Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2010, Article ID 394578, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/394578
Review Article

Cultured Human Airway Epithelial Cells (Calu-3): A Model of Human Respiratory Function, Structure, and Inflammatory Responses

1Nemours Biomedical Research, Nemours Research Lung Center, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA
2Department of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, 1025 Walnut Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
3Department of Pediatrics, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA
4Departments of Physiology and Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Temple University, 3420 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA

Received 31 January 2010; Revised 16 April 2010; Accepted 3 May 2010

Academic Editor: Hector R. Wong

Copyright © 2010 Yan Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This article reviews the application of the human airway Calu-3 cell line as a respiratory model for studying the effects of gas concentrations, exposure time, biophysical stress, and biological agents on human airway epithelial cells. Calu-3 cells are grown to confluence at an air-liquid interface on permeable supports. To model human respiratory conditions and treatment modalities, monolayers are placed in an environmental chamber, and exposed to specific levels of oxygen or other therapeutic modalities such as positive pressure and medications to assess the effect of interventions on inflammatory mediators, immunologic proteins, and antibacterial outcomes. Monolayer integrity and permeability and cell histology and viability also measure cellular response to therapeutic interventions. Calu-3 cells exposed to graded oxygen concentrations demonstrate cell dysfunction and inflammation in a dose-dependent manner. Modeling positive airway pressure reveals that pressure may exert a greater injurious effect and cytokine response than oxygen. In experiments with pharmacological agents, Lucinactant is protective of Calu-3 cells compared with Beractant and control, and perfluorocarbons also protect against hyperoxia-induced airway epithelial cell injury. The Calu-3 cell preparation is a sensitive and efficient preclinical model to study human respiratory processes and diseases related to oxygen- and ventilator-induced lung injury.