Differential deposition of fibronectin by asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells

Publication Type:
Journal Article
American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 2015, 309 (10), pp. L1093 - L1102
Issue Date:
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© 2015 the American Physiological Society. Altered ECM protein deposition is a feature in asthmatic airways. Fibronectin (Fn), an ECM protein produced by human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), is increased in asthmatic airways. This study investigated the regulation of Fn production in asthmatic or nonasthmatic HBECs and whether Fn modulated HBEC proliferation and inflammatory mediator secretion. The signaling pathways underlying transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-regulated Fn production were examined using specific inhibitors for ERK, JNK, p38 MAPK, phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase, and activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5). Asthmatic HBECs deposited higher levels of Fn in the ECM than nonasthmatic cells under basal conditions, whereas cells from the two groups had similar levels of Fn mRNA and soluble Fn. TGF-β1 increased mRNA levels and ECM and soluble forms of Fn but decreased cell proliferation in both cells. The rate of increase in Fn mRNA was higher in nonasthmatic cells. However, the excessive amounts of ECM Fn deposited by asthmatic cells after TGF-β1 stimulation persisted compared with nonasthmatic cells. Inhibition of ALK5 completely prevented TGF- β1-induced Fn deposition. Importantly, ECM Fn increased HBEC proliferation and IL-6 release, decreased PGE2 secretion, but had no effect on VEGF release. Soluble Fn had no effect on cell proliferation and inflammatory mediator release. Asthmatic HBECs are intrinsically primed to produce more ECM Fn, which when deposited into the ECM, is capable of driving remodeling and inflammation. The increased airway Fn may be one of the key driving factors in the persistence of asthma and represents a novel, therapeutic target.
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