Isolation and characterization of human airway fibroblasts in culture

Authors: Chakir, JamilaDubé, JeanLaviolette, MichelGoulet, FrancineGermain, LucieAuger, François A.Boulet, Louis-Philippe
Abstract: Asthma is considered an airway inflammatory disorder characterized by variable airflow obstruction and airway hyperresponsiveness (1). The inflammatory component of asthma has been studied extensively over the past few years, but, more recently, the potential contribution of airway wall remodeling to functional and clinical changes has been emphasized (2, 3). Although the methods of sampling of bronchial tissue were previously limited, being obtained mostly from autopsic or surgical specimens, they have improved recently. The safety and usefulness of bronchial biopsies obtained by bronchoscopic procedures have now been established. The analysis of inflammatory and structural airway changes has significantly contributed to our understanding of asthma pathophysiology (4-7). This mode of sampling bronchial tissue has provided new means of obtaining materials for cell culture (8). One of the key cells involved in airway structural changes is the fibroblast (9). For example, the typical subepithelial collagen deposition seen in asthma has been attributed to myofibroblasts, and the number of these cells found in the subepithelial area of the airways correlates with the basement membrane thickness (10). The myofibroblast is probably involved in changes of the contractile properties of the airways following the repair process induced by the inflammatory insult. Furthermore, this cell has been involved in the modulation of the inflammatory process (11, 12). Phenotypic cell changes may occur under the influence of the asthmatic inflammatory process. Cytokines produced by inflammatory cells can modulate fibroblast functions and extracellular matrix deposition. Among those, transforming growth factor-β and platelet-derived growth factor are probably the most potent cytokines affecting ECM component synthesis, fibroblast proliferation, and structural cell phenotypes (12). The isolation and culture of fibroblastic cells from bronchial biopsies may therefore contribute to elucidating the influence of the inflammatory process on structural cells such as the fibroblast, and vice versa. There are, however, inherent difficulties, in order to maximize the chances of obtaining appropriate cell cultures from those techniques. These are discussed in the following subheadings.
Document Type: Chapitre d'ouvrage
Issue Date: 1 January 2000
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/16781
This document was published in: Methods in Molecular Medicine
https://doi.org/10.1385/1-59259-072-1:53
Humana Press
Alternative version: 10.1385/1-59259-072-1:53
Collection:Chapitres de livre

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