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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1999 Aug;21(2):259-67.

Multiple epithelial cell-derived factors enhance neutrophil survival. Regulation by glucocorticoids and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.


We examined the potential of several epithelial-derived factors to enhance neutrophil activation and survival. Neutrophils incubated in the presence of supernatants from nasal-derived primary epithelial cultures had significantly increased survival compared with neutrophils cultured in media alone. Of the cytokines reported to enhance neutrophil survival, transcripts for interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (but not interferon-gamma or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF]) were detected by ribonuclease protection assay in basal and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha- stimulated epithelial cells. Of the eicosanoid products that enhance neutrophil survival, platelet-activating factor and leukotriene B(4) were not detected in the supernatants, whereas prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) was produced in modest amounts. The levels of IL-6, GM-CSF, and PGE(2) in epithelial supernatants were significantly increased after transient TNF-alpha stimulation. This induction was suppressed if dexamethasone (Dex) was added during TNF-alpha stimulation. Only IL-6, GM-CSF, and PGE(2) promoted neutrophil survival over the range of concentrations detected in the supernatants, and a combination of neutralizing antibodies to GM-CSF and IL-6 completely inhibited the enhanced neutrophil survival in epithelial supernatants. Both the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling technique and morphologic scoring of apoptotic neutrophils confirmed that epithelial supernatants, as well as purified IL-6, GM-CSF, and PGE(2) all delayed neutrophil apoptosis. Finally, the effects of Dex on neutrophil survival and on epithelial cytokine production were investigated. Dex independently prolonged neutrophil survival but suppressed epithelial production of survival-enhancing factors in a dose-dependent manner. The net effect of Dex appeared to favor neutrophil survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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