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Inflammation. 2002 Dec;26(6):279-90.

Glucocorticoids modulate TGF-beta production.

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Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-5125, USA.


TGF-beta is thought to play a central role in pulmonary fibrosis inducing fibroblast differentiation and extracellular matrix synthesis. In human lung fibroblasts, it is still unclear how various TGB-beta isoforms affect TGF-beta production and whether glucocorticoids, commonly used agents to treat fibrotic lung disease, modulate these processes. To this end, human fetal lung fibroblasts (HFL-1) were cultured with various concentrations of glucocorticoids (budesonide, dexamethasone or hydrocortisone) with and without TFG-beta1, -beta2, and -beta3. TGF-beta mRNA was assessed by real time RT-PCR. Smad 2, 3, and 4 and AP-1 complex (c-fos and c-Jun) cellular localization were evaluated by immunostaining. TGF-beta2 and -beta3 stimulated TGF-beta1 production significantly (p < 0.01 relative to control). TGF-beta1 stimulated TGF-beta2 production (p < 0.01 relative to control). TGF-beta3 was undetectable. Glucocorticoids significantly inhibited TGF-beta1 and -beta2 production and reduced expression of the upregulated TGF-beta1 and -beta2 mRNA induced by exogenous TGF-beta1, -beta2 or -beta3 (p < 0.01 for each) but had no effect on Smads. Although c-jun-related nuclear staining was not intensified in TGF-beta-stimulated cells, it was reduced by glucocorticoids. Thus, TGF-beta isoforms may stimulate production of various TGF-beta isoforms in the lung. Glucocorticoids then may block TGF-beta production by modulating mRNA levels and c-Jun.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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