Inflammation in cystic fibrosis airways: relationship to increased bacterial adherence.

Scheid P, Kempster L, Griesenbach U, Davies JC, Dewar A, Weber PP, Colledge WH, Evans MJ, Geddes DM, Alton EW

The European Respiratory Journal

Eur Respir J. 2001 Jan;17(1):27-35.

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It is unclear whether inflammation in the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung relates predominantly to bacterial infection, or occurs as a direct consequence of mutant cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Interleukin (IL)-8 secretion from CF and non-CF cell lines, and from CF and non-CF human primary nasal epithelial cells incubated with or without Pseudomonas aeruginosa, was measured. Activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in unstimulated CF and non-CF nasal epithelial cells, cell lines and murine tissues was measured by gel-shift assays. No significant difference in basal IL-8 production or NF-kappaB activation was observed between CF and non-CF primary nasal cells. However, CF cells exhibited a significantly (p<0.01) increased IL-8 secretion following P. aeruginosa stimulation. Equalization of the increased P. aeruginosa adherence observed in CF cells, to non-CF levels, resulted in comparable IL-8 secretion. Further, IL-8 production did not differ with mutations which result in either correctly localized CFTR, or in partial/total mislocalization of this protein. Similar levels of NF-kappaB activation were observed in a number of organs of wildtype and CF mice. Finally, IL-8 secretion and NF-kappaB activity were not consistently increased in CF cell lines. Cos-7 cell transfection with plasmids expressing deltaF508 or G551D mutant CFTR protein resulted in increased activation of a p50-containing NF-kappaB complex, but IL-8 secretion was similar to wild-type cells. The authors conclude that the stimulus produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant inflammatory trigger in their models.

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