Background: Cigarette smoke induces bronchial mucus secretion. However, the mechanism of this induction is still unidentified. In this study, we investigated the role of the putative calcium-activated chloride channel 1 (CLCA1) and its blocker, niflumic acid, in cigarette smoke-induced mucin synthesis both in vivo and in vitro.
Methods and results: Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to cigarette smoke for 4 weeks. The CLCA1, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and MUC5AC expressions were increased in the trachea and lung tissues. Goblet-cell hyperplasia with marked mucin staining was detected in the tracheal and bronchial epithelium. In the human bronchial epithelial cell line NCI-H292, cigarette smoke solution also induced mucin production as well as the RNA and protein expressions of CLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC. Both in vivo and in vitro, the induction of MUC5AC and mucin synthesis were inhibited by niflumic acid, and/or a selective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AG-1478. Niflumic acid also blocked the epidermal growth factor-induced MUC5AC and mucin staining in the NCI-H292 cell line.
Conclusion: Both EGFR and niflumic acid-sensitive chloride channels (probably CLCA1) are dependently affecting the mucin production as a part of a single complex signaling pathway. CLCA1 may be a key signaling member that can be targeted with pharmacologic interventions to treat mucus hypersecretion.
Chronic bronchitis is a clinical syndrome characterized by chronic sputum production and is a major phenotype of COPD. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for COPD. Although several studies1have shown that cigarette smoke can induce mucus production, the mechanism of this induction remains unexplained. MUC5AC is the major respiratory mucin in goblet-cell secretion.2Mucin synthesis in response to various stimuli is regulated by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) system.3Cigarette smoke causes activation of EGFR via phosphorylation of tyrosine residues that leads to extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation that is required for activator protein 1-containing response element to bind JunD and Fra-2 causing upregulation of MUC5AC at both messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels.4
Human calcium-activated chloride channel 1 (hCLCA1) has been shown to be critical for airway mucus production. The expression of hCLCA1 is strongly induced in the airway goblet cells in human asthmatics5–6 and COPD patients.7In addition, transfection of the hCLCA1 gene into the human mucoepidermoid cell line NCI-H292 induces mucin production.8Its murine counter part, murine calcium-activated chloride channel 3 (mCLCA3), was the most highly induced gene at all time points in the asbestos-induced mucus production,9and was markedly induced with MUC5AC in respiratory syncytial virus-infected, allergically sensitized mice.10Furthermore, some polymorphisms and haplotypes within the hCLCA1 gene have been shown to be associated with bronchial asthma11and COPD.12 Taken together, these data indicate that calcium-activated chloride channel 1 (CLCA1) is involved in several pulmonary diseases that are characterized by increased mucus production.
Animals and Exposure to Cigarette Smoke:
Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 200 to 250 g were randomly assigned to the nonsmoking group (n = 4), the smoke-exposed group (n = 20; 4 animals killed at 2, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days), or the smoke-exposed treatment group (n = 12; 4 animals for each treatment protocol). Rats were exposed to the whole smoke from six nonfiltered cigarettes per day, 5 d/wk, for 2 to 28 days by the whole-body exposure method at the rate of one puff per minute. After the exposure of one cigarette smoke, animals were allowed to breathe fresh air for 20 min before the next cigarette smoke was administered.
Treatment With Niflumic Acid and/or AG-1478:
Niflumic acid (Sigma-Aldrich; St. Louis, MO) is a blocker of calcium-activated chloride channels (CLCAs). AG-1478 (LC Laboratories; Woburn, MA) is a selective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor. To examine the effect of inhibiting CLCA1 and/or EGFR on the cigarette smoke-induced mucus production, the animals in the smoke-exposed treatment group were injected intraperitoneally 30 min/d before the smoke exposure with either vehicle, niflumic acid (3 mg/kg), AG-1478 (3 mg/kg), or both niflumic acid and AG-1478.
RNA Isolation and Quantification of Gene Expressions:
Two hours after the last smoke exposure, the animals were killed; RNA was then isolated from the trachea and lungs. RNA expression measurement was done using the real-time TaqMan-polymerase chain reaction technology (ABI Prism 7000 Sequence Detection System; Applied Biosystems; Foster City, CA); the quantification of CLCA1 and EGFR was done using the Assays-on-Demand gene expression assay primer/probe. The quantification of MUC5AC was done using the following sequences: probe 5′-[FAM]-CTGTCCATTCACGTGCC-[MGB]-3′, sense primer 5′-TGGAGAAGCCATACCAACAACA-3′ and antisense primer 5′-CAAGGCTGGTATACTTGGTTTTCA-3′. The TaqMan 18s recombinant RNA primer/probe mixture (Applied Biosystems) was used as a housekeeping gene to normalize for differences in the amounts of mRNAs. Samples were run simultaneously in triplicate and repeated three times.
Protein was separated from lung tissues, and its concentration was measured by standard techniques. The samples were separated on polyacrylamide gel, and then electrotransferred onto Immun-Blot polyvinylidene fluoride membrane (Bio-Rad; Hercules, CA). Membranes were blocked in skimmed milk and then probed with the following primary polyclonal antibodies (dilute 1:200 to approximately 1,000): a rabbit anti-Gob-5 (kindly provided by Takeda Pharmaceutical; Tsukuba, Japan), a rabbit anti-EGFR, a goat anti-phosphospecific (Tyr 1173) EGFR (pEGFR), and a goat anti-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase antibodies (Santa Cruze Biotechnology; Santa Cruz, CA). The membranes were subsequently incubated in horseradish peroxidase-coupled secondary antibodies. Band formation was visualized by simple staining with the DAB substrate. The bands were quantified by densitometric scanning using ImageJ (available at: http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/index.html). Data are expressed as percentage of control, and the expression of the different proteins were normalized to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase readings.
Paraffin-embedded lungs with small portions of the tracheas were sectioned transversely and stained with hematoxylin-eosin or with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) to evaluate the total epithelial area and the area stained for intracellular mucin, respectively. These areas were measured using a digital camera (FX380; Olympus; Tokyo, Japan). Eight different images, four from the trachea and four from major bronchi, were analyzed for each rat. Data are expressed as the percentage of PAS-stained area to the total epithelial area.
Smoke Solution Preparation:
Smoke solution was prepared as previously described13 with some modifications. In brief, one cigarette and a 50-mL syringe were attached to a three-way stopcock. Then 1, 4, or 10 puffs of smoke were repeatedly withdrawn to the syringe and bubbled into 20 mL of serum-free RPMI 1640 medium containing 25 mmol/L hydroxylethyl piperazine-ethanesulfonic acid buffer. The smoke solution was filtered and used immediately.
Cell Culture and Exposure to Smoke Solution:
The human bronchial mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell line NCI-H292 (American Type Culture Collection; Rockville, MD) were maintained in RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum, penicillin (100 U/mL), and streptomycin (100 μg/mL) at 37°C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2. The cells were cultured in 100-mm culture dishes for RNA studies and in Lab-Tek eight-chamber slides (Nalge Nunc International; Naperville, IL) for PAS staining studies. At confluence, the medium was changed into serum-free RPMI 1640 and the cells were cultured for 24 h more. Next, the cells were incubated in the smoke solution for 1 h. The cells were then washed and cultured with serum-free medium for 1, 18, 24, or 36 h. In treatment studies, the culture medium was supplemented with niflumic acid (300 μmol/L), AG-1478 (10 μmol/L), or both from 1 h before changing the medium into the smoke solution to the end of the culture. As controls, cells were incubated with serum-free medium alone or supplemented with the same drugs for the same duration. Since dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was used as a solvent for niflumic acid and AG-1478, we also exposed the cells to the same concentration of DMSO alone to examine its effect on the gene expressions. All samples were managed simultaneously in triplicate, and the experiments were repeated at least three times.
RNA Isolation and Quantification of Gene Expressions:
The quantification of hCLCA1 and EGFR was done using the Assays-on-Demand gene expression assay (Applied Biosystems). The quantification of MUC5AC was done using the following sequences: probe 5′-[FAM]-CTCGCTGGCCATTGCTATTATGCCC-[MGB]-3′, sense primer 5′-TCCACCATATACCGCCACAGA-3′ and antisense primer 5′-TGGACCGACAGTCAC TGTCAAC-3′.
The cells were harvested and resuspended in 1 mL of water, sonicated for 30 s on ice, and then cell debris was removed by centrifugation. The rest of the procedures were the same as mentioned in the in vivo studies except that the antibody used for detection of human CLCA1 was polyclonal rabbit anti-CLCA1 antibody (kindly provided by Takeda).
Determination of Mucous Glycoconjugate Production in NCI-H292 Cells
Confluent cells cultured in eight-chamber slides were serum starved for 24 h and then exposed to smoke solution with and without the treatments with the same concentrations and durations as those used for culture dishes mentioned above. The cells were then fixed with formalin, and mucous glycoconjugates were visualized by PAS staining.
Is hCLCA1 Part of the EGFR-MUC5AC Pathway?
Several ligands have been identified to bind to EGFR causing its activation. Binding of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to EGFR stimulates MUC5AC expression and mucin staining in NCI-H292 cells.14 To determine whether this pathway is dependant on the hCLCA1, serum-starved confluent NCI-H292 cells were incubated with 25 ng/mL EGF (Sigma) alone or combined with 300 μmol/L niflumic acid or 10 μmol/L AG-1478 for 18 h. Then the hCLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC mRNA expressions were quantified as described above. Cells grown in eight-chamber slides were treated similarly and stained by PAS stain. Furthermore, CLCA1, EGFR, and pEGFR protein expression was examined by Western blot.
Data are presented as mean ± SD of at least three separate experiments. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine statistically significant differences between groups; p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Cigarette Smoke Up-regulates CLCA1 and EGFR mRNA and Protein Expressions and MUC5AC mRNA Expression in Rats:
In the nonsmoking group, CLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC mRNA expressions were constitutively expressed in rat lung and trachea. The smoke-exposed group showed significant upregulation of all the three mRNA expressions from day 21 onwards (p < 0.001) [Fig 1
]. This effect was stronger in the trachea than in the lung. Similarly, the protein expressions of CLCA1 and both resting EGFR and activated pEGFR were significantly increased on day 28 (p < 0.001) [Fig 2
Niflumic Acid, AG-1478, or Both Inhibit the Cigarette Smoke-Induced MUC5AC Gene Expression:
Niflumic acid is a blocker of the CLCAs, and AG-1478 is an inhibitor of EGFR tyrosine kinase. In the smoke-exposed treatment group, niflumic acid, AG-1478, or both significantly inhibited the upreglation of MUC5AC mRNA expression (p < 0.001) without affecting the upregulation of CLCA1 and EGFR mRNAs. Combining both drugs did not show a significant synergistic effect on MUC5AC mRNA expression (Fig 3
). On the protein level, neither niflumic acid, AG-1478, nor both could inhibit the upregulation of CLCA1 protein by cigarette smoke. However, EGFR upregulation was partially inhibited by AG-1478, while pEGFR expression was abolished by it (p < 0.001). Niflumic acid had no effect on the protein expressions of EGFR and pEGFR (Fig 2).
Cigarette Smoke Increases Mucin Staining and Number of Goblet Cells in Rats, an Effect That Is Inhibited by Treatment With Niflumic Acid, AG-1478, or Both:
The smoke-exposed group showed marked increase in the intensity of PAS staining as well as in the percentage area of goblet cells in the tracheal epithelium from day 21. The area of the mucin glycoconjugate in the epithelium was 1.7 ± 1.3% in the nonsmoking group while it was 24.0 ± 6.9% in the smoke-exposed group on the 28th day (p < 0.001) The areas were 2.6 ± 1.5%, 5.1 ± 2.9%, and 4.0 ± 1.1% in the smoke-exposed niflumic treated, AG-1478 treated, and both treated groups, respectively (p < 0.001) [Fig 4
]. In a post hoc analysis of animal sample size and power calculation, as the change in the primary outcome variable (mucin production) was > 85% and the within-sample variation was < 10%, the number of animals used gives a 95% power to detect a significance level of 0.05.
Smoke Solution Up-regulates CLCA1, EGFR mRNA and Protein Expressions, and MUC5AC mRNA Expressions in NCI-H292 Cells:
In the control condition, EGFR and MUC5AC mRNAs were constitutively expressed in the NCI-H292 cells. By contrast, hCLCA1 mRNA expression was undetectable. However, when the cells were exposed to the smoke solution, all the three genes were significantly up-regulated (p < 0.001) [Fig 5
]. This up-regulation was dose and time dependent (data not shown). As for the protein expressions, CLCA1 and pEGFR protein expressions were significantly elevated by smoke solution (p < 0.001), while no significant elevation in the EGFR protein expression was detected (Fig 6
Niflumic Acid, AG-1478, or Both Inhibited the Baseline and Smoke-Induced MUC5AC Gene Expression in NCI-H292 Cells:
Treating the cells exposed to smoke solution with niflumic acid, AG-1478, or both significantly inhibited the upreglation of the MUC5AC gene expression to the control level (p < 0.001) without affecting the upregulation of hCLCA1 and EGFR mRNAs. Combining both drugs did not show a significant synergistic effect (Fig 5). Pretreating the smoke-exposed cells with DMSO also could inhibit, although partially, the MUC5AC mRNA expression without affecting the upregulation of hCLCA1 and EGFR mRNAs (Fig 5). On the protein levels, neither niflumic acid, AG-1478, nor both could inhibit the upregulation of CLCA1 by cigarette smoke. However, pEGFR upregulation was abolished by AG-1478 (p < 0.001). Niflumic acid had no effect on EGFR or pEGFR (Fig 6).
Interestingly, treating naive cells (unexposed to smoke solution) with niflumic acid, AG-1478, or both significantly down regulated MUC5AC mRNA expression below its baseline (p < 0.001) without affecting the CLCA1 and EGFR expressions (Fig 7
). However, treating the native cells with DMSO did not significantly affect the baseline expression of MUC5AC mRNA, hCLCA1, or EGFR gene expressions (Fig 7).
Smoke Solution Increases Mucin Staining in NCI-H292 Cells, an Effect That Was Inhibited by Niflumic Acid, AG-1478, or Both:
In the control condition, few cells were positive by PAS staining. However, the number of PAS-positive cells and the intensity of PAS staining in each cell significantly increased after the treatment with the smoke solution (Fig 8
, left, A, and center, B). Treatment of the cells exposed to the smoke solution with niflumic acid, AG-1478, or both significantly inhibited the increase of the PAS-stained area (Fig 8, right, C).
CLCAs Are Part of the EGFR-MUC5AC Pathway:
EGF caused significant upregulation of MUC5AC expression (p < 0.001) without affecting CLCA1 and EGFR expression (Fig 9
). Pretreatment of these cells with AG-1478 led to complete inhibition of the EGF-induced MUC5AC expression, confirming that the EGF-mediated upregulation of MUC5AC in NCI-H292 cells goes through the activation of EGFR tyrosine kinase. Pretreatment of the cells stimulated by EGF with niflumic acid also led to complete inhibition of the EGF-induced MUC5AC expression. These results suggest that the CLCAs are part of the EGFR-MUC5AC pathway, probably downstream to EGFR, and that sequential activation of EGFR and the chloride channels are essential for the MUC5AC gene upregulation (Fig 9). This was further confirmed by the finding that EGF caused significant increase in PAS staining, which was inhibited by the pretreatment with niflumic acid or AG-1478 (data not shown). On the protein level, treatments by EGF alone or by EGF combined with niflumic acid or AG-1478 had no effect on CLCA1 expression, while EGF significantly upregulated the pEGFR expression, an effect that was partially inhibited by niflumic acid but markedly abolished by AG-1478 (data not shown).
This study demonstrated that cigarette smoke exposure increases MUC5AC mRNA and mucin synthesis via a signaling pathway that involves upregulation of EGFR and CLCA1 both in vivo and in vitro. It has been shown that cigarette smoke upregulates EGFR expression leading to mucin production in the airway epithelium.13 This is the first study to show a critical role for CLCA1 in cigarette smoke-induced mucin production, which is one of the major features of COPD.
In this study, we showed that either a blocker of CLCAs, niflumic acid, or a selective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AG-1478, are completely able to inhibit cigarette smoke-induced mucin synthesis as well as the upregulation of MUC5AC mRNA expression, and that the effect of combining both drugs is not synergistic. This indicates that both CLCA1 and EGFR are dependently affecting mucin production as a part of a single complex signaling pathway, but it does not exclude the participation of CLCAs other than CLCA1. It seems that CLCA1 is involved in the pathologic induction of mucin, while a different CLCAs are related to the baseline physiologic mucin secretion. Although niflumic acid is a known blocker of the CLCAs and has been shown to block the function of hCLCA1,15–16 it is nonspecific to CLCA1. Therefore the contribution of its blocking of any other CLCAs cannot be accurately evaluated. In fact, despite the increasing number of discovered CLCAs both in animals and human and their seemingly important functions, understanding these channels has been limited by the absence of specific blockers and the fact that their molecular identities remain in question.17
Our results indicate that CLCAs are part of the EGFR-MUC5AC pathway because niflumic acid can inhibit the EGF-induced MUC5AC expression and mucin staining in NCI-H292 cells, which was the same level of inhibition caused by AG-1478. Several previous reports18–19 have shown that activation of several EGFR-related tyrosine kinases open different types of outwardly rectifying chloride channels, which might mean that CLCA1 is probably downstream to EGFR. Furthermore, Leverkoehne and Gruber20 demonstrated that the mCLCA3 (mouse counterpart of hCLCA1) protein is exclusively associated with mucin granule membranes inside the goblet cells. They suggested that mCLCA3 is involved in the synthesis, condensation, or secretion of mucins. Collectively, we suggest that cigarette smoke up-regulates the EGFR and CLCA1 mRNA and protein expressions in goblet cells and it also leads to activation of the EGFR, which then activates the CLCA1 in the mucin granule membranes causing upregulation of the MUC5AC mRNA and induction of mucin synthesis.
Several reports have pointed to a link between CLCA16,21or EGFR22and the T-helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines: interleukin (IL)-4, IL-9, and IL-13. However, Th2 cytokines were also shown to play a role in smoke-induced COPD.23–26 Taken together, these findings support our results that suggest that the mechanism of cigarette smoke-induced mucin synthesis involves the EGFR and CLCA1 stimulation induced by these Th2 cytokines.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is another mediator that has been shown to induce hCLCA1 leading to upregulation of MUC5AC mRNA and mucus.27 Since TNF-α increases EGFR expression in airway epithelium,22 it is possible that the induction of hCLCA1 and mucin production by TNF-α in the airway is mediated via the EGFR signaling pathway. Cigarette smoke can induce TNF-α both in vivo and in vitro.,28 Therefore, we speculated that the upregulation of the EGFR and hCLCA1 genes in the present study may be partly mediated by TNF-α.
We demonstrated in this study that DMSO partially inhibited the smoke-induced MUC5AC gene expression in NCI-H292 cells. DMSO is a known potent antioxidant agent. Cigarette smoke contains free radicals and other oxidants in abundance. It has been shown that oxidative stress causes mucin synthesis via ligand-independent EGFR activation.29 Taken together, it is suggested that at least some part of the mucin upregulation induced by cigarette smoke is mediated through the oxidants.
Although our results were largely similar between the study of the human cell line and that of the Sprague-Dawley rats, they cannot automatically correspond to humans without further confirmation. Interspecies or even interstrain differences in the response to cigarette smoke are well identified. We have exposed the C57BL/6 and Balb/c mice to cigarette smoke for up to 8 weeks without detecting any effect on the mCLCA3, EGFR, and MUC5AC gene expressions (A.E. Hegab, PhD; unpublished data; March 2005), while these changes were significantly detected in rats within 3 weeks. The difference is even more manifest when it comes to human development of chronic bronchitis, which requires many years of smoking and affects only a subpopulation of smokers.
In conclusion, we are showing for the first time that a blocker of the CLCAs probably acting through inhibition of hCLCA1 prevents cigarette smoke-induced MUC5AC synthesis in vivo and in vitro. More studies are needed to further understand the mechanism of actions and interactions of hCLCA1 that might reveal a key signaling pathway that can be targeted with pharmacologic interventions to treat mucus hypersecretion.
Figure Jump LinkFigure 1. Effect of cigarette smoke inhalation on the mRNA expressions of CLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC in rats. Cigarette smoke caused significant upregulation of CLCA1 (circles), EGFR (squares), and MUC5AC (triangles) genes starting from 21 days onwards. *p < 0.001 compared to the control.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 2. Effect of cigarette smoke inhalation with or without a blocker of CLCAs—niflumic acid (NFA), tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AG-1478), or both—on CLCA1, EGFR, and pEGFR protein expressions at 28 days in rats. Cigarette smoke caused significant upregulation of CLCA1 (triangles), EGFR (squares), and pEGFR (diamonds) genes. This upregulation was not affected by niflumic acid, while AG-1478 partially inhibited and abolished the EGFR and pEGFR upregulations, respectively. #p < 0.001 compared to the control, *p < 0.001 compared to the smoke only, and ¥ p < 0.05 compared to the smoke only.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 3. Effect of a blocker of CACLs—niflumic acid, tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AG-1478), or both—on cigarette smoke-induced gene expressions at 28 days in rats. Both drugs inhibited the cigarette smoke-induced MUC5AC (triangles) gene expression without affecting the CLCA1 (circles) and EGFR (squares). Combining the drugs is not synergistic. #p < 0.001 compared to the control; *p < 0.001 compared to the smoke only. See Figure 2 footnote for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 4. Effect of cigarette smoke on PAS staining of rat airway epithelium. Left, A: Control rat showed minimal staining. Center, B: Cigarette smoke exposure significantly increased the mucin staining. Right, C: Cigarette smoke-induced increase in mucin staining was significantly inhibited by treatment with a blocker of CLCAs: niflumic acid, tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AG-1478), or both. Representative slides of several independent experiments (original × 40; bar = 100 μm).Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 5. Effect of a blocker of CLCAs—niflumic acid, tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AG-1478), or both—on mRNA expressions of hCLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC in smoke-exposed NCI-H292 cells. Smoke solution (10 puffs for 18 h) caused significant increase in the expression of hCLCA1 (circles), EGFR (squares), and MUC5AC (triangles) genes. NFA, AG-1478, or both significantly inhibited smoke-induced MUC5AC expression without affecting the induction of hCLCA1 and EGFR. DMSO-only partly inhibited the smoke-induced MUC5AC expression. *p < 0.001 and ¥ p < 0.05 compared to the control; # p < 0.001 compared to the smoke only. See Figure 2 footnote for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 6. Effect of smoke solution with or without a blocker of CLCAs—niflumic acid, tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AG-1478), or both—on CLCA1, EGFR, and pEGFR protein expressions in NCI-H292 cells. Smoke solution (10 puffs for 18 h) caused significant upregulation of hCLCA1 (triangles) and pEGFR (diamonds) genes with no significant effect on EGFR (squares). This upregulation was not affected by niflumic acid, while AG-1478 abolished the pEGFR upregulation. #p < 0.001 compared to the control; *p < 0.001 compared to the smoke only. See Figure 2 footnote for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 7. Effect of niflumic acid, AG-1478, or both on mRNA expressions of hCLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC in naive NCI-H292 cells. NFA, AG-1478, or both significantly decreased MUC5AC expression level several folds below the baseline gene expression of naïve cells, while DMSO-only had no effect. The expressions of CLCA1 and EGFR were not affected by any of them. See Figure 2 footnote for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 8. Effect of smoke solution without and with a blocker of CLCAs—niflumic acid, tyrosine kinase inhibitor AG-1478, or both—on PAS staining in NCI-H292 cells. Left, A: Control cells showed minimal staining. Center, B: Cells treated with smoke solution showed significant increase in the number of PAS-positive cells and the intensity of PAS staining in each cell. p < 0.001 compared to the control. Right, C: Pretreating the smoke-exposed cells with niflumic acid, AG-1478, or both significantly inhibited the increase in PAS-stained area. p < 0.001 compared to the smoke only (bar = 100 μm). The figure shows representative results from three different experiments.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 9. Effect of EGF without and with a blocker of CLCAs—niflumic acid or tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AG-1478)—on the expressions of hCLCA1, EGFR, and MUC5AC in NCI-H292 cells. EGF caused significant increase in the expression of only MUC5AC (triangles) with no effect on the hCLCA1 (circles) or EGFR (squares). The EGF-induced MUC5AC expression was significantly inhibited by niflumic acid or AG-1478. *p < 0.001 compared to the control; #p < 0.001 compared to the EGF only. See Figure 2 footnote for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location
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