2008 Volume 31 Issue 3 Pages 386-390
Alveolar epithelial cell death plays a crucial role in the progression of acute lung injury. We have demonstrated up-regulation of Fas expression on alveolar epithelial cells, and soluble Fas ligand secretion from inflammatory cells upon acute lung injury. Here we show that the lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human monocyte cell line THP-1 releases Fas ligand, and that conditioned medium from lipopolysaccharide-stimulated THP-1 cells induces apoptosis of the human pulmonary adenocarcinoma cell line A549. Activation of caspase-3 and -8 is associated with the apoptosis. Gene targeting on Fas in A549 cells by specific small interfering RNA impairs apoptosis induced by conditioned medium from activated THP-1, while that on Fas ligand in THP-1 cells impairs the apoptosis-inducing activity of the conditioned medium produced by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated cells. These results suggest that Fas ligand released by monocytes causes alveolar epithelial cell death through a Fas-dependent apoptotic mechanism in the development of acute lung injury.