JOURNAL ARTICLE

Airway smooth muscle CXCR3 ligand production: regulation by JAK-STAT1 and intracellular Ca²⁺

X Tan, Y A Alrashdan, H Alkhouri, B G G Oliver, C L Armour, J M Hughes
American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2013 June 1, 304 (11): L790-802
23564506
In asthma, airway smooth muscle (ASM) chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 3 (CXCR3) ligand production may attract mast cells or T lymphocytes to the ASM, where they can modulate ASM functions. In ASM cells (ASMCs) from people with or without asthma, we aimed to investigate JAK-STAT1, JNK, and Ca²⁺ involvement in chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand (CXCL)10 and CXCL11 production stimulated by interferon-γ, IL-1β, and TNF-α combined (cytomix). Confluent, growth-arrested ASMC were treated with inhibitors for pan-JAK (pyridone-6), JAK2 (AG-490), JNK (SP-600125), or the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca²⁺ATPase (SERCA) pump (thapsigargin), Ca²⁺ chelator (BAPTA-AM), or vehicle before and during cytomix stimulation for up to 24 h. Signaling protein activation as well as CXCL10/CXCL11 mRNA and protein production were examined using immunoblot analysis, real-time PCR, and ELISA, respectively. Cytomix-induced STAT1 activation was lower and CXCR3 ligand mRNA production was more sensitive to pyridone-6 and AG-490 in asthmatic than nonasthmatic ASMCs, but CXCL10/CXCL11 release was inhibited by the same proportion. Neither agent caused additional inhibition of release when used in combination with the JNK inhibitor SP-600125. Conversely, p65 NF-κB activation was higher in asthmatic than nonasthmatic ASMCs. BAPTA-AM abolished early CXCL10/CXCL11 mRNA production, whereas thapsigargin reduced it in asthmatic cells and inhibited CXCL10/CXCL11 release by both ASMC types. Despite these inhibitory effects, neither Ca²⁺ agent affected early activation of STAT1, JNK, or p65 NF-κB. In conclusion, intracellular Ca²⁺ regulated CXCL10/CXCL11 production but not early activation of the signaling molecules involved. In asthma, reduced ASM STAT1-JNK activation, increased NF-κB activation, and altered Ca²⁺ handling may contribute to rapid CXCR3 ligand production and enhanced inflammatory cell recruitment.

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