Expression of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta1) in human epithelial alveolar cells: a pro-inflammatory mediator independent pathway.Life Sci. 2004 Apr 30; 74(24):2941-57.LS
Regulation of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta1) expression remains unclear. Inflammation has been inferred to play a major role in stimulating TGF-beta1 production since high concentrations of TGF-beta1 have been found in the lungs of patients with various diffuse inflammatory lung diseases. To establish an association between inflammation and TGF-beta1 expression, human alveolar epithelial (A549) cells were co-cultured with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), Interleukin 1 beta (IL-1beta) and Interleukin 8 (IL-8) for 12 hours. Total and bioactive TGF-beta1 protein were then measured. A549 cells transiently transfected with a plasmid containing the TGF-beta1 promoter linked to a luciferase reported gene were then co-cultured with the same inflammatory peptides for 12 hours and TGF-beta1 promoter activity determined. Nuclear transcription factors AP-1 (c-jun) or NF-kappa (p65, p50 and p105) were over expressed in A549 cells transiently transfected with the TGF-beta1 promoter and TGF-beta1 promoter activity subsequently measured. Stimulation with inflammatory signals LPS, TNFalpha, IL-1beta, IL-8 resulted in no increase of total or bioactive TGF-beta1 activity above constitutive concentrations in vitro. TGF-beta1 promoter activity was also unchanged from baseline levels in response to the same inflammatory peptides. Expression of c-jun however led to significant increases of TGF-beta1 promoter activity over constitutive levels. In contrast p65 and p105 expression resulted in inhibition of TGF-beta1 promoter activity below baseline levels. We conclude that in a human alveolar epithelial cell line, inflammation does not regulate TGF-beta1 expression. These studies suggest that in lung pathologies such as asthma, lung fibrosis and CLD, TGF-beta1 production may involve pathways independent of inflammatory mediators LPS, TNFalpha, IL-1beta and IL-8.