Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Primary rat tracheal epithelial (RTE) cell cultures have previously been shown to secrete transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) and to be growth inhibited by exogenous TGFβ. The purpose of the present studies was to determine whether the endogenous TGFβ(s) were regulating the growth of RTE cell cultures and, if so, which isoforms were involved. Neutralizing antibodies specific to TGFβ1 and TGFβ2 were added to cultures, and their effects on several growth parameters were measured. Addition of antibodies to early cultures (day 1), resulted in 1.8-and 3-fold increases in colony formation and cell number, respectively, above control IgG-treated cultures. Antibody dose-response experiments revealed that TGFβ2 was the predominant isoform inhibiting early RTE cell growth. The antibody treatments resulted in similar stimulation of early growth at low and high seeding densities, suggesting that the endogenous TGFβs were acting locally. Anti-TGFβ1 treatment of cultures at various stages of growth resulted in 1.2-1.7-fold increases in DNA synthesis above controls, whereas anti-TGFβ2 treatment resulted in increased DNA synthesis only in early and late cultures (1.7- and 2.5-fold, respectively), but not during midlogarithmic growth. Continuous treatment with a combination of both antibodies resulted in increased growth and decreased exfoliation in early cultures, but had no effect on the slow down of growth in late cultures. Thus endogenous TGFβs inhibited primarily early growth and contributed to, but did not appear to be responsible for, plateau of growth in late stage cultures. Antibody treatment of secondary cultures resulted in 4-70-fold increases in colony formation, depending on the age of the primary cultures when replated, indicating that endogenous production of both TGFβ1 and TGFβ2 greatly inhibits the subculturability of primary RTE cells. Other experiments suggested that cholera toxin enhances RTE cell growth in part by counteracting the inhibitory effects of endogenous TGFβs. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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