Impact assessment of cigarette smoke exposure on organotypic bronchial epithelial tissue cultures: a comparison of mono-culture and co-culture model containing fibroblasts


Authored by  A Iskandar, Y Xiang, S Frentzel, M Talikka, P Leroy, D Kuehn, E Guedj, F Martin, C Mathis, NV Ivanov, M Peitsch, J Hoeng

Published in Toxicological Sciences     

Abstract:

Organotypic three dimensional cultures of epithelial cells are grown at the air–liquid interface (ALI) and resemble the in vivo counterparts. Although the complexity of in vivo cellular responses could be better manifested in co-culture models in which additional cell-types such as fibroblasts were incorporated, the presence of another cell-type could mask the response of the other. This study reports the impact of whole cigarette smoke (CS) exposure on organotypic mono- and co-culture models to evaluate the relevancy of organotypic models for toxicological assessment of aerosols. Two organotypic bronchial models were directly exposed to low and high concentrations of CS of the reference research cigarette 3R4F: mono-culture of bronchial epithelial cells without fibroblasts (BR) and co-culture with fibroblasts (BRF) models. Adenylate kinase-based cytotoxicity, cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1/1B1 activity, tissue histology, and concentrations of secreted mediators into the basolateral media, as well as transcriptomes were evaluated following the CS exposure. The results demonstrated similar impact of CS on the AK-based cytotoxicity, CYP1A1/1B1 activity, and tissue histology in both models. However, a greater number of secreted mediators was identified in the basolateral media of the mono-culture than in the co-culture models. Furthermore, annotation analysis and network-based systems biology analysis of the transcriptomic profiles indicated a more prominent cellular stress and tissue damage following CS in the mono-culture epithelium model without fibroblasts. Finally, our results indicated that an in vivo smoking-induced xenobiotic metabolism response of bronchial epithelial cells was better reflected from the in vitro CS-exposed co-culture model.