We have developed an in vitro airway epithelial cell model for dimeric immunoglobulin (Ig) A (dIgA) transcytosis that allows the assessment of polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR) gene expression and actual dIgA transport. Tight monolayers of human lung-derived Calu-3 adenocarcinoma cells grown on permeable membranes expressed pIgR mRNA and released more secretory component (SC; P < 0.01) and secretory IgA (sIgA; P < 0.02) into the apical medium than into the basolateral medium. Transcytosis of dIgA was not due to paracellular leakage and was inhibited to approximately 20 and 30% of control values by anti-pIgR antibodies and the competitive ligand pentameric IgM, respectively. Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma; 200 U/ml) induced pIgR mRNA expression and increased apical release of free SC and sIgA in a dose-dependent fashion (P < 0.0001). Basolateral addition of increasing amounts of dIgA dose dependently increased apical sIgA release (P < 0.0001). These data indicate that Calu-3 monolayers are capable of translocating dIgA through the pIgR. In addition, we show the integrated stimulatory effect of IFN-gamma on pIgR mRNA and protein expression and dIgA transcytosi
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