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Am J Physiol. 1992 Nov;263(5 Pt 1):L555-61.

Role and mechanism of thromboxane-induced proliferation of cultured airway smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Joseph Stokes, Jr., Research Institute, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 19104.


Thromboxane (Tx)A2 has been reported to play an important role in modulating airway contractility under various conditions associated with airways inflammation. To identify its potential role in contributing to airway smooth muscle (ASM) hyperplasia, a characteristic feature of asthmatic airways, the mitogenic effect and mechanism of action of TxA2 were investigated in cultured rabbit ASM cells. The stable TxA2 mimetics, carbocyclic TxA2 (CTA2) and U-46619, elicited dose-dependent (10(-12) to 10(-6) M) increases in ASM cell number and induced acute augmentation of intracellular inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate accumulation. The latter action was blocked by neomycin, a phospholipase C inhibitor; however, neomycin had no effect on the promitogenic action of the TxA2 mimetics. In contrast, TxA2-induced ASM cell proliferation was inhibited by inhibitors of phospholipase A2 and 5-lipoxygenase, as well as blockade of the leukotriene (LT)D4 receptor. Moreover, in complementary studies, we found that exogenous administration of LTD4 (10(-14) to 10(-6) M) potently induced ASM cell proliferation and that the TxA2 mimetics evoked the enhanced release of endogenous leukotrienes from the cultured ASM cells. Taken together, these observations provide new evidence that 1) TxA2 stimulates ASM cell proliferation; 2) the promitogenic effect of TxA2 is associated with activation of phospholipase A2; and 3) the latter mediates ASM cell proliferation via the release and autocrine mitogenic action of leukotrienes. The findings support a potential role for TxA2 in contributing to the characteristic increase in ASM cell mass obtained in asthma and other chronic airway diseases.

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