Prostaglandins (PG) are produced throughout the gastrointestinal tract and are critical mediators for a complex array of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes in the intestine. Intestinal myofibroblasts, which express cyclooxygenase (COX) and generate PGE2, play important roles in intestinal epithelial proliferation, differentiation, inflammation, and neoplasia through secreting growth factors and cytokines. Here, we show that PGE2 activated human intestinal subepithelial myofibroblasts (18Co) through Gs protein-coupled E-prostanoid receptors and the cyclic AMP/protein kinase A pathway. 18Co cells and primary colonic myofibroblast isolates expressed a number of growth factors; several of them were dramatically regulated by PGE2. An epidermal growth factor-like growth factor, amphiregulin (AR), which was not expressed by untreated cells, was strongly induced by PGE2. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) was rapidly increased by PGE2 exposure. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was elevated in PGE2-treated myofibroblasts at both mRNA and protein levels. Thus, PGE2-activated myofibroblasts promoted the proliferation and migration of intestinal epithelial cells, which were attenuated by neutralizing antibodies to AR and HGF, respectively. Moreover, in the presence of PGE2, myofibroblasts strongly stimulated the migration and tubular formation of vascular endothelial cells. Neutralizing antibody to VEGFA inhibited the observed stimulation of migration. These results suggest that myofibroblast-generated growth factors are important mediators for PGE2-induced intestinal epithelial proliferation and angiogenesis, which play critical roles in intestinal homeostasis, inflammation, and neoplasia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research