European journal of pharmacology

Cigarette smoke alters non-neuronal cholinergic system components inducing MUC5AC production in the H292 cell line.

PMID 24797786


Cigarette smoke extract (CSE) affects the expression of Choline Acetyl-Transferase (ChAT), muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, and mucin production in bronchial epithelial cells. Mucin 5AC (MUC5AC), muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M3, ChAT expression, acetylcholine levels and acetylcholine binding were measured in a human pulmonary mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell line (H292) stimulated with CSE. We performed ChAT/RNA interference experiments in H292 cells stimulated with CSE to study the role of ChAT/acetylcholine in MUC5AC production. The effects of Hemicholinium-3 (HCh-3) (50 μM) (a potent and selective choline uptake blocker) and Tiotropium bromide (Spiriva(®)) (100 nM), alone or in combination with Salmeterol (SL) and Fluticasone propionate (FP), were tested in this model. MUC5AC, muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M3, ChAT, acetylcholine expression and acetylcholine binding significantly increased in H292 cells stimulated with CSE (5%) compared to untreated cells. HCh-3 reduced acetylcholine binding and MUC5AC production in H292 cells stimulated with CSE. ChAT/RNA interference eliminated the effect of CSE on MUC5AC production. FP reduced ChAT and acetylcholine binding in unstimulated cells, while showing a partial effect in CSE stimulated cells. SL increased the ChAT expression and acetylcholine binding in H292 cells stimulated with or without CSE. Tiotropium, alone or together with FP and SL, reduced acetylcholine binding and MUC5AC production in H292 cells stimulated with CSE. CSE affects the ChAT/acetylcholine expression, increasing MUC5AC production in H292 cells. Pharmacological treatment with anticholinergic drugs reduces the secretion of MUC5AC generated by autocrine acetylcholine activity in airway epithelial cells.