Supplementary Material for: Viral Stimuli Trigger Exaggerated Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Expression by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Epithelium: Role of Endosomal TLR3 and Cytosolic RIG-I-Like Helicases

<i>Background:</i> Rhinovirus (RV)-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations exhibit TH<sub>2</sub>-like inflammation. We hypothesized that RV-infected bronchial epithelial cells (BEC) overproduce TH<sub>2</sub>-switching hub cytokine, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in COPD. <i>Methods:</i> Primary BEC from healthy (HBEC) and from COPD donors (COPD-BEC) were grown in 12-well plates, infected with RV16 (0.5–5 MOI) or stimulated with agonists for either toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 (dsRNA, 0.1–10 µg/ml) or RIG-I-like helicases (dsRNA-LyoVec, 0.1–10 µg/ml). Cytokine mRNA and protein were determined (RTqPCR; ELISA). <i>Results:</i> dsRNA dose-dependently evoked cytokine gene overproduction of TSLP, CXCL8 and TNF-α in COPD-BEC compared to HBEC. This was confirmed using RV16 infection. IFN-β induction did not differ between COPD-BEC and HBEC. Endosomal TLR3 inhibition by chloroquine dose-dependently inhibited dsRNA-induced TSLP generation and reduced generation of CXCL8, TNF-α, and IFN-β. Stimulation of cytosolic viral sensors (RIG-I-like helicases) with dsRNA-LyoVec increased production of CXCL8, TNF-α, and IFN-β, but not TSLP. <i>Conclusions:</i> Endosomal TLR3-stimulation, by dsRNA or RV16, induces overproduction of TSLP in COPD-BEC. dsRNA- and RV-induced overproduction of TNF-α and CXCL8 involves endosomal TLR3 and cytosolic RIG-I-like helicases and so does the generation of IFN-β in COPD-BEC. RV16 and dsRNA-induced epithelial TSLP may contribute to pathogenic effects at exacerbations and development of COPD.