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

Calcineurin inhibitor effects on growth and phenotype of human airway epithelial cells in vitro.

Calcineurin inhibitors (CIs) cyclosporin and tacrolimus form the basis for immunosuppression in lung transplantation, yet also exert biological effects on nonlymphoid tissue. With the advent of inhaled cyclosporin, we hypothesize that the airway epithelium is also subject to CI effects at high doses. The aim of this study was to identify human tracheobronchial epithelial cell (hTBEC) calcineurin gene expression and quantify effects of CIs on hTBEC growth, interleukin-1-beta stimulated IL-8 production and hTBEC phenotype. Cyclophillin B and FK-associated binding protein, calcineurin A (alpha and beta), and NFATC3 and NFAT5 were detected in hTBEC cultures by RT-PCR. Acute and chronic cyclosporine treatment 1000 ng/mL significantly inhibited hTBEC proliferation, while tacrolimus did not (range of 10 ng/mL to 1000 ng/mL for acute treatment, 50 ng/mL for chronic treatment). Cyclosporin at 10,000 ng/mL significantly increased LDH release by well-differentiated hTBEC cultures (n = 6) and trended towards significance at 1000 ng/mL. IL1-beta stimulated IL-8 production was significantly increased in rapidly growing hTBEC cultures (n = 8) treated with cyclosporin (p = 0.049). Prolonged treatment of well-differentiated hTBECs at air-liquid-interface (ALI) with cyclosporin 1000 ng/mL significantly reduced intact multilayered mucociliary epithelium (p = 0.009). Inhibition of hTBEC growth, stimulation of IL-8 production and long-term effects on mucociliary phenotype and intact multi-layered epithelium suggest that cyclosporin may have a direct toxic effect on airway epithelium after transplantation.[1]


  1. Calcineurin inhibitor effects on growth and phenotype of human airway epithelial cells in vitro. Neuringer, I.P., Sloan, J., Budd, S., Chalermskulrat, W., Park, R.C., Stonebraker, J.R., O'Neal, W.K., Aris, R.M., Randell, S.H. American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. (2005) [Pubmed]
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