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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 7 (1998), Issue 4, Pages 275-281
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09629359890965

Glucocorticoid receptor expression in human bronchial epithelial cells: effects of smoking and COPD

1Department of Immunology, Erasmus University and University Hospital Rotterdam-Dijkzigt, PO Box 1738, Rotterdam 3000 DR, The Netherlands
2Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Erasmus University and University Hospital Rotterdam-Dijkzigt, PO Box 1738, Rotterdam 3000 DR, The Netherlands
3Department of Endocrinology and Reproduction, Erasmus University and University Hospital Rotterdam-Dijkzigt, PO Box 1738, Rotterdam 3000 DR, The Netherlands

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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

Previously, we found that inflammatory mediators modulated the number and binding affinity of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in human bronchial epithelial cell lines . In this study we investigated whether smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both characterized by airway inflammation with increased levels of inflammatory mediators , affect GR characteristics in cultured human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC). A statisticallys ignificant difference was found be tween the dissociation constant (Kd) values in HBEC from smoking (Kd = 0.98 ± 0.08 nM; n=6) and nonsmoking controls (Kd = 0.76 ± 0.10 nM, p=0.03; n=5), but no significant difference was found between the mean number of binding sites . Our results are the first indication that cultured HBEC from smokers possess GR with a lower binding affinity. This may result from the in flammation found in the airways from smokers . Further more, these results provide furthere vidence that the bronchial epithelium may be an actual target for inhaled glucocor ticoid therapy.