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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2004 Jul;287(1):L119-26. Epub 2004 Mar 12.

Differentiation-dependent responsiveness of bronchial epithelial cells to IL-4/13 stimulation.

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  • 1Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

The Th2 cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 are thought to play critical roles in the airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness that characterize asthma. Recent evidence indicates that IL-13 can mediate these effects by acting directly on airway epithelial cells. Here we evaluated early [signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)6 phosphorylation] and delayed [granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and transforming growth factor-beta(2) (TGF-beta(2)) secretion] responses of airway epithelial cells to IL-4 and IL-13 stimulation and the dependence of these responses on the culture technique employed. As expected, normal human bronchial epithelial cells grown on microporous inserts at an air-liquid interface (ALI) expressed a well-differentiated mucociliary phenotype; in contrast, cells grown on plastic in submerged cultures were poorly differentiated. When stimulated with IL-4 or IL-13, the magnitude and duration of STAT6 phosphorylation under the differing culture conditions were statistically indistinguishable. In contrast, cytokine secretion responses to IL-4 and IL-13 were highly dependent on the culture technique; cells cultured on plastic exhibited significant concentration-dependent increases in GM-CSF and TGF-beta(2) secretion, whereas cells grown at ALI showed no statistically significant response. These results demonstrate that the coupling between early signal transduction responses to IL-4 and IL-13 and downstream functions such as cytokine secretion may be critically dependent on the cell culture technique employed and the resulting differentiation status of bronchial epithelial cells.

PMID:
15020299
DOI:
10.1152/ajplung.00365.2003
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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