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Connective Tissue Growth Factor Expression in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells

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Abstract

Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a cysteine-rich protein that promotes extracellular matrix deposition. CTGF is selectively induced by transforming growth factor  and des-Arg kallidin in lung fibroblasts and increases steady-state mRNA levels of α type I collagen, 5α-integrin and fibronectin in fibroblasts. Bronchial epithelial cells have been proposed to functionally interact with lung fibroblasts. We therefore investigated if bronchial epithelial cells are able to synthesize CTGF. Human bronchial epithelial cells were grown to subconfluence in standard growth media. Proliferating cells grown in small airway growth media were harvested following starvation for up to 24 h. Expression of CTGF transcripts was measured by PCR. Immunocytochemistry was also completed using a commercially available antibody. The cells expressed readily detectable CTGF transcripts. Starvation of these cells resulted in a quantitative decline of CTGF transcripts. Direct sequencing of the PCR product identified human CTGF. Immunocytochemistry confirmed intracellular CTGF in the cells and none in negative control cells. We conclude that bronchial epithelial cells could be a novel source of CTGF. Bronchial epithelial cell-derived CTGF could thus directly influence the deposition of collagen in certain fibrotic lung diseases.

Edited by

Ming-Hua XU
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Keywords: bronchial epithelial cell; collagen deposition; connective tissue growth factor; remodeling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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