American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology

Secretory leukoprotease inhibitor augments hepatocyte growth factor production in human lung fibroblasts.

PMID 10970828


Secretory leukoprotease inhibitor (SLPI), an 11.7-kD nonglycosylated serine protease inhibitor, is produced and released into the fluids of mucosal surfaces including human lung. It comprises two domains with homologous amino acid sequences: the N-terminal domain possessing antibacterial activity, and the C-terminal domain with antiprotease activity. Here we report the positive regulation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) production in human lung fibroblasts exerted by SLPI or its C-terminal domain under physiologic concentrations (1 to 10 microM). This HGF production by SLPI was unaffected by the addition of interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist. In contrast, human skin fibroblasts exerted no SLPI-stimulated increase in HGF production, despite the fact that IL-1beta increased HGF production with an intensity similar to that of human lung fibroblasts. Both the time-course and dose-response studies in human lung fibroblasts revealed that the induction of HGF messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein occurred in parallel, indicating that the mechanism existed at the steady-state mRNA level. A synthetic elastase inhibitor failed to induce HGF, but alpha(1)-antitrypsin also stimulated HGF production in lung fibroblasts. Inactivation of the antiprotease activity of SLPI or its C-terminal domain by an oxidizing agent (N-chlorosuccinimide) abolished their stimulatory effect on HGF production. These findings demonstrate that SLPI exerts a novel HGF induction and functions as an anti-inflammatory and regenerative factor in addition to its role in protease inhibition.