From the Cover: ImpairedProliferation and Differentiation of the Conducting Airway Epithelium Associated With Bronchiolitis Obliterans After Sulfur Mustard Inhalation Injury in Rats.
ABSTRACT: Sulfur mustard (SM) is a chemical warfare agent that causes chronic airway remodeling. This study's objective was to assess for changes to the bronchiolar epithelium after SM exposure to explain its contribution to chronic airway remodeling.Adult male rats were exposed to a sublethal dose of SM inhalation (1.0-1.2?mg/kg) for 50?min. Histological sections of the bronchiolar epithelium were analyzed for changes using hematoxylin and eosin, trichrome, and immunofluorescent staining for acetylated tubulin (AT) and club cell secretory protein (CCSP). CCSP in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was assessed using western blot. A bromodeoxyuridine (BRDU) assay was used to assess for epithelial proliferation, and real-time PCR measured changes in Notch mRNA expression.SM caused significant proximal bronchiolar epithelial injury with epithelial denudation, loss of acetylated tubulin and CCSP staining, and reduced bronchoalveolar lavage fluid CCSP levels. bromodeoxyuridine (BRDU) + staining of proximal bronchiolar epithelial cells was not increased, but staining was increased in the distal bronchiolar epithelium. One month after injury, the proximal bronchiolar epithelium was not fully repaired. Significant collagen deposition surrounded proximal bronchioles with luminal obstruction, consistent with bronchiolitis obliterans. These changes corresponded with a downregulation of Notch1, Notch3, and Hes1 mRNA expressions.This study demonstrates that SM exposure resulted in severe proximal airway epithelial injury, persistent morphological changes, impaired epithelial proliferation and, ultimately, bronchiolitis obliterans. These changes occurred at the same time that the Notch signaling genes were downregulated. Thus, the lung epithelium and the Notch signaling pathway may be worthy targets for the prevention of chronic airway remodeling after SM inhalation injury.
Project description:The 5' flanking region of the Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) gene contains two cis-acting elements which bind hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-3 alpha and HNF-3 beta in vitro. To determine the role of these proteins in mediating CCSP gene expression in the bronchiolar epithelium, chimeric CCSP-reporter gene constructs containing various regions of the CCSP 5' flanking region were co-transfected into H-441 cells with HNF-3 alpha or HNF-3 beta expression plasmids. These studies indicate that each of these transcription factors positively regulates CCSP gene expression and revealed that CCSP region I (-132 to -76) is sufficient to mediate this effect. Gel-mobility-shift assays with oligonucleotides corresponding to CCSP region I, nuclear extract from bronchiolar epithelial cells and HNF-3-specific antibodies indicate that HNF-3 alpha and HNF-3 beta are the only proteins in bronchiolar epithelial cells which directly interact with this region. Consistent with these observations, HNF-3 alpha and HNF-3 beta transcripts were found to be enriched in this cell population and in situ hybridization of adult lung revealed HNF-3 gene expression in non-ciliated bronchiolar epithelial cells expressing the CCSP gene. Finally, experiments with CCSP region I and a heterologous promoter indicate that this region acts in a promoter-specific context, suggesting that additional factors interacting via the minimal CCSP promoter region are essential in determining the effects of HNF-3 on cell-specific CCSP gene expression in the bronchiolar epithelium.
Project description:Following injury, bronchiolar cells undergo rapid squamous metaplasia, followed by proliferation and re-establishment of the complex columnar epithelium that is characteristic of the normal airway. Mechanisms that regulate the repair of bronchiolar epithelium are of considerable relevance for understanding the pathogenesis of both acute and chronic lung diseases associated with airway remodeling. This study was designed to identify the role of the GP130-STAT3 signaling pathway during repair of the bronchiolar epithelium. STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and GP130 (glycoprotein 130) were each selectively deleted from the pulmonary epithelial cells of transgenic mice in vivo, producing Stat3(Delta/Delta) and Gp130(Delta/Delta) mice, respectively. Airway injury was induced in adult mice by administration of naphthalene, a toxicant of nonciliated respiratory epithelial cells (Clara cells). Nuclear STAT3 staining was induced in bronchiolar epithelial cells following naphthalene-mediated injury in control (Stat3(flox/flox)) mice. Whereas nearly complete repair of the bronchiolar epithelium was observed in control mice within 13 days, restoration of cell shape, cell density, and the pattern of ciliated and nonciliated cells did not occur in the peripheral bronchioles of either Stat3(Delta/Delta) or Gp130(Delta/Delta) mice. Expression of dominant-negative STAT3 inhibited airway epithelial cell migration during repair in vitro; wild-type STAT3 expression activated such migration. In the present study, we show that GP130-STAT3 signaling functions in a cell-autonomous manner to restore cell shape and numbers required for repair of the bronchiolar epithelium following injury.
Project description:We have previously reported a subpopulation of bone marrow cells (BMC) that express Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP), generally felt to be specific to lung Clara cells. Ablation of lung Clara cells has been reported using a transgenic mouse that expresses thymidine kinase under control of the CCSP promoter. Treatment with ganciclovir results in permanent elimination of CCSP(+) cells, failure of airway regeneration, and death. To determine if transtracheal delivery of wild-type bone marrow CCSP(+) cells is beneficial after ablation of lung CCSP(+) cells, transgenic mice were treated with ganciclovir followed by transtracheal administration of CCSP(+) or CCSP(-) BMC. Compared with mice administered CCSP(-) cells, mice treated with CCSP(+) cells had more donor cells lining the airway epithelium, where they expressed epithelial markers including CCSP. Although donor CCSP(+) cells did not substantially repopulate the airway, their administration resulted in increased host ciliated cells, better preservation of airway epithelium, reduction of inflammatory cells, and an increase in animal survival time. Administration of CCSP(+) BMC is beneficial after permanent ablation of lung Clara cells by increasing bronchial epithelial repair. Therefore, CCSP(+) BMC could be important for treatment of lung diseases where airways re-epithelialization is compromised.
Project description:Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a condition of progressive airflow obstruction that affects a majority of lung transplant recipients and limits long-term posttransplant survival. Although epithelial injury appears central to the development of BOS, little is known regarding the specific epithelial cell types that are affected in this condition. We hypothesized that BOS would involve preferential injury to the secretory Clara cells that function in innate defense and epithelial repair. To test this hypothesis, we assessed tissue transcript, tissue protein and lung fluid protein expression of Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP), a marker for Clara cells, in lung transplant recipients with BOS, BOS-free patients and in donor controls. Our results demonstrate that CCSP tissue transcript and protein expression are significantly reduced in lung transplant recipients with BOS compared to BOS-free or donor controls. In addition, we demonstrate that CCSP protein levels are significantly reduced in the lung fluid of patients with BOS compared to BOS-free controls, in cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis. Collectively, these complementary results illustrate that BOS involves a selective alteration in the distribution and function of bronchiolar Clara cells.
Project description:Tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is a lipid phosphatase that regulates multiple cellular processes including cell polarity, migration, proliferation, and carcinogenesis. In this work, we demonstrate that conditional deletion of Pten (Pten(Delta/Delta)) in the respiratory epithelial cells of the developing mouse lung caused epithelial cell proliferation and hyperplasia as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age. While bronchiolar cell differentiation was normal, as indicated by beta-tubulin and FOXJ1 expression in ciliated cells and by CCSP expression in nonciliated cells, cell proliferation (detected by expression of Ki-67, phospho-histone-H3, and cyclin D1) was increased and associated with activation of the AKT/mTOR survival pathway. Deletion of Pten caused papillary epithelial hyperplasia characterized by a hypercellular epithelium lining papillae with fibrovascular cores that protruded into the airway lumens. Cell polarity, as assessed by subcellular localization of cadherin, beta-catenin, and zonula occludens-1, was unaltered. PTEN is required for regulation of epithelial cell proliferation in the lung and for the maintenance of the normal simple columnar epithelium characteristics of bronchi and bronchioles.
Project description:Resistin-like molecule alpha or found in inflammatory zone protein (Fizz1) is increased in pulmonary epithelial cells and also in limited amounts by other lung cells during various lung injuries and fibrosis. However, the direct role of Fizz1 produced in the pulmonary epithelium has not been determined.Fizz1 Transgenic mice (CCSP/Fizz1) were generated that overexpress Fizz1 in the lung epithelium under the control of a doxycycline (Dox) inducible lung epithelial cell specific promoter Scgb1a1 (Clara cell secretory protein, CCSP). Histology and FACS analysis of lung cells were used to identify the direct effects of Fizz1 in the transgenic mice (Dox treated) when compared with control (CCSP/-) mice. Intratracheal bleomycin sulfate or silica in saline and saline alone were used to study the role of Fizz1 during bleomycin- and silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis in CCSP/Fizz1 and CCSP/- mice. Weight change, pulmonary inflammation, and fibrosis were assessed 10 days post bleomycin or 28 days post silica challenge.When CCSP/Fizz1 mice were fed Dox food, elevated Fizz1 protein was detected in lung homogenates by western blot. Lungs of mice in which Fizz1 was induced in the epithelium contained increased lung cells staining for CD11c and F4/80 by FACS analysis consistent with increased dendritic cells however, no changes were observed in the percentage of interstitial macrophages compared to CCSP/- controls. No significant changes were found in the lung histology of CCSP/Fizz1 mice after up to 8 weeks of overexpression compared to CCSP/- controls. Overexpression of Fizz1 prior to challenge or following challenge with bleomycin or silica did not significantly alter airway inflammation or fibrosis compared to control mice.The current study demonstrates that epithelial cell derived Fizz1 is sufficient to increase the bone-marrow derived dendritic cells in the lungs, but it is not sufficient to cause lung fibrosis or alter chemical or particle-induced fibrosis.
Project description:The contribution of bone marrow cells (BMC) in lung repair is controversial. We previously reported a subpopulation of BMC that express Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP). To determine the contribution of endogenous CCSP(+) BMC to airway regeneration, we performed bone marrow transplantation studies using the CCtk mouse, which expresses a thymidine kinase suicide gene under regulation of the CCSP promoter. Mice were transplanted with wild-type or CCtk BMC and treated with ganciclovir to eliminate CCSP(+) cells. After airway injury using naphthalene, mice depleted of CCSP(+) BMC had more inflammatory cells in lung and decreased levels of oxygen in arterial blood. They also had reduced expression of airway epithelial genes and less Clara cells compared to control mice that had intact CCSP(+) BMC and bone marrow derived CCSP(+) cells in the airways. After naphthalene injury, administration of CCSP reproduced the beneficial effect of CCSP(+) BMC by improving recovery of airway epithelium, reducing lung inflammation and increasing oxygen in arterial blood from mice depleted of CCSP(+) BMC. Our data demonstrate that ablation of CCSP(+) BMC delays airway recovery and suggests the beneficial effect of CCSP(+) BMC in lung recovery is in part due to production of CCSP itself.
Project description:RATIONALE:MUC5AC and MUC5B are the predominant gel-forming mucins in the mucus layer of human airways. Each mucin has distinct functions and site-specific expression. However, the regional distribution of expression and cell types that secrete each mucin in normal/healthy human airways are not fully understood. OBJECTIVES:To characterize the regional distribution of MUC5B and MUC5AC in normal/healthy human airways and assess which cell types produce these mucins, referenced to the club cell secretory protein (CCSP). METHODS:Multiple airway regions from 16 nonsmoker lungs without a history of lung disease were studied. MUC5AC, MUC5B, and CCSP expression/colocalization were assessed by RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in five lungs with histologically healthy airways. Droplet digital PCR and cell cultures were performed for absolute quantification of MUC5AC/5B ratios and protein secretion, respectively. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:Submucosal glands expressed MUC5B, but not MUC5AC. However, MUC5B was also extensively expressed in superficial epithelia throughout the airways except for the terminal bronchioles. Morphometric calculations revealed that the distal airway superficial epithelium was the predominant site for MUC5B expression, whereas MUC5AC expression was concentrated in proximal, cartilaginous airways. RNA in situ hybridization revealed MUC5AC and MUC5B were colocalized with CCSP-positive secretory cells in proximal superficial epithelia, whereas MUC5B and CCSP-copositive cells dominated distal regions. CONCLUSIONS:In normal/healthy human airways, MUC5B is the dominant secretory mucin in the superficial epithelium and glands, with distal airways being a major site of expression. MUC5B and MUC5AC expression is a property of CCSP-positive secretory cells in superficial airway epithelia.
Project description:The bone marrow compartment is enriched in stem and progenitor cells, and an unidentified subpopulation of these cells can contribute to lung epithelial repair. Here we identify this subpopulation and quantitate its relative contribution to injured airway epithelium. A subpopulation of adherent human and murine bone marrow cells that expresses Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) was identified using flow cytometry. When cultured at the air-liquid interface in ex vivo cultures, Ccsp+ cells expressed type I and type II alveolar markers as well as basal cell markers and active epithelial sodium channels. Ccsp+ cells preferentially homed to naphthalene-damaged airways when delivered transtracheally or intravenously, with the former being more efficient than the latter. Interestingly, naphthalene-induced lung damage transiently increased Ccsp expression in bone marrow and peripheral circulation. Furthermore, lethally irradiated Ccsp-null mice that received tagged wild-type bone marrow contained donor-derived epithelium in both normal and naphthalene-damaged airways. This study therefore identifies what we believe to be a newly discovered cell in the bone marrow that might have airway reconstitution potential in the context of cell-based therapies for lung disease. Additionally, these data could reconcile previous controversies regarding the contribution of bone marrow to lung regeneration.
Project description:ELF5, an Ets family transcription factor found exclusively in epithelial cells, is expressed in the distal lung epithelium during embryogenesis, then becomes restricted to proximal airways at the end of gestation and postnatally. To test the hypothesis that ELF5 represses distal epithelial differentiation, we generated a transgenic mouse model in which a doxycycline inducible HA-tagged mouse Elf5 transgene was placed under the control of the lung epithelium-specific human SFTPC promoter. We found that expressing high levels of ELF5 during early lung development disrupted branching morphogenesis and produced a dilated epithelium. The effects of ELF5 on morphogenesis were stage-dependent, since inducing the transgene on E16.5 had no effect on branching. ELF5 reduced expression of the distal lung epithelial differentiation markers Erm, Napsa and Sftpc, and type II cell ultrastructural differentiation was immature. ELF5 overexpression did not induce the proximal airway epithelial markers Ccsp and Foxj1, but did induce expression of p63, a marker of basal cells in the trachea and esophagus. High ELF5 levels also induced the expression of genes found in other endodermal epithelia but not normally associated with the lung. These results suggest that precise levels of ELF5 regulate the specification and differentiation of epithelial cells in the lung.