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Am J Physiol. 1997 Nov;273(5):L921-9. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1997.273.5.L921.

Dexamethasone inhibits lung epithelial cell apoptosis induced by IFN-gamma and Fas.

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1
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Stanford University, California 94305-5236, USA.

Abstract

Lung epithelium plays a central role in modulation of the inflammatory response and in lung repair. Airway epithelial cells are targets in asthma, viral infection, acute lung injury, and fibrotic lung disease. Activated T lymphocytes release cytokines such as interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) that can cooperate with apoptotic signaling pathways such as the Fas-APO-1 pathway to induce apoptosis of damaged epithelial cells. We report that IFN-gamma alone and in combination with activation of the Fas pathway induced apoptosis in A549 lung epithelial cells. Interestingly, the corticosteroid dexamethasone was the most potent inhibitor of IFN-gamma- and IFN-gamma plus anti-Fas-induced apoptosis. IFN-gamma induced expression of an effector of apoptosis, the cysteine protease interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme, in A549 cells. Dexamethasone, in contrast, induced expression of an inhibitor of apoptosis, human inhibitor of apoptosis (hIAP-1), also known as cIAP2. We suggest that the inhibition of epithelial cell apoptosis by corticosteroids may be one mechanism by which they suppress the inflammatory response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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