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(1/2373) Physical characterization of a low-charge glycoform of the MUC5B mucin comprising the gel-phase of an asthmatic respiratory mucous plug.

We have previously noted that sequential extraction of an asthmatic mucous exudate with 6 M guanidinium chloride yielded a fraction of the mucins that were most resistant to solubilization and of high Mr [Sheehan, Richardson, Fung, Howard and Thornton (1995) Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 13, 748-756]. Here we show that this mucin fraction is dominated (at least 96% of the total) by the low-charge glycoform of the MUC5B gene product. Seen in the electron microscope the mucins appeared mainly as compact 'island' structures composed of linear threads often emanating from globular 'nodes' rather than the discrete linear threads more typical of mucins that we have previously described. The effect of reducing agents was as expected for other gel-forming mucins, i.e. reduced subunits or monomers of Mr 3x10(6)) were produced within 15 min of treatment. Kinetic experiments on the cleavage of the intact mucins with the proteinase trypsin indicated two clear regimes of fragmentation. An initial rapid cleavage generated mucins ranging from Mr=4x10(6) to 30x10(6) that in the electron microscope appeared as polydisperse threads (500-3000 nm in length), similar to normal and other respiratory mucins that we have previously characterized. A subsequent slower fragmentation over many hours yielded a major fragment of Mr 3x10(6) and length 200-600 nm, very similar in size and Mr to the subunits obtained by reduction. The results suggest that the MUC5B mucin is assembled, first into polydisperse linear threads, which are then linked together via a protein-mediated process. This might involve part of the mucin polypeptide or an as yet unidentified protein(s). The high proteinase susceptibility of the linkage suggests that it might be a point of control for mucin size and thus mucus rheology.  (+info)

(2/2373) Capsaicin-sensitive C-fiber-mediated protective responses in ozone inhalation in rats.

To assess the role of lung sensory C fibers during and after inhalation of 1 part/million ozone for 8 h, we compared breathing pattern responses and epithelial injury-inflammation-repair in rats depleted of C fibers by systemic administration of capsaicin as neonates and in vehicle-treated control animals. Capsaicin-treated rats did not develop ozone-induced rapid, shallow breathing. Capsaicin-treated rats showed more severe necrosis in the nasal cavity and greater inflammation throughout the respiratory tract than did control rats exposed to ozone. Incorporation of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (a marker of DNA synthesis associated with proliferation) into terminal bronchiolar epithelial cells was not significantly affected by capsaicin treatment in rats exposed to ozone. However, when normalized to the degree of epithelial necrosis present in each rat studied, there was less 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine labeling in the terminal bronchioles of capsaicin-treated rats. These observations suggest that the ozone-induced release of neuropeptides does not measurably contribute to airway inflammation but may play a role in modulating basal and reparative airway epithelial cell proliferation.  (+info)

(3/2373) Mediators of anaphylaxis but not activated neutrophils augment cholinergic responses of equine small airways.

Neutrophilic inflammation in small airways (SA) and bronchospasm mediated via muscarinic receptors are features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in horses (COPD). Histamine, serotonin, and leukotrienes (LTs) are reported to be involved in the exacerbation of COPD, and currently, histamine has been shown to increase tension response to electrical field simulation (EFS) in equine SA. We tested the effects of these mediators and the effects of activated neutrophils on the cholinergic responses in SA. Histamine, serotonin, and LTD4 had a synergistic effect on EFS responses and only an additive effect on the tension response to exogenous ACh or methacholine. Atropine and TTX entirely eliminated the EFS-induced tension response in the presence of all three inflammatory mediators, indicating that augmentation of the EFS response applies only to the endogenous cholinergic response. Neutrophils isolated from control and COPD-affected horses were activated by zymosan, producing 18.1 +/- 2.3 and 25.0 +/- 2.3 nmol superoxide. 10(6) cells-1. 30 min-1, respectively. However, in contrast to the profound effect of mediators, incubation of SA for over 1 h in a suspension of up to 30 x 10(6) zymosan-treated neutrophils/ml did not significantly affect EFS responses of SA isolated from either control or COPD-affected horses. We conclude that in equine SA 1) the endogenous cholinergic responses are subject to strong facilitation by inflammatory mediators; 2) activated neutrophils do not affect cholinergic responses in SA; and 3) in acute bouts of equine COPD, histamine, LTD4, and serotonin (mediators primarily associated with type I allergic reaction) rather than mediators derived from neutrophils most likely contribute to increased cholinergic airway tone.  (+info)

(4/2373) Conserved function of mSpry-2, a murine homolog of Drosophila sprouty, which negatively modulates respiratory organogenesis.

In Drosophila embryos, the loss of sprouty gene function enhances branching of the respiratory system. Three human sprouty homologues (h-Spry1-3) have been cloned recently, but their function is as yet unknown [1]. Here, we show that a murine sprouty gene (mSpry-2), the product of which shares 97% homology with the respective human protein, is expressed in the embryonic murine lung. We used an antisense oligonucleotide strategy to reduce expression of mSpry-2 by 96%, as measured by competitive reverse transcriptase PCR, in E11. 5 murine embryonic lungs cultured for 4 days [2]. Morphologically, the decrease in mSpry-2 expression resulted in a 72% increase in embryonic murine lung branching morphogenesis as well as a significant increase in expression of the lung epithelial marker genes SP-C, SP-B and SP-A. These results support a striking conservation of function between the Drosophila and mammalian sprouty gene families to negatively modulate respiratory organogenesis.  (+info)

(5/2373) Epidermal growth factor system regulates mucin production in airways.

Goblet-cell hyperplasia is a critical pathological feature in hypersecretory diseases of airways. However, the underlying mechanisms are unknown, and no effective therapy exists. Here we show that stimulation of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGF-R) by its ligands, EGF and transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha), causes MUC5AC expression in airway epithelial cells both in in vitro and in vivo. We found that a MUC5AC-inducing epithelial cell line, NCI-H292, expresses EGF-R constitutively; EGF-R gene expression was stimulated further by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha). EGF-R ligands increased the expression of MUC5AC at both gene and protein levels, and this effect was potentiated by TNFalpha. Selective EGF-R tyrosine kinase inhibitors blocked MUC5AC expression induced by EGF-R ligands. Pathogen-free rats expressed little EGF-R protein in airway epithelial cells; intratracheal instillation of TNFalpha induced EGF-R in airway epithelial cells, and subsequent instillation of EGF-R ligands increased the number of goblet cells, Alcian blue-periodic acid-Schiff staining (reflecting mucous glycoconjugates), and MUC5AC gene expression, whereas TNFalpha, EGF, or TGFalpha alone was without effect. In sensitized rats, three intratracheal instillations of ovalbumin resulted in EGF-R expression and goblet-cell production in airway epithelium. Pretreatment with EGF-R tyrosine kinase inhibitor, BIBX1522, prevented goblet-cell production both in rats stimulated by TNFalpha-EGF-R ligands and in an asthma model. These findings suggest potential roles for inhibitors of the EGF-R cascade in hypersecretory diseases of airways.  (+info)

(6/2373) Pulmonary expression of interleukin-13 causes inflammation, mucus hypersecretion, subepithelial fibrosis, physiologic abnormalities, and eotaxin production.

Interleukin (IL)-13 is a pleiotropic cytokine produced in large quantities by activated CD4(+) Th2 lymphocytes. To define further its potential in vivo effector functions, the Clara cell 10-kDa protein promoter was used to express IL-13 selectively in the lung, and the phenotype of the resulting transgenic mice was characterized. In contrast to transgene-negative littermates, the lungs of transgene-positive mice contained an inflammatory response around small and large airways and in the surrounding parenchyma. It was mononuclear in nature and contained significant numbers of eosinophils and enlarged and occasionally multinucleated macrophages. Airway epithelial cell hypertrophy, mucus cell metaplasia, the hyperproduction of neutral and acidic mucus, the deposition of Charcot-Leyden-like crystals, and subepithelial airway fibrosis were also prominently noted. Eotaxin protein and mRNA were also present in large quantities in the lungs of the transgene-positive, but not the transgene-negative, mice. IL-4, IL-5, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-5 were not similarly detected. Physiological evaluations revealed significant increases in baseline airways resistance and airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine in transgene-positive animals. Thus, the targeted pulmonary expression of IL-13 causes a mononuclear and eosinophilic inflammatory response, mucus cell metaplasia, the deposition of Charcot-Leyden-like crystals, airway fibrosis, eotaxin production, airways obstruction, and nonspecific AHR. IL-13 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of similar responses in asthma or other Th2-polarized tissue responses.  (+info)

(7/2373) Behaviour and aeration of the respiratory system in the domestic fowl embryo.

1. The monitoring of developmental stage and under-water dissection were used to examine the initial aeration of the respiratory system in domestic fowl embryos. 2. A virtually complete absence of free air within the chorioallantois was found before the beak had begun to make 'beak-clapping' movements, even when the membranes were already draped over its tip. 3. During the 'beak-clapping' stage, but before the membranes were pierced and before respiratory movements had begun, many embryos were found to contain free bubbles of air within the trachea and air sacs. 4. All embryos in which the respiratory system was aerated were found also to have froth in the crop or other parts of the digestive system. 5. Air was found in both the respiratory and digestive systems of all embryos examined after membrane penetration by the beak. 6. When air was injected into the chorioallantois before the stage of initial aeration it was recovered 5 min later from both the respiratory and digestive systems in under-water dissections. 7. It is suggested that lung ventilation takes place in the avian embryo in three distinct stages: the major air-ways become aerated, then respiratory movements begin and lastly the tertiary bronchi are slowly aerated. It is suggested also that movements involved in the imbibing of fluids play a part in aeration before the membranes are pierced.  (+info)

(8/2373) Suppression of airway inflammation by theophylline in adult bronchial asthma.

BACKGROUND: Chronic continuous airway inflammation caused by eosinophils has been noted to play critical roles in the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma, in addition to reversible obstruction and hypersensitivity of the respiratory tract. Therefore, suppression of chronic airway inflammation has become more important in asthma treatment. Although theophylline has been a conventionally used bronchodilator, it has been recently reported to have concurrent anti-inflammatory effects. OBJECTIVE: Accordingly, we studied the effects of a slow-release theophylline preparation, Theolong, on airway inflammation. METHODS: Administration of Theolong 400 mg/day to 24 patients with mild or moderate asthma and measuring eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), a marker of airway inflammation, and eosinophils in sputum and peripheral blood at 4 and 8 weeks. RESULTS: As a result, sputum ECP, serum ECP and sputum eosinophil count (%) were significantly lowered after 4 and 8 weeks. CONCLUSION: Thus, in the theophylline-administered group, slow-release theophylline, Theolong, was effective in treating asthma, with anti-inflammatory effects on inflammatory cells besides its bronchodilator action.  (+info)