Nasal and bronchial airway epithelial cell mediator release in children

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012 Dec;47(12):1215-25. doi: 10.1002/ppul.22672. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


Objective: The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that airway epithelial cell (AEC) mediator release is similar in upper and lower airway AEC in children.

Methods: Nasal and bronchial AEC were collected by brushings from children scheduled for general anesthetic. AEC release of the following mediators was measured: interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF), regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metallo proteinase (MMP)-9, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1.

Results: AEC were cultured in 34 children, mean age 7.3 years. Release of IL-6, IL-8, and G-CSF was significantly higher in nasal compared with bronchial AEC but nasal and bronchial AEC release of other mediators was not significantly different. Treatment of AEC with IL-1 β and tumor necrosis factor-α increased secretion of all mediators. Release of IL-6 and GSCF remained higher in nasal AEC compared with bronchial AEC following stimulation.

Conclusions: In epidemiological studies, nasal AEC may be a useful surrogate for bronchial AEC for the study of RANTES, MCP-1, TIMP-1, and MMP-9 release in children but bronchial AEC will remain the gold standard.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchi* / cytology
  • Bronchi* / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Nasal Mucosa* / cytology
  • Nasal Mucosa* / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa* / cytology
  • Respiratory Mucosa* / metabolism
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • TIMP1 protein, human
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9