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J Clin Invest. May 1994; 93(5): 2275–2279.
PMCID: PMC294386

Involvement of cyclic AMP and nitric oxide in immunoglobulin E-dependent activation of Fc epsilon RII/CD23+ normal human keratinocytes.


Epidermal keratinocytes (EK) are exposed to multiple inflammatory stimuli and paracrine factors secreted by various dermal cells (lymphocytes, mast cells, macrophages, fibroblasts) during wounding, cutaneous allergy, and infections. We have previously demonstrated that after stimulation with interleukin 4 or interferon-gamma, human EK express the low-affinity receptor for IgE (Fc epsilon RII/CD23) on their surface. In the present study, we showed that the ligation of CD23 by IgE/anti-IgE immune complexes or specific monoclonal antibody induces a dose-dependent release of interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha from EK. CD23-ligation activates the nitric oxide-dependent pathway, as demonstrated by the high levels of nitrites released in cell supernatants, and the accumulation of intracellular cyclic nucleotides in EK. These second messengers are required for IgE-dependent stimulation of cytokine production by these cells, inasmuch as this is completely abolished by the use of cAMP or nitric oxide synthase antagonists. Human epithelial keratinocytes may thus participate in IgE-mediated immune responses, through their ability to express functional CD23 antigen.

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