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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1993 Sep;9(3):271-8.

Effect of nitrogen dioxide on synthesis of inflammatory cytokines expressed by human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


Although studies of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) inhalation, in both animals and humans, have demonstrated that this agent can cause epithelial cell damage and inflammation of the airway epithelium, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. We have cultured human bronchial epithelial cells, as explant cultures from surgical tissue, and studied these firstly from their ability to constitutively synthesize specific proinflammatory cytokines and then investigated the effect of exposure to NO2 on the generation of these cytokines. Constitutive synthesis of cytokines was evaluated by analysis of both the expression of the mRNA for interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-4, IL-8, granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and by immunocytochemical staining for the presence of cell-associated IL-1 beta, IL-8, GM-CSF, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma, using specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies directed towards these cytokines. Release of IL-4, IL-8, GM-CSF, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma following exposure to 5% CO2 in air or 400 ppb and 800 ppb NO2 for 6 h was investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. PCR demonstrated that the human bronchial epithelial cells expressed the mRNA for IL-1 beta, IL-8, GM-CSF, and TNF-alpha but not for IL-4 and IFN-gamma. Immunocytochemical staining confirmed the presence of endogenous IL-1 beta, IL-8, GM-CSF, and TNF-alpha.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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