Chitin stimulates expression of acidic mammalian chitinase and eotaxin-3 by human sinonasal epithelial cells in vitro

Ashley Lalaker, Louis Nkrumah, Won Kyung Lee, Murugappan Ramanathan, Andrew P. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Sinonasal epithelial cells participate in host defense by initiating innate immune mechanisms against potential pathogens. Antimicrobial innate mechanisms have been shown to involve Th1-like inflammatory responses. Although epithelial cells can also be induced by Th2 cytokines to express proeosinophilic mediators, no environmental agents have been identified that promote this effect. Methods: Human sinonasal epithelial cells from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNPs) and controls were harvested and grown in primary culture. Cell cultures were exposed to a range of concentrations of chitin for 24 hours, and mRNA for acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase), eotaxin-3, and thymic stromal-derived lymphopoietin (TSLP) were assessed. Other cultures were exposed to interleukin 4 (IL- 4) alone and in combination with dust-mite antigen (DMA) for 36 hours. Extracted mRNA and cell culture supernatant were analyzed for expression of AMCase and eotaxin-3. Results: Chitin induced a dose-dependent expression of AMCase and eotaxin-3 mRNA but not TSLP. Patients with recalcitrant CRSwNPs showed lower baseline expression of AMCase when compared with treatment-responsive CRSwNP and less induction of AMCase expression by chitin. DMA did not directly induce expression of AMCase or eotaxin-3. Expression of eotaxin-3 was stimulated by IL-4 and further enhanced with the addition of DMA. Levels of AMCase were not significantly affected by either IL-4 or DMA exposure. In some cases, the combination of IL-4 and DMA was able to induce AMCase expression in cell cultures not producing AMCase at baseline. Conclusion: The abundant biopolymer chitin appears to be recognized by a yet uncharacterized receptor on sinonasal epithelial cells. Chitin stimulates production of AMCase and eotaxin-3, two pro-Th2 effector proteins. This finding suggests the existence of a novel innate immune pathway for local defense against chitin-containing organisms in the sinonasal tract. Dysregulation of this function could precipitate or exacerbate Th2 inflammation, potentially acting as an underlying factor in recalcitrant CRSwNP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Acidic mammalian chitinase
  • Cell culture
  • Chitin
  • Eosinophils
  • Epithelial cell
  • Rhinitis
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Sinonasal
  • Th2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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