FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Epac1 and Epac2 are differentially involved in inflammatory and remodeling processes induced by cigarette smoke.

PMID 25103224


Cigarette smoke (CS) induces inflammatory responses characterized by increase of immune cells and cytokine release. Remodeling processes, such as mucus hypersecretion and extracellular matrix protein production, are also directly or indirectly induced by CS. Recently, we showed that activation of the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) attenuates CS extract-induced interleukin (IL)-8 release from cultured airway smooth muscle cells. Using an acute, short-term model of CS exposure, we now studied the role of Epac1, Epac2, and the Epac effector phospholipase-Cε (PLCε) in airway inflammation and remodeling in vivo. Compared to wild-type mice exposed to CS, the number of total inflammatory cells, macrophages, and neutrophils and total IL-6 release was lower in Epac2(-/-) mice, which was also the case for neutrophils and IL-6 in PLCε(-/-) mice. Taken together, Epac2, acting partly via PLCε, but not Epac1, enhances CS-induced airway inflammation in vivo. In total lung homogenates of Epac1(-/-) mice, MUC5AC and matrix remodeling parameters (transforming growth factor-β1, collagen I, and fibronectin) were increased at baseline. Our findings suggest that Epac1 primarily is capable of inhibiting remodeling processes, whereas Epac2 primarily increases inflammatory processes in vivo.