Objective: To explore the possible mechanism of injury by smoking, and the effect of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on E-cadherin (ECD) expression in airway epithelial cells (AEC) was observed.
Methods: Mouse trachea and pig AEC were cultured in vitro. After CSE exposure, the expression of ECD in AECs was evaluated using immunohistochemical stain and image analysis.
Results: ECD was distributed on the plasma membrane at the cell junctions of AECs. At 12th and 24th hour after CSE exposure, the ECD expression on membrane decreased, whereas the cytoplasmic expression increased (P < 0.01) as compared with the normal controls. The expression at 24th hour was higher than that at 12th hour (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: CSE decreases the membranous expression of ECD in AECs, but increases the cytoplasmic expression. The change of ECD expression may mediate the airway epithelial injuries by smoking.