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Upper Airway Epithelial Cells Support Eosinophil Survival in vitro through Production of GM-CSF and Prostaglandin E2: Regulation by Glucocorticoids and TNF-α

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Production of GM-CSF by epithelial cells has been implicated in eosinophil survival within the airways, although GM-CSF promotes neutrophil and monocyte survival as well. Using primary cultures of human airway epithelial cells, we undertook a comprehensive examination of factors that enhance eosinophil survival or apoptosis. Unstimulated epithelial cells were compared to epithelial cells stimulated with TNF-α in the presence or absence of dexamethasone. A striking increase in survival was observed when peripheral blood eosinophils were cultured with supernatants derived from unstimulated and TNF-α-stimulated epithelial cells. Cultured epithelial cells were examined for transcripts of cytokines shown to enhance eosinophil survival (GM-CSF, IL-3, IL-5, IL-13, and IFN-), and transcripts for cytokines promoting apoptosis (IL-10 and TGF-(). GM-CSF transcripts, but not the other cytokines, were present in unstimulated epithelial cells, and levels were increased with TNF-α stimulation. TNF-α stimulation increased the levels of GM-CSF and PGE2 in epithelial cell supernatants and dexamethasone suppressed the TNF-α induced increases. The survival effects of the TNF-α-stimulated supernatants were effectively blocked by neutralizing antibodies to GM-CSF or by dexamethasone treatment of epithelial cells. Selectivity of GM-CSF for eosinophil versus neutrophil survival was demonstrated and suggests that epithelial cell regulation of GM-CSF and PGE2 contribute to eosinophil survival in vitro and may contribute to eosinophil accumulation in allergic disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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