Selective IκB kinase expression in airway epithelium generates neutrophilic lung inflammation

Ruxana T. Sadikot, Wei Han, M. Brett Everhart, Ornella Zoia, R. Stokes Peebles, E. Duco Jansen, Fiona E. Yull, John W. Christman, Timothy S. Blackwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


To determine whether NF-κB activation is sufficient to generate lung inflammation in vivo, we selectively expressed a constitutively active form of IκB kinase 1 (cIKK1) or IκB kinase 2 (cIKK2) in airway epithelium. After intratracheal administration of adenoviral vectors expressing cIKK1 or cIKK2 to transgenic reporter mice that express Photinus luciferase under the control of an NF-κB-dependent promoter, we detected significantly increased luciferase activity over time (up to 96 h). Compared with control mice treated with adenoviral vectors expressing β-galactosidase, lung bioluminescence and tissue luciferase activity were increased in NF-κB reporter mice treated with adenovirus (Ad)-cIKK1 or Ad-cIKK2. NF-κB activation in lungs of Ad-cIKK1- and Ad-cIKK2-treated mice was confirmed by immunoblots for RelA and EMSA from lung nuclear protein extracts. Mice treated with Ad-cIKK1 or Ad-cIKK2 showed induction of mRNA expression of several chemokines and cytokines in lung tissue. In lung lavage fluid, mice treated with Ad-cIKK1 or Ad-cIKK2 showed elevated concentrations of NF-κB-dependent chemokines macrophage-inflammatory protein 2 and KC and increased numbers of neutrophils. Coadministration of adenoviral vectors expressing a transdominant inhibitor of NF-κB with Ad-cIKK1 or Ad-cIKK2 resulted in abrogated NF-κB activation and other parameters of lung inflammation, demonstrating that the observed inflammatory effects of Ad-cIKK1 and Ad-cIKK2 were dependent on NF-κB activation by these kinases. These data show that selective expression of IκB kinases in airway epithelium results in NF-κB activation, inflammatory mediator production, and neutrophilic lung inflammation. Therapies targeted to NF-κB in lung epithelium may be beneficial in treating inflammatory lung diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1098
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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