TRPC3 regulates release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor from human airway smooth muscle

Pawan K. Vohra, Michael A. Thompson, Venkatachalem Sathish, Alexander Kiel, Calvin Jerde, Christina M. Pabelick, Brij B. Singh, Y. S. Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) enhances Ca2+ signaling and cell proliferation in human airway smooth muscle (ASM), especially with inflammation. Human ASM also expresses BDNF, raising the potential for autocrine/paracrine effects. The mechanisms by which ASM BDNF secretion occurs are not known. Transient receptor potential channels (TRPCs) regulate a variety of intracellular processes including store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE; including in ASM) and secretion of factors such as cytokines. In human ASM, we tested the hypothesis that TRPC3 regulates BDNF secretion. At baseline, intracellular BDNF was present, and BDNF secretion was detectable by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of cell supernatants or by real-time fluorescence imaging of cells transfected with GFP-BDNF vector. Exposure to the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) (20ng/ml, 48h) or a mixture of allergens (ovalbumin, house dust mite, Alternaria, and Aspergillus extracts) significantly enhanced BDNF secretion and increased TRPC3 expression. TRPC3 knockdown (siRNA or inhibitor Pyr3; 10μM) blunted BDNF secretion, and prevented inflammation effects. Chelation of extracellular Ca2+ (EGTA; 1mM) or intracellular Ca2+ (BAPTA; 5μM) significantly reduced secreted BDNF, as did the knockdown of SOCE proteins STIM1 and Orai1 or plasma membrane caveolin-1. Functionally, secreted BDNF had autocrine effects suggested by phosphorylation of high-affinity tropomyosin-related kinase TrkB receptor, prevented by chelating extracellular BDNF with chimeric TrkB-Fc. These data emphasize the role of TRPC3 and Ca2+ influx in the regulation of BDNF secretion by human ASM and the enhancing effects of inflammation. Given the BDNF effects on Ca2+ and cell proliferation, BDNF secretion may contribute to altered airway structure and function in diseases such as asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2953-2960
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Asthma
  • Inflammation
  • Lung
  • Neurotrophin
  • Signaling
  • Tropomyosin-related kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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