JOURNAL ARTICLE

Critical role of aldehydes in cigarette smoke-induced acute airway inflammation

Marco van der Toorn, Dirk-Jan Slebos, Harold G de Bruin, Renee Gras, Delaram Rezayat, Lucie Jorge, Koen Sandra, Antoon J M van Oosterhout
Respiratory Research 2013, 14: 45
23594194

BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoking (CS) is the most important risk factor for COPD, which is associated with neutrophilic airway inflammation. We hypothesize, that highly reactive aldehydes are critical for CS-induced neutrophilic airway inflammation.

METHODS: BALB/c mice were exposed to CS, water filtered CS (WF-CS) or air for 5 days. Levels of total particulate matter (TPM) and aldehydes in CS and WF-CS were measured. Six hours after the last exposure, inflammatory cells and cytokine levels were measured in lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Furthermore, Beas-2b bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to CS extract (CSE) or WF-CS extract (WF-CSE) in the absence or presence of the aldehyde acrolein and IL-8 production was measured after 24 hrs.

RESULTS: Compared to CS, in WF-CS strongly decreased (CS; 271.1 ± 41.5 μM, WF-CS; 58.5 ± 8.2 μM) levels of aldehydes were present whereas levels of TPM were only slightly reduced (CS; 20.78 ± 0.59 mg, WF-CS; 16.38 ± 0.36 mg). The numbers of mononuclear cells in BALF (p<0.01) and lung tissue (p<0.01) were significantly increased in the CS- and WF-CS-exposed mice compared to air control mice. Interestingly, the numbers of neutrophils (p<0.001) in BALF and neutrophils and eosinophils (p<0.05) in lung tissue were significantly increased in the CS-exposed but not in WF-CS-exposed mice as compared to air control mice. Levels of the neutrophil and eosinophil chemoattractants KC, MCP-1, MIP-1α and IL-5 were all significantly increased in lung tissue from CS-exposed mice compared to both WF-CS-exposed and air control mice. Interestingly, depletion of aldehydes in WF-CS extract significantly reduced IL-8 production in Beas-2b as compared to CSE, which could be restored by the aldehyde acrolein.

CONCLUSION: Aldehydes present in CS play a critical role in inflammatory cytokine production and neutrophilic- but not mononuclear airway inflammation.

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