Effect of neutrophil elastase and its inhibitor EPI-hNE4 on transepithelial sodium transport across normal and cystic fibrosis human nasal epithelial cells.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Hyperactivity of the epithelial sodium (Na+) channel (ENaC) and increased Na+ absorption by airway epithelial cells leading to airway surface liquid dehydration and impaired mucociliary clearance are thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF) pulmonary disease. In airway epithelial cells, ENaC is constitutively activated by endogenous trypsin-like serine proteases such as Channel-Activating Proteases (CAPs). It was recently reported that ENaC activity could also be stimulated by apical treatment with human neutrophil elastase (hNE) in a human airway epithelial cell line, suggesting that hNE inhibition could represent a novel therapeutic approach for CF lung disease. However, whether hNE can also activate Na+ reabsorption in primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) from control or CF patients is currently unknown. METHODS: We evaluated by short-circuit current (Isc) measurements the effects of hNE and EPI-hNE4, a specific hNE inhibitor, on ENaC activity in primary cultures of HNEC obtained from control (9) and CF (4) patients. RESULTS: Neither hNE nor EPI-hNE4 treatments did modify Isc in control and CF HNEC. Incubation with aprotinin, a Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor that blocks the activity of endogenous CAPs, decreased Isc by 27.6% and 54% in control and CF HNEC, respectively. In control and CF HNEC pretreated with aprotinin, hNE did significantly stimulate Isc, an effect which was blocked by EPI-hNE4. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that hNE does activate ENaC and transepithelial Na+ transport in both normal and CF HNEC, on condition that the activity of endogenous CAPs is first inhibited. The potent inhibitory effect of EPI-hNE4 on hNE-mediated ENaC activation observed in our experiments highlights that the use of EPI-hNE4 could be of interest to reduce ENaC hyperactivity in CF airways.
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Respiratory Research, BioMed Central, 2010, 11, pp.141. 〈10.1186/1465-9921-11-141〉
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Virginie Prulière-Escabasse, Christine Clerici, Grégoire Vuagniaux, André Coste, Estelle Escudier, et al.. Effect of neutrophil elastase and its inhibitor EPI-hNE4 on transepithelial sodium transport across normal and cystic fibrosis human nasal epithelial cells.. Respiratory Research, BioMed Central, 2010, 11, pp.141. 〈10.1186/1465-9921-11-141〉. 〈inserm-00534171〉

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