Epithelial cells modulate genes associated with NF kappa B activation in co-cultured human macrophages

I. Striz, E. Brabcova, L. Kolesar, X. D. Liu, I. Brabcova, A. Sekerkova, J. A. Poole, M. Jaresova, A. Slavcev, S. I. Rennard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Macrophages located in airways and the alveolar space are continually exposed to different signals from the respiratory mucosa. In this respect, epithelial cells represent an important source of cytokines and mediators modulating the state of activation and/or differentiation of mononuclear phagocytes. Many of the proinflammatory genes induced in macrophages during immune and immunopathological reactions are regulated by transcription factor NF kappa B. The aim of our study was to characterize changes in the expression of genes associated with NF kappa B activation and signalling in THP-1 human macrophages co-cultured with A549 respiratory epithelial cells. At least 4-fold upregulation of mRNA level was found in 29 of 84 tested genes including genes for multiple cytokines and chemokines, membrane antigens and receptors, and molecules associated with NF kappa B signalling. The mRNA induction was confirmed at the level of protein expression by evaluating the release of IL-6 and IL-8 and by ICAM-1 expression. Blocking of one NFκB subunit by p65 siRNA inhibited the production of IL-6 in both cell types while IL-8 release from THP-1 cells did not seem to be affected.We conclude from our data that unstimulated respiratory epithelial cells regulate genes associated with NF kappa B dependent immune responses in human macrophages and that these interactions may play a key role in immediate responses in the respiratory mucosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1116
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Co-cultures
  • Cytokines
  • Epithelial cells
  • Macrophages
  • NF kappa B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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