Author(s): Dekkers BG, Schaafsma D, Tran T, Zaagsma J, Meurs H
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Abstract Airway smooth muscle (ASM) plays a key role in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling in asthma, which may involve maturation of ASM cells to a hypercontractile phenotype. In vitro studies have indicated that long-term exposure of bovine tracheal smooth muscle (BTSM) to insulin induces a functional hypercontractile, hypoproliferative phenotype. Similarly, the extracellular matrix protein laminin has been found to be involved in both the induction and maintenance of a contractile ASM phenotype. Using BTSM, we now investigated the role of laminins in the insulin-induced hypercontractile, hypoproliferative ASM phenotype. The results demonstrate that insulin-induced hypercontractility after 8 days of tissue culture was fully prevented by combined treatment of BTSM-strips with the laminin competing peptides Tyr-Ile-Gly-Ser-Arg (YIGSR) and Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS). YIGSR also prevented insulin-induced increases in sm-myosin expression and abrogated the suppressive effects of prolonged insulin treatment on platelet-derived growth factor-induced DNA synthesis in cultured cells. In addition, insulin time-dependently increased laminin alpha2, beta1, and gamma1 chain protein, but not mRNA abundance in BTSM strips. Moreover, as previously found for contractile protein accumulation, signaling through PI3-kinase- and Rho kinase-dependent pathways was required for the insulin-induced increase in laminin abundance and contractility. Collectively, our results indicate a critical role for beta1-containing laminins, likely laminin-211, in the induction of a hypercontractile, hypoproliferative ASM phenotype by prolonged insulin exposure. Increased laminin production by ASM could be involved in the increased ASM contractility and contractile protein expression in asthma. Moreover, the results may be of interest for the use of inhaled insulin administrations by diabetics.
This article was published in Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy