Nasal Epithelial Cells Can Act as a Physiological Surrogate for Paediatric Asthma Studies

Surendran Thavagnanam, Jeremy C Parker, Michael E McBrien, Grzegorz Skibinski, Michael D Shields, Liam G Heaney

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Introduction: Differentiated paediatric epithelial cells can be used to study the role of epithelial cells in asthma. Nasal epithelial cells are easier to obtain and may act as a surrogate for bronchial epithelium in asthma studies. We assessed the suitability of nasal epithelium from asthmatic children to be a surrogate for bronchial epithelium using air-liquid interface cultures.

Methods: Paired nasal and bronchial epithelial cells from asthmatic children (n = 9) were differentiated for 28 days under unstimulated and IL-13-stimulated conditions. Morphological and physiological markers were analysed using immunocytochemistry, transepithelial-electrical-resistance, Quantitative Real-time-PCR, ELISA and multiplex cytokine/chemokine analysis.

Results: Physiologically, nasal epithelial cells from asthmatic children exhibit similar cytokine responses to stimulation with IL-13 compared with paired bronchial epithelial cells. Morphologically however, nasal epithelial cells differed significantly from bronchial epithelial cells from asthmatic patients under unstimulated and IL-13-stimulated conditions. Nasal epithelial cells exhibited lower proliferation/differentiation rates and lower percentages of goblet and ciliated cells when unstimulated, while exhibiting a diminished and varied response to IL-13.

Conclusions: We conclude that morphologically, nasal epithelial cells would not be a suitable surrogate due to a significantly lower rate of proliferation and differentiation of goblet and ciliated cells. Physiologically, nasal epithelial cells respond similarly to exogenous stimulation with IL-13 in cytokine production and could be used as a physiological surrogate in the event that bronchial epithelial cells are not available.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere85802
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • asthma
  • cell differentiation
  • cell physiology
  • children
  • cytokines
  • epithelial cells
  • epithelium
  • Secretion

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