Interleukin-1 beta stimulates the proliferation of cultured airway smooth muscle cells via platelet-derived growth factor

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1993 Dec;9(6):645-51. doi: 10.1165/ajrcmb/9.6.645.


Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from symptomatic asthmatics contains elevated levels of several proinflammatory interleukins including interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta). Biologic activities of IL-1 beta are considered to be critical in the inflammatory process. Since these characteristics include mitogenic properties, we investigated the effect of IL-1 beta on the proliferation of airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells isolated from guinea pig tracheas. Primary tissue culture of ASM cells was maintained in media containing 0%, 1%, or 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Cultures were exposed up to 6 days to human recombinant IL-1 beta (20, 40, or 100 pg/ml) in the presence or absence of indomethacin. The proliferation of ASM cells was assessed with two techniques: a direct counting of cells with a hemocytometer and/or with a [3H]-thymidine incorporation, an established marker of DNA synthesis. The evaluation was done daily, up to the sixth day after exposure of cells to different doses of IL-1 beta. We found that the exposure of ASM cells to human recombinant IL-1 beta significantly (P < 0.01) increased the number of tracheal myocytes as well as the [3H]-thymidine incorporation into ASM cells. These changes were dependent upon the dose of IL-1 beta and the concentration of FBS in the cultured medium. The most active proliferation of ASM cells was observed in medium containing 1% FBS, indomethacin (1 microgram/ml), and IL-1 beta (100 pg/ml). The presence of indomethacin in the culture medium was essential to demonstrate the proliferative effect of IL-1 beta.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Culture Techniques
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Trachea / cytology
  • Trachea / drug effects*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor