Original Article

Chemokine receptor CXCR3 is important for lung tissue damage and airway remodeling induced by short-term exposure to cigarette smoking in mice

Authors: Li Nie, Zhen-jia Liu, Wei-xun Zhou, Ruo-lan Xiang, Yu Xiao, Bao Lu, Bao-sen Pang, Jin-ming Gao
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2009.192


Aim: To investigate the role of chemokine receptor CXCR3 in cigarette smoking (CS)-induced pulmonary damage.
Methods: CXCR3 knockout (CXCR3-/-) mice were used. Differences in airspace enlargement, mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), transforming growth factor (TGF) β1, CXCL10 in lung homogenates, and CXCL10 content in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids and homogenates were compared between CXCR3-/- mice and wild-type (WT) mice three days after three-day CS exposures.
Results: The linear intercept was significantly less in CXCR3-/- mice than in WT mice (30.1±0.9 μm vs 40.3±2.4 μm, P<0.01). Morphologically, collagen was deposited less around airways and vessels in CXCR3-/- mice. The lung hydroxyproline content was significantly lower in CXCR3-/- mice than in WT mice (6.0±1.0 μg/mL vs12.0±1.6 μg/mL, P<0.05). Profoundly lower mRNA expression of MMP2, MMP12, TGFβ1, and CXCL10 was seen in lung homogenates from CXCR3-/- mice. CXCL10 concentrations in BAL fluid and lung homogenates were significantly lower in CXCR3-/- mice than in WT mice (BAL fluid: 19.3±1.4 pg/mL vs24.8±1.6 pg/mL, P<0.05; lung homogenates: 76.6±7.0 pg/mLvs119.5±15.9 pg/mL, P<0.05).
Conclusion: CXCR3 is important in mediating lung tissue damage and airway remodeling following a short-term CS insult, possibly through up-regulation of CXCL10 and inducement of mRNA expression of MMPs. Targeting CXCR3 may be helpful for prevention of CS-induced pulmonary pathology.

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