L-Thyroxine promotes a proliferative airway smooth muscle phenotype in the presence of TGF-β1

Bart G J Dekkers, Saeideh Naeimi, I. Sophie T. Bos, Mark H Menzen, Andrew John Halayko, Goudarz Sadeghi Hashjin, Herman Meurs

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Abstract

Hypothyroidism may reduce, whereas hyperthyroidism may aggravate asthma symptoms. The mechanisms underlying this relationship are largely unknown. Since thyroid hormones have central roles in cell growth and differentiation, we hypothesized that airway remodeling, in particular increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass, may be involved. To address this hypothesis, we investigated the effects of triiodothyronine (T3) and L-thyroxine (T4) in the absence and presence of the profibrotic transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 on human ASM cell phenotype switching. T3 (1-100 nM) and T4 (1-100 nM) did not affect basal ASM proliferation. However, when combined with TGF-β1 (2 ng/ml) T4 synergistically increased the proliferative response, whereas only a minor effect was observed for T3. In line with a switch from a contractile to a proliferative ASM phenotype, T4 reduced the TGF-β1-induced contractile protein expression by approximately 50%. Co-treatment with T3 reduced TGF-β1-induced contractile protein expression by approximately 25%. The synergistic increase in proliferation was almost fully inhibited by the integrin αvβ3 antagonist tetrac (100 nM), whereas no significant effects of the thyroid receptor antagonist 1-850 (3 µM) were observed. Inhibition of MEK1/2, downstream of the αvβ3 integrin, also inhibited the T4- and TGF-β1-induced proliferative responses. Collectively, the results indicate that T4 and to a lesser extent T3 promotes a proliferative ASM phenotype in the presence of TGF-β1, which is predominantly mediated by the membrane bound T4 receptor αvβ3. These results indicate that thyroid hormones may enhance ASM remodeling in asthma, which could be of relevance for hyperthyroid patients with this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L301-L306
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Volume308
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2015

Keywords

  • airway smooth muscle proliferation
  • airway smooth muscle contractile protein expression
  • L-thyroxine
  • triiodothyronine
  • transforming growth factor-beta 1
  • TRIIODOTHYRONINE-INDUCED THYROTOXICOSIS
  • OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE
  • THYROID-HORMONE
  • EXTRACELLULAR-MATRIX
  • MEDIATE ENHANCEMENT
  • ASTHMA
  • HYPERRESPONSIVENESS
  • RECEPTOR
  • FIBRONECTIN
  • INFLAMMATION

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