Airway epithelium controls lung inflammation and injury through the NF-kappa B pathway.

Cheng DS, Han W, Chen SM, Sherrill TP, Chont M, Park GY, Sheller JR, Polosukhin VV, Christman JW, Yull FE, Blackwell TS
J Immunol. 2007 178 (10): 6504-13

PMID: 17475880 · DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.178.10.6504

Although airway epithelial cells provide important barrier and host defense functions, a crucial role for these cells in development of acute lung inflammation and injury has not been elucidated. We investigated whether NF-kappaB pathway signaling in airway epithelium could decisively impact inflammatory phenotypes in the lungs by using a tetracycline-inducible system to achieve selective NF-kappaB activation or inhibition in vivo. In transgenic mice that express a constitutively active form of IkappaB kinase 2 under control of the epithelial-specific CC10 promoter, treatment with doxycycline induced NF-kappaB activation with consequent production of a variety of proinflammatory cytokines, high-protein pulmonary edema, and neutrophilic lung inflammation. Continued treatment with doxycycline caused progressive lung injury and hypoxemia with a high mortality rate. In contrast, inducible expression of a dominant inhibitor of NF-kappaB in airway epithelium prevented lung inflammation and injury resulting from expression of constitutively active form of IkappaB kinase 2 or Escherichia coli LPS delivered directly to the airways or systemically via an osmotic pump implanted in the peritoneal cavity. Our findings indicate that the NF-kappaB pathway in airway epithelial cells is critical for generation of lung inflammation and injury in response to local and systemic stimuli; therefore, targeting inflammatory pathways in airway epithelium could prove to be an effective therapeutic strategy for inflammatory lung diseases.

MeSH Terms (16)

Acute Disease Animals Cells, Cultured Female Humans Inflammation Inflammation Mediators Lipopolysaccharides Lung Male Mice Mice, Transgenic NF-kappa B Respiratory Mucosa Signal Transduction Trachea

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