Airway epithelial cells (AECs) are the first point of contact with airborne antigens and are able to instruct resident immune cells to appropriate immune responses. Previous studies have shown that the abnormal expression of metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (Malat1) was associated with tumorigenesis, progression, metastasis, and apoptosis in many cancer types. However, little is known about its functional involvement in the cross-talk of AECs with dendritic cells (DCs). The aim of the present study was to identify Malat1 as a novel epithelial cell-derived immune-modulating factor that contributes to the specific inflammatory-immune airway microenvironment. By using an in vitro co-culture model, where layers of AECs can interact with DCs, and transfecting Malat1 siRNA in AECs, AEC-conditioned DCs were harvested for further analysis of the celluar phenotype, secretion of inflammatory chemokines, and expression of apoptotic markers. The present study clearly demonstrated that Malat1 modulates the maturation process, pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and apoptosis in AECs-conditioned DCs.
Keywords: Malat1; airway epithelial cells; co-cultured; dendritic cell; lncRNA.