytomix) induced the highest level of syndecan-4 shedding. Nonasthmatic and asthmatic ASM cell-associated syndecan-4 protein expression was also increased by TNF-α or cytomix at 4-8 h, with the highest levels detected in cytomix-stimulated asthmatic cells. Cell-associated syndecan- 4 levels were decreased by 24 h, whereas shedding remained elevated at 24 h, consistent with newly synthesized syndecan-4 being shed. Inhibition of ASMC matrix metalloproteinase-2 did not prevent syndecan-4 shedding, whereas inhibition of ERK MAPK activation reduced shedding from cytomix-stimulated ASMC. Although ERK inhibition had no effect on syndecan-4 mRNA levels stimulated by cytomix, it did cause an increase in cell-associated syndecan-4 levels, consistent with the shedding being inhibited. In conclusion, ASMC produce and shed syndecan-4 and although this is increased by the Th1 cytokines, the MAPK ERK only regulates shedding. ASMC syndecan-4 production during Th1 inflammatory conditions may regulate chemokine activity and mast cell recruitment to the ASM in asthma. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.
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