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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vanilloid receptor activation by 2- and 10-microm particles induces responses leading to apoptosis in human airway epithelial cells.

Exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. It has been previously shown that PMs and synthetic particles (PC10 and PC2) that have similar characteristics to PMs induced depolarizing currents and increases in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) in capsaicin- and acid-sensitive sensory neurons and in TRPV1-expressing HEK 293 cells. To determine whether such mechanisms also underlie PM-induced toxicity in epithelial cells lining the human airways, we tested the responses of PCs on BEAS-2B (immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells), NHBE (normal human bronchial/tracheal epithelial cells), and SAEC (normal human small airway epithelial cells from the distal airways). RT-PCR revealed that all these cell types expressed TRPV1 (VR1), ASIC1a, and ASIC3 subunits of proton-gated ion channels. Calcium imaging studies revealed that in all three cell types approximately 30% were activated by both capsaicin and acid. In these cells, PCs induced an increase in [Ca2+]i that was inhibited by capsazepine, a TRPV1 antagonist, and/or by amiloride, an ASIC antagonist. The capsazepine-sensitive contribution to PC-induced increases in [Ca2+]i was approximately 70%. Measurements of apoptosis revealed that exposure to PCs induced a time-dependent increase in the number of apoptotic cells. After incubation for 24 (PC10) or 48 h ( PC2) approximately 60% of these cells were apoptotic. Pretreatment with capsazepine as well as removal of external calcium completely (approximately 100%) prevented PC-induced apoptosis. These data suggest that pharmacological inhibition of calcium-permeable vanilloid receptors could be used to prevent some of the pathological actions of PMs.[1]


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