Activating prostaglandin E2 receptor subtype EP4 increases secreted mucin from airway goblet cells.

Akaba T1, Komiya K2, Suzaki I2, Kozaki Y2, Tamaoki J3, Rubin BK4
Source: Other
Publication Date: ()
Issue: 48: 117-123
Cells used in publication:
Epithelial, bronchial (NHBE), human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: lung


Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a ligand of the E-type prostanoid receptors, EP1-4. PGE2 secretion is increased in the airways of patients with asthma by secretory phospholipases A2, which also increases MUC5AC mucin in goblet cells. We hypothesized that PGE2 would also increase MUC5AC mRNA and secreted protein through specific EP receptor activation. We sought to assess the effect of specific EP receptor activation on MUC5AC secretion from ciliated-enriched cells or goblet-enriched cells induced by IL-13. We develop an enriched goblet cell epithelium by growing normal human bronchial epithelial cells at air liquid interface for 14 days in the presence of IL-13. We examined exposure to 4 specific EP receptor agonists at 24 h and 14 days in cells grown with or without IL-13 exposure, and measured MUC5AC mRNA and secreted protein, as well as airway culture morphology, and EP receptor expression. In ciliated-enriched cells grown in the absence of IL-13, the EP4 receptor agonist modestly increased both MUC5AC mRNA and secretion (p < 0.001, 241% increase of transcripts and p < 0.01, 86% increase of secreted protein) but did not visibly change cell morphology. In goblet-enriched cells grown in the presence of IL-13, the EP4 receptor agonist greatly increased both MUC5AC mRNA and protein (p < 0.001, 315% increase of transcripts and 92% increase of secreted protein). Specific activation of the other EP receptor had no effect on secreted mucin. EP4 receptor mRNA and protein were significantly increased in goblet-enriched cells, while the other receptor mRNA were decreased. We conclude that PGE2 stimulates airway mucin production predominantly by EP4 receptor activation in association with increased EP4 receptor expression. This may contribute to mucus hypersecretion as seen in severe asthma