Role of Ca2+ in responses of airway epithelia to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, flagellin, ATP, and thapsigargin

Zhu Fu, Kelly Bettega, Susheela Carroll, Kerry R Buchholz, Terry E Machen
American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2007, 292 (1): L353-64
Neither Pseudomonas aeruginosa nor flagellin affected cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca](i)) in airway epithelial cell lines JME and Calu-3, but bacteria or flagellin activated NF-kappaB, IL-8 promoter, and IL-8 secretion. ATP (purinergic agonist) and thapsigargin (blocks Ca(2+) pump, releases endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+), and triggers Ca(2+) entry through plasma membrane channels) both increased [Ca](i) but hardly stimulated NF-kappaB and IL-8. ATP and thapsigargin elicited larger, synergistic activations of NF-kappaB and IL-8 secretion when combined with flagellin. BAPTA-AM (to buffer [Ca](i)) or Ca(2+)-free solution reduced increases in [Ca](i) due to ATP or thapsigargin and also reduced NF-kappaB activation and IL-8 secretion triggered by flagellin, ATP, thapsigargin, ATP + flagellin, and thapsigargin + flagellin. IL-8 promoter analysis showed that AP-1 and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP)beta/nuclear factor for IL-6 (NF-IL6) sites were important for IL-8 expression, and the NF-kappaB-binding site was critical for activation by all agonists and for activation by [Ca](i). Thus increased [Ca](i) was not required for P. aeruginosa- or flagellin-activated NF-kappaB and IL-8 expression and secretion, and increased [Ca](i) was only weakly stimulatory during activation by ATP or thapsigargin. However, ATP- or thapsigargin-induced increases in [Ca](i) synergized with flagellin or P. aeruginosa, and buffering or reducing [Ca](i) reduced these responses. Thus [Ca](i) plays an important regulatory role in P. aeruginosa- or flagellin-activated innate immune responses in airway epithelia. Dose-dependent responses indicated that flagellin-ATP synergism occurred most prominently at ATP concentrations ([ATP]) > 10 microM and [flagellin] >10(-8) g/ml and during steady increases rather than oscillations in [Ca](i).

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