C-C chemokines such as CCL11, CCL5, and CCL3 are central mediators in the pathogenesis of asthma. They are mainly associated with the recruitment and the activation of specific inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils, lymphocytes, and neutrophils. It has recently been shown that they can also activate structural cells, such as airway smooth muscle and epithelial cells. The aims of this study were to examine the expression of the CCL3 receptor, CCR1, on human airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC) and to document the regulation of this receptor by cytokines involved in asthma pathogenesis. We first demonstrated that CCR1 mRNA is increased in the airways of asthmatic vs control subjects and showed for the first time that ASMC express CCR1 mRNA and protein, both in vitro and in vivo. Calcium mobilization by CCR1 ligands confirmed its functionality on ASMC. Stimulation of ASMC with TNF-α and, to a lesser extent, IFN-γ resulted in an up-regulation of CCR1 expression, which was totally suppressed by both dexamethasone or mithramycin. Taken together, our data suggest that CCR1 might be involved in the pathogenesis of asthma, through the activation of ASMC by its ligands.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy