Bronchial epithelial cells produce lung fibroblast chemotactic factor: fibronectin.

S. Shoji, K. A. Rickard, R. F. Ertl, R. A. Robbins, J. Linder, S. I. Rennard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The interaction between the epithelial cells and the subjacent mesenchymal cells in the airway is thought to play a major role during tissue repair after airway injury and lung morphogenesis. To evaluate this interaction, we cultured human lung fibroblasts, and bovine and human bronchial epithelial cells, and determined that bronchial epithelial cell-conditioned medium has a chemotactic activity for lung fibroblasts. This activity had the characteristics of protein: it was nondialyzable, heat-labile, pepsin-labile, acid-stable, and lipid-inextractable. Molecular sieve chromatography on Sephadex G-150 and affinity chromatography on gelatin-Sepharose revealed that there was one peak of chemotactic activity in high molecular weight range, which bound to gelatin, thus suggesting that the chemotactic factor might be fibronectin. Production and secretion of fibronectin into the culture media were demonstrated by biosynthetic incorporation of radioactive amino acid into fibronectin followed by immunoprecipitation on SDS-PAGE and autoradiography. Release into the culture medium was confirmed by ELISA. The identity of fibronectin as the chemotactic activity was confirmed by the addition of antifibronectin antibody to the conditioned medium, which inhibited chemotaxis in dose-dependent manner. Thus, bronchial epithelial cells produce fibronectin which can function as a chemotactic factor for lung fibroblasts. This production of fibronectin by bronchial epithelial cells may play an important role in regulating interaction between the bronchial epithelial cells that line the lumenal surface of the bronchial epithelial wall and the mesenchymal fibroblasts that underlie the bronchial epithelial basement membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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