CFTR-regulated MAPK/NF-κ B signaling in pulmonary inflammation in thermal inhalation injury

Zhi Wei Dong, Jing Chen, Yechun Ruan, Tao Zhou, Yu Chen, Yajie Chen, Lai Ling Tsang, Hsiao Chang Chan, Yi Zhi Peng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism underlying pulmonary inflammation in thermal inhalation injury remains elusive. Cystic fibrosis, also hallmarked with pulmonary inflammation, is caused by mutations in CFTR, the expression of which is temperature-sensitive. We investigated whether CFTR is involved in heat-induced pulmonary inflammation. We applied heat-treatment in 16HBE14o- cells with CFTR knockdown or overexpression and heat-inhalation in rats in vivo. Heat-treatment caused significant reduction in CFTR and, reciprocally, increase in COX-2 at early stages both in vitro and in vivo. Activation of ERK/JNK, NF-κ B and COX-2/PGE 2 were detected in heat-treated cells, which were mimicked by knockdown, and reversed by overexpression of CFTR or VX-809, a reported CFTR mutation corrector. JNK/ERK inhibition reversed heat-/CFTR-knockdown-induced NF-κ B activation, whereas NF-κ B inhibitor showed no effect on JNK/ERK. IL-8 was augmented by heat-treatment or CFTR-knockdown, which was abolished by inhibition of NF-κ B, JNK/ERK or COX-2. Moreover, in vitro or in vivo treatment with curcumin, a natural phenolic compound, significantly enhanced CFTR expression and reversed the heat-induced increases in COX-2/PGE 2 /IL-8, neutrophil infiltration and tissue damage in the airway. These results have revealed a CFTR-regulated MAPK/NF-κ B pathway leading to COX-2/PGE 2 /IL-8 activation in thermal inhalation injury, and demonstrated therapeutic potential of curcumin for alleviating heat-induced pulmonary inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15946
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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