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Open Access Original research

M2 Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor modulates rat airway smooth muscle cell proliferation

Fabiola A Placeres-Uray, Christopher A Febres-Aldana, Ruth Fernandez-Ruiz, Ramona Gonzalez de Alfonzo, Itala A Lippo de Becemberg and Marcelo J Alfonzo*

Author Affiliations

Sección de Biomembranas, Instituto de Medicina Experimental, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central de Venezuela (U.C.V), Caracas, Venezuela

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World Allergy Organization Journal 2013, 6:22  doi:10.1186/1939-4551-6-22

Published: 30 December 2013

Abstract

Airways chronic inflammatory conditions in asthma and COPD are characterized by tissue remodeling, being smooth muscle hyperplasia, the most important feature. Non-neuronal and neuronal Acetylcholine acting on muscarinic receptors (MAChRs) has been postulated as determinant of tissue remodeling in asthma and COPD by promoting proliferation and phenotypic changes of airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC). The objective was to evaluate proliferative responses to muscarinic agonist as carbamylcholine (Cch) and to identify the MAchR subtype involved. ASMC were isolated from tracheal fragments of Sprague–Dawley rats by enzymatic digestion. Proliferation assays were performed by MTS-PMS method. Viability was confirmed by trypan blue exclusion method. Mitogens as, epidermal growth factor (EGF), Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and fetal bovine serum (FBS) increased ASMC proliferation (p < 0.05, n = 5). Cch alone increased ASMC proliferation at 24 and 48 hrs. However, combination of Cch with other mitogens exhibited a dual effect, synergistic proliferation effect in the presence of EGF (5 ng/mL) and 5% FBS and inhibiting the proliferation induced by 10% FBS, EGF (10 ng/mL) and TNF-α (10 ng/mL). To determine the MAChR subtype involved in these biological responses, a titration curve of selective muscarinic antagonists were performed. The Cch stimulatory and inhibitory effects on ASCM proliferation was blocked by AF-DX-116 (M2AChR selective antagonist), in greater proportion than 4-DAMP (M3AChR selective antagonist), suggesting that the modulation of muscarinic agonist-induced proliferation is M2AChR mediated responses. Thus, M2AChR can activate multiple signal transduction systems and mediate both effects on ASMC proliferation depending on the plethora and variable airway microenvironments existing in asthma and COPD.

Keywords:
Airway smooth muscle; Muscarinic receptors; Carbamylcholine; ASMC inhibition