The loss of cellular junctions in epithelial lung cells induced by cigarette smoke is attenuated by corilagin

Ximena M. Muresan, Franco Cervellati, Claudia Sticozzi, Giuseppe Belmonte, Chung Hin CHUI, Ilaria Lampronti, Monica Borgatti, Roberto Gambari, Giuseppe Valacchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Cigarette smoke (CS) contains over 4700 compounds, many of which can affect cellular redox balance through free radicals production or through the modulation of antioxidant enzymes. The respiratory tract is one of the organs directly exposed to CS and it is known that CS can damage the integrity of lung epithelium by affecting cell junctions and increasing epithelium permeability. In this study, we have used a human lung epithelial cell line, Calu-3, to evaluate the effect of CS on lung epithelial cell junctions levels, with special focus on the expression of two proteins involved in intercellular communication: connexins (Cx) 40 and 43. CS exposure increased Cx40 gene expression but not of Cx43. CS also induced NFκB activation and the formation of 4HNE-Cxs adducts. Since corilagin, a natural polyphenol, is able to inhibit NFκB activation, we have determined whether corilagin could counteract the effect of CS on Cxs expression. Corilagin was able to diminish CS induced Cx40 gene expression, 4HNE-Cx40 adducts formation, and NFκB activation. The results of this study demonstrated that CS induced the loss of cellular junctions in lung epithelium, possibly as a consequence of Cx-4HNE adducts formation, and corilagin seems to be able to abolish these CS induced alterations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number631758
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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