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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1993 Jan;8(1):43-9.

Cytokines increase neutral endopeptidase activity in lung fibroblasts.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, Tyler 75710.


Fibroblasts of the pulmonary interstitium are intimately involved in the response of the lung to inflammation as well as in repair of injured tissues. The response of fibroblasts within an inflammatory site appears to be directed, in part, by peptide mediators. Neutral endopeptidase (NEP), a metallopeptidase on the surface membrane of fibroblasts, can inactivate various vasoactive peptides, including kinins and tachykinins. Because lung fibroblasts both secrete cytokines and respond to mediators within the immediate environment, NEP might be regulated by locally generated cytokines. We found that several cytokines, including interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), transforming growth factor, interleukin-6, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, enhanced activity of NEP on the surface of intact fibroblasts. In contrast, cultured pleural mesothelial cells had much lower levels of NEP than fibroblasts, and the enzyme was not enhanced by either IL-1 or TNF-alpha. Further studies with IL-1 showed that the effect required at least 6 h of exposure to the cytokine and depended upon final cytokine concentration. Combinations of IL-1 with other cytokines increased NEP activity beyond that in cells treated with individual cytokines, but combinations had less than additive effects. Selected pharmacologic agents indicated that the mechanism involves second messenger pathways. The cytokine effect on NEP was attenuated by indomethacin, an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, by N-[2-(methylamino) ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide dihydrochloride, an inhibitor of protein kinase, and by adenosine 3',5' cyclic monophosphothionate, an analog of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) that competitively inhibits the cAMP signal pathway. It was mimicked by dibutyryl cAMP and by forskolin, an activator of adenyl cyclase.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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