Data_Sheet_1_Interleukin-13 Alters Tight Junction Proteins Expression Thereby Compromising Barrier Function and Dampens Rhinovirus Induced Immune Responses in Nasal Epithelium.PDF
Tight junctions (TJs) are intercellular structures which are essential for epithelial barrier function and play an important role in antimicrobial defense. Epithelium dysfunction and type-2-skewed inflammation are two main pathological phenomena of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). However, the effect of pro-inflammatory type-2 cytokine IL-13 on TJs in CRSwNP is poorly understood. Nasal biopsies of CRSwNP patients and in vitro IL-13-matured human nasal epithelial cells (hNECs) were used to analyze epithelial markers and TJ proteins. Epithelium permeability, transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), expression of TJs were quantified for IL-13-matured hNECs and that with RV infection. The expression of occludin, claudin-3, and ZO-1 were significantly decreased in CRSwNP biopsies and in hNECs after IL-13 treatment. IL-13 treatment increased epithelium permeability, decreased TEER and altered hNECs composition resulting in lesser ciliated cells and mucus over-secretion. Interestingly, claudin-3 is selectively expressed on ciliated cells. While RV infection induced minimal changes to TJs, the IL-13-matured hNECs has reduced capacity for upregulation of IFN-λ1 and CXCL10 but further increased the expression of TSLP upon RV infection. These findings suggested that IL-13-mediated dysfunction of TJs and compromised epithelial barrier. IL-13-induced cilia loss conferred lowered viral replication and impaired antiviral responses of nasal epithelium against RV infection.