Supplementary Material for: TGF-β1 Impairs Vitamin D-Induced and Constitutive Airway Epithelial Host Defense Mechanisms

Airway epithelium is an important site for local vitamin D (VD) metabolism; this can be negatively affected by inflammatory mediators. VD is an important regulator of respiratory host defense, for example, by increasing the expression of hCAP18/LL-37. TGF-β1 is increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and known to decrease the expression of constitutive host defense mediators such as secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) and polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR). VD has been shown to affect TGF-β1-signaling by inhibiting TGF-β1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. However, interactions between VD and TGF-β1, relevant for the understanding host defense in COPD, are incompletely understood. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the combined effects of VD and TGF-β1 on airway epithelial cell host defense mechanisms. Exposure to TGF-β1 reduced both baseline and VD-induced expression of hCAP18/LL-37, partly by increasing the expression of the VD-degrading enzyme CYP24A1. TGF-β1 alone decreased the number of secretory club and goblet cells and reduced the expression of constitutive host defense mediators SLPI, s/lPLUNC and pIgR, effects that were not modulated by VD. These results suggest that TGF-β1 may decrease the respiratory host defense both directly by reducing the expression of host defense mediators, and indirectly by affecting VD-mediated effects such as expression of hCAP18/LL-37.