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J Cell Physiol. 1998 Jul;176(1):76-84.

Epithelial permeability induced by neutrophil transmigration is potentiated by hypoxia: role of intracellular cAMP.

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1
Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Department of Anesthesia, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

Mucosal tissues, such as the lung and intestine, are primary targets for ischemic damage. Under these conditions, neutrophil (polymorphonuclear leukocyte; PMN) infiltration into the protective epithelium has been implicated as a pathophysiologic mediator. Because PMN transepithelial migration results in increased paracellular permeability, and because our previous data revealed that epithelial hypoxia enhances PMN transmigration, we hypothesized that macromolecular permeability may be altered in epithelium exposed to hypoxia and reoxygenation (H/R) in the presence of PMNs. Human intestinal epithelia (T84) were grown on permeable supports, exposed to cellular hypoxia (pO2 20 torr) for 0-72 hr, and examined for increases in PMN-evoked permeability by using standard flux assays. Increasing epithelial hypoxia potentiated PMN-induced permeability of labeled paracellular tracers (size range 3-500 kD). Such increases were blocked by monoclonal antibody (mAb) to the PMN integrin CD11b (82 +/- 1% decreased compared with control mAb) and were partially blocked by anti-CD47 mAb (51 +/- 1%). Assessment of barrier recovery revealed that monolayers exposed to H/R were significantly diminished in their ability to reseal following PMN transmigration (recovery of 36 +/- 6% in H/R vs. 94 +/- 2% in normoxic controls). Because intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) has been demonstrated to regulate epithelial permeability, and because PMN-derived compound(s), (i.e., 5'-adenosine monophosphate; AMP) elevate epithelial cAMP, we examined the impact of hypoxia on epithelial cAMP responses. These experiments revealed that hypoxic epithelia were diminished in their ability to generate cAMP, and pharmacologic elevation (8-bromo-cAMP) of intracellular cAMP in hypoxic cells normalized both PMN-induced permeability changes and restoration of barrier function. These results support a role for PMN in increased intestinal permeability associated with reperfusion injury and imply a substantial role for cAMP signaling in maintenance of permeability during PMN transmigration.

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