AITC inhibits fibroblast-myofibroblast transition via TRPA1-independent MAPK and NRF2/HO-1 pathways and reverses corticosteroids insensitivity in human lung fibroblasts.

Affiliation

Yap JMG(#)(1), Ueda T(#)(2), Kanemitsu Y(3), Takeda N(1), Fukumitsu K(1), Fukuda S(1), Uemura T(1), Tajiri T(1), Ohkubo H(1), Maeno K(1), Ito Y(1), Oguri T(1), Ugawa S(2), Niimi A(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Respiratory Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, 467-8601, Japan.
(2)Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Aichi, Japan.
(3)Department of Respiratory Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, 467-8601, Japan. [Email]
(#)Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Little is known on the role of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) in fibroblast-myofibroblast transition (FMT) that can lead to airway remodeling which is a major problem for severe asthma and fibrosis. Thus, this study investigated the effect of TRPA1 modulators on transforming growth factor beta 1(TGF-β1) -treated lung fibroblasts. METHODS: MRC-5 cells were preincubated with TGF-β1 for 24 h. TRPA1 agonist or antagonist were added and further incubated for 24 h. The changes in TRPA1 and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expressions by stimuli were evaluated using qRT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemical analyses. Statistical significance was determined by using one- or two-way ANOVA, followed by Bonferroni's post hoc analysis for comparison of multiple groups and paired 2-tailed Student's t-test between 2 groups. RESULTS: MRC-5 cells treated by TGF-β1 significantly upregulated α-SMA mRNA expressions (P < 0.01), but downregulated TRPA1 gene expression (P < 0.001). Post-treatment of TRPA1 activator, allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), after TGF-β1 significantly downregulated the α-SMA gene induction (P < 0.01 at 24 h), protein expression (P < 0.05) and immunoreactivity with stress fibers (P < 0.05). On the other hand, TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031 did not prevent this effect, and instead tended to facilitate the suppressive effect of AITC when co-stimulated. AITC significantly increased phosphorylated- extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 protein expressions (P < 0.05) in TGF-β1-treated cells. Combined inhibition with ERK1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (NRF2) almost completely reversed AITC-induced α-SMA suppression (P < 0.05). Dexamethasone was not able to inhibit the upregulated α-SMA induction by TGF-β1. However, AITC improved dexamethasone-insensitive myodifferentiation in the presence of the corticosteroid (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: We found that AITC exerts protective effect on TGF-β1-induced α-SMA induction by activating ERK1/2 MAPK and NRF2/HO-1 pathways in lung fibroblasts. It also overcomes corticosteroids insensitivity in TGF-β1-induced α-SMA induction. TRPA1 antagonist modulates the suppressive effect, but not prevent it. AITC and TRPA1 antagonist may be therapeutic agents in treating chronic respiratory diseases.