METHODS: Respiratory epithelial cells were isolated and divided into four groups: control (untreated), treated with 0.05% OE (OE group), EMT induced with 5 ng/ml of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFβ1 group) and treated with 5 ng/ml TGFβ1 + 0.05% OE (TGFβ1 + OE group). The effects of OE treatment on growth kinetics, morphology and protein expression in RECs were evaluated. Immunocytochemistry analysis was performed to quantitate the total percentage of E-cadherin and vimentin expression from day 1 to day 3.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between untreated RECs and OE-treated RECs in terms of their morphology, growth kinetics and protein expression. Induction with TGFβ1 caused RECs to have an elongated spindle shape, a slower proliferation rate, a higher expression of vimentin and a lower expression of E-cadherin compared with the control. Cells in the TGFβ1 + OE group had similar epithelial shape to untreated group however it had no significant differences in their proliferation rate when compared to TGFβ1-induced RECs. Cells treated with TGFβ1 + OE showed significantly reduced expression of vimentin and increased expression of E-cadherin compared with the TGFβ1 group (P vimentin) upon treatment with OE and TGFβ1. Therefore, this study could provide insight into the therapeutic potential of OE to inhibit pathological tissue remodelling and persistent inflammation.