Cold Stimuli Facilitate Inflammatory Responses Through Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 (TRPM8) in Primary Airway Epithelial Cells of Asthmatic Mice
Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease that can be aggravated by cold air. However, its mechanism remains largely unknown. As a thermo-sensing cation channel, transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) can be activated by cold stimuli (8–22 °C) and cooling agents. Whereas TRPM8 activation leads to enhanced expression of inflammatory cytokines and mucus hypersecretion in human bronchial epithelial cell lines, no previous study has examined its role in regulating the cold-induced inflammatory responses and its mechanism in asthmatic airway epithelium. Airway epithelial cells were isolated from asthma model mice and exposed to low temperature (18 °C). The TRPM8 overexpression plasmid and siRNA lentivirus were transfected to up- or downregulate the TRPM8 level. The expression of mRNAs of inflammatory cytokines was tested using real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The activities of phosphorylated protein kinase C (PKC) and phosphorylated inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (IκB) were measured using the immunofluorescence assay. The expression of mRNAs of inflammatory cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-13, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α] increased significantly under cold conditions, which was boosted after TRPM8 overexpression and augmented further in the presence of PKC inhibitor, calphostin C. However, the downregulation of TRPM8 and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) impaired the transcription of these cytokine genes. In addition, the phosphorylated PKC and phosphorylated IκB were activated by cold stimuli. Moreover, the expression of phosphorylated IκB protein improved in the presence of TRPM8, while disruption with the TRPM8 gene or TRPM8 antagonist prohibited the activation of IκB. Cold air could induce inflammatory responses through the TRPM8-mediated PKC/NF-κB signal pathway in primary airway epithelial cells of asthmatic mice.
KEY WORDSairway inflammation asthma cold stimulus nuclear factor-κB transient receptor potential melastatin 8 protein kinase C
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The study was approved by the Scientific and Ethics Committees at Xin Hua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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