AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
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Published By American Physiological Society

1522-1504, 1040-0605

Ruobing Wang ◽  
Adam J. Hume ◽  
Mary Lou Beermann ◽  
Chantelle Simone-Roach ◽  
Jonathan Lindstrom-Vautrin ◽  

There is an urgent need to understand how SARS-CoV-2 infects the airway epithelium and in a subset of individuals leads to severe illness or death. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a near limitless supply of human cells that can be differentiated into cell types of interest, including airway epithelium, for disease modeling. We present a human iPSC-derived airway epithelial platform, composed of the major airway epithelial cell types, that is permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Subsets of iPSC-airway cells express the SARS-CoV-2 entry factors ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Multiciliated cells are the primary initial target of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, iPSC-airway cells generate robust interferon and inflammatory responses and treatment with remdesivir or camostat methylate causes a decrease in viral propagation and entry, respectively. In conclusion, iPSC-derived airway cells provide a physiologically relevant in vitro model system to interrogate the pathogenesis of, and develop treatment strategies for, COVID-19 pneumonia.

Young-yeon Choo ◽  
Tsuyoshi Sakai ◽  
Satoshi Komatsu ◽  
Reiko Ikebe ◽  
Ann Jeffers ◽  

Pleural mesothelial cells (PMCs) can become myofibroblasts via mesothelial-mesenchymal transition (MesoMT) and contribute to pleural organization, fibrosis, and rind formation. However, how these transformed mesothelial cells contribute to lung fibrosis remains unclear. Here, we investigated the mechanism of contractile myofibroblast differentiation of PMCs. TGF-b induced marked upregulation of calponin 1 expression, which was correlated with notable cytoskeletal rearrangement in human PMCs (HPMCs) to produce stress fibers. Downregulation of calponin 1 expression reduced stress fiber formation. Interestingly, induced stress fibers predominantly contain αSMA associated with calponin 1 but not b-actin. Calponin 1 associated stress fibers also contained myosin II and α-actinin. Further, focal adhesions were aligned with the produced stress fibers. These results suggest that calponin 1 facilitates formation of stress fibers that resemble contractile myofibrils. Supporting this notion, TGF-b significantly increased the contractile activity of HPMCs, an effect that was abolished by downregulation of calponin 1 expression. We infer that differentiation of HPMCs to contractile myofibroblasts facilitates stiffness of scar tissue in pleura to promote pleural fibrosis and that upregulation of calponin 1 plays a central role in this process.

Ciaran A Shaughnessy ◽  
Sangya Yadav ◽  
Preston E Bratcher ◽  
Pamela L Zeitlin

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease caused by mutations of the gene encoding a cAMP-activated Cl- channel, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR modulator therapies consist of small-molecule drugs that rescue mutant CFTR. Regimens of single or combinations of CFTR modulators still rely on endogenous levels of cAMP to regulate CFTR activity. We investigated CFTR activation by the natural mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and lubiprostone and tested the hypothesis that receptor-mediated CFTR activators can be used in combination with currently available CFTR modulators to increase function of mutant CFTR. Primary cultured airway epithelia were assayed in Ussing chambers. Experimental CFTR activators and established CFTR modulators were applied for 24 h and/or acutely and analyzed for their effect on CFTR activity as measured by changes in short-circuit current (ISC). In non-CF airway epithelia, acute application of lubiprostone and PGE2 activated CFTR to levels comparable to forskolin. Pre-treatment (24 h) with antagonists to prostaglandin receptors EP2 and EP4 abolished the ability of lubiprostone to acutely activate CFTR. In F508del homozygous airway epithelia pre-treated with the triple combination of elexacaftor, tezacaftor, and ivacaftor (ELEXA/TEZ/IVA; i.e., Trikafta), acute application of lubiprostone was able to maximally activate CFTR. Prolonged (24 h) co-treatment of F508del homozygous epithelia with ELEXA/TEZ/IVA and lubiprostone increased acute CFTR activation by ~60% compared to treatment with ELEXA/TEZ/IVA alone. This work establishes the feasibility of targeting prostaglandin receptors to activate CFTR on the airway epithelia and demonstrates that co-treatment with lubiprostone can further restore modulator-rescued CFTR.

Nadir Yehya ◽  
Hossein Fazeliniah ◽  
Deanne M Taylor ◽  
Gladys Gray Lawrence ◽  
Lynn A. Spruce ◽  

Both sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) rely on imprecise clinical definitions leading to heterogeneity, which has contributed to negative trials. Because circulating protein/DNA complexes have been implicated in sepsis and ARDS, we aimed to develop a proteomic signature of DNA-bound proteins to discriminate between septic children with and without ARDS. We performed a prospective case-control study in twelve septic children with ARDS matched to 12 septic children without ARDS on age, severity of illness score, and source of infection. We performed co-immunoprecipitation and downstream proteomics in plasma collected ≤ 24 hours of intensive care unit admission. Expression profiles were generated, and a random forest classifier was used on differentially expressed proteins to develop a signature which discriminated ARDS. The classifier was tested in six independent blinded samples. Neutrophil and nucleosome proteins were over-represented in ARDS, including two S100A proteins, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and three histones. Random forest produced a 10-protein signature which accurately discriminated between septic children with and without ARDS. This classifier perfectly assigned six independent blinded samples as having ARDS or not. We validated higher expression of the most informative discriminating protein, galectin-3-binding protein, in children with ARDS. Our methodology has applicability to isolation of DNA-bound proteins from plasma. Our results support the premise of a molecular definition of ARDS, and give preliminary insight into why some septic children, but not others, develop ARDS.

Jeffrey D. Ritzenthaler ◽  
Edilson Torres-Gonzalez ◽  
Yuxuan Zheng ◽  
Igor N. Zelko ◽  
Victor Van Berkel ◽  

Increased senescence and expression of pro-fibrotic genes in old lung fibroblasts contribute to disrepair responses. We reported that primary lung fibroblasts from old mice have lower expression and activity of the cystine transporter Slc7a11/xCT than cells from young mice, resulting in changes in both the intracellular and extracellular redox environments. This study examines the hypothesis that low Slc7a11 expression in old lung fibroblasts promotes senescence and pro-fibrotic gene expression. The levels of mRNA and protein of Slc7a11, senescence markers, and pro-fibrotic genes were measured in primary fibroblasts from the lungs of old (24 months) and young (3 months) mice. In addition, the effects of genetic and pharmacological manipulation of Slc7a11 were investigated. We found that decreased expression of Slc7a11 in old cells was associated with elevated markers of senescence (p21, p16, p53 and b-galactosidase) and increased expression of pro-fibrotic genes (Tgfb1, Smad3, Acta2, Fn1, Col1a1 and Col5a1). Silencing of Slc7a11 in young cells replicated the aging phenotype, whereas overexpression of Slc7a11 in old cells decreased expression of senescence and pro-fibrotic genes. Young cells were induced to express the senescence and pro-fibrotic phenotype by sulfasalazine, an Slc7a11 inhibitor, whereas treatment of old cells with sulforaphane, an Slc7a11 inducer, decreased senescence without affecting pro-fibrotic genes. Like aging cells, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis fibroblasts show decreased Slc7a11 expression and increased pro-fibrotic markers. In short, old lung fibroblasts manifest a pro-fibrotic and senescence phenotype that is modulated by genetic or pharmacological manipulation of Slc7a11.

Ashley Rose Rackow ◽  
Jennifer L Judge ◽  
Collynn F Woller ◽  
Patricia J. Sime ◽  
Robert Matthew Kottmann

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic interstitial lung disease. The pathogenesis of IPF is not completely understood. However, numerous genes are associated with the development and progression of pulmonary fibrosis, indicating there is a significant genetic component to the pathogenesis of IPF. Epigenetic influences on the development of human disease, including pulmonary fibrosis, remain to be fully elucidated. In this paper we identify miR-338-3p as a microRNA severely downregulated in the lungs of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and in experimental models of pulmonary fibrosis. Treatment of primary human lung fibroblasts with miR-338-3p inhibits myofibroblast differentiation and matrix protein production. Published and proposed targets of miR-338-3p such as TGFβ receptor 1, MEK/ERK 1/2, Cdk4 and Cyclin D are also not responsible for the regulation of pulmonary fibroblast behavior by miR-338-3p. miR-338-3p inhibits myofibroblast differentiation by preventing TGFβ-mediated downregulation of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a known anti-fibrotic mediator.

Kathleen Boyne ◽  
Deborah A. Corey ◽  
Pan Zhao ◽  
Binyu Lu ◽  
Walter F Boron ◽  

Several aspects of the cell biology of cystic fibrosis (CF) epithelial cells are altered including impaired lipid regulation, disrupted intracellular transport, and impaired microtubule regulation. It is unclear how the loss of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) function leads to these differences. It is hypothesized that the loss of CFTR function leads to altered regulation of carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity resulting in cellular phenotypic changes. In this study, it is demonstrated that CA2 protein expression is reduced in CF model cells, primary mouse nasal epithelial (MNE) cells, excised MNE tissue, and primary human nasal epithelial cells (p<0.05). This corresponds to a decrease in CA2 RNA expression measured by qPCR as well as an overall reduction in CA activity in primary CF MNEs. The addition of CFTR-inhibitor-172 to WT MNE cells for ≥24 h mimics the significantly lower protein expression of CA2 in CF cells. Treatment of CF cells with L-Phenylalanine (L-Phe), an activator of CA activity, restores endosomal transport through an effect on microtubule regulation in a manner dependent on soluble adenylate cyclase (sAC). This effect can be blocked with the CA2-selective inhibitor dorzolamide. These data suggest the loss of CFTR function leads to the decreased expression of CA2 resulting in the downstream cell signaling alterations observed in CF.

2022 ◽  
Vol 322 (1) ◽  
pp. L176-L177
Dieter Böning ◽  
Wilhelm Bloch ◽  
Wolfgang M. Kuebler

2022 ◽  
Vol 322 (1) ◽  
pp. L174-L175
Thomas Gille ◽  
Lucile Sesé ◽  
Eric Aubourg ◽  
Jean-François Bernaudin ◽  
Jean-Paul Richalet ◽  

Debbie Clements ◽  
Suzanne Miller ◽  
Roya Babaei-Jadidi ◽  
Mike Adam ◽  
S. Steven Potter ◽  

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a female specific cystic lung disease in which TSC2 deficient LAM cells, LAM-Associated Fibroblasts (LAFs) and other cell types infiltrate the lungs. LAM lesions can be associated with type II alveolar epithelial cells (AT2 cells). We hypothesised that the behaviour of AT2 cells in LAM is influenced locally by LAFs. We tested this hypothesis in patient samples and in vitro. In human LAM lung, nodular AT2 cells show enhanced proliferation when compared to parenchymal AT2 cells, demonstrated by increased Ki67 expression. Further, nodular AT2 cells express proteins associated with epithelial activation in other disease states including Matrix Metalloproteinase 7, and Fibroblast Growth Factor 7 (FGF7). In vitro, LAF conditioned medium is mitogenic and positively chemotactic for epithelial cells, increases the rate of epithelial repair and protects against apoptosis. In vitro, LAM patient-derived TSC2 null cells cocultured with LAFs upregulate LAF expression of the epithelial chemokine and mitogen FGF7, which is a potential mediator of fibroblast-epithelial crosstalk, in an mTOR dependent manner. In a novel in vitro model of LAM, ex vivo cultured LAM lung-derived microtissues promote both epithelial migration and adhesion. Our findings suggest that AT2 cells in LAM display a proliferative, activated phenotype and that fibroblast accumulation following LAM cell infiltration into the parenchyma contributes to this change in AT2 cell behaviour. Fibroblast-derived FGF7 may contribute to the cross-talk between LAFs and hyperplastic epithelium in vivo, but does not appear to be the main driver of the effects of LAFs on epithelial cells in vitro.

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