American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

IL-27 enhances innate immunity of human pulmonary fibroblasts and epithelial cells through upregulation of TLR4 expression.

PMID 26608531


Lung tissue cells play an active role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary inflammatory diseases by releasing a variety of cytokines and chemokines. However, how lung tissue cells respond to microbial stimuli during pulmonary infections remains unclear. In this study, we found that patients with community-acquired pneumonia displayed increased IL-27 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and serum. We subsequently examined the immunopathological mechanisms for the activation of primary human lung fibroblasts and bronchial epithelial cells by IL-27. We demonstrated that IL-27 priming enhanced LPS-induced production of IL-6 and IL-8 from lung fibroblasts and bronchial epithelia cells via upregulating Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) expression. IL-27 upregulated TLR4 expression in lung fibroblasts through activation of Janus-activated kinase (JAK) and Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathways, and inhibition of the JAK pathway could partially decrease IL-27-induced TLR4 expression, while inhibition of JNK pathway could completely suppress IL-27-induced TLR4 expression. Our data suggest that IL-27 modulates innate immunity of lung tissue cells through upregulating TLR4 expression during pulmonary infections.