Effect of cytokines on ICAM-1 and ZO-1 expression on human airway epithelial cells

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The presence of adhesion molecules on airway epithelial cells may be important in recruiting leukocytes to the epithelium. The study aimed at investigating the effects of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-8, IL-13 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) on cell viability and intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and zonula occludens protein (ZO)-1 expression on cultured human basal and columnar airway epithelial cells. Cycloheximide (CHX) induced cell death in both cell lines. The cytokines IL-4, IL-8, IL-13 and IFN-gamma had only minor effects on cell proliferation in the columnar 16HBE14o-cells, and inhibited the effects of CHX on cell death. IFN-gamma increased ICAM-1 expression in both cell lines. Western blot analysis showed that CHX inhibited both ICAM-1 and ZO-1 expression in the basal cell line. A combination of IL-4 and IFN-gamma appeared to break the tight junctions. IL-4 and IL-13 potentiated CHX-induced apoptosis in basal cells but not in columnar cells, possibly due to low levels of the IL-4 receptor. It is concluded that cytokines produced by airway epithelium may have a role in regulating sequestering of leukocytes to the airways during airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-77
Number of pages10
JournalCell Biology International
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • Bronchi
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Cytokines
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-4
  • Leukocytes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Respiratory Mucosa
  • Tight Junctions
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein


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