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Exp Hematol. 2002 Mar;30(3):272-8.

Ceramide and sphingosine rapidly induce apoptosis of murine mast cells supported by interleukin-3 and stem cell factor.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinic, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Ceramide and sphingosine, generated by sphingomyelinase-mediated hydrolysis of sphingomyelin, which packs tightly in the bilayer of the plasma membrane, have been proposed as intracellular mediators of apoptotic signals. However, precise function of endogenous sphingomyelin-cycle metabolites in mast cells has been unclear. Thus, we sought to define the involvement of ceramide and sphingosine in apoptotic pathways of mast cells.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We examined the effect of cell-permeable C(2)-ceramide, sphingosine, and sphingomyelinase on survival of murine bone marrow-derived cultured mast cells (BMCMC) supported by recombinant interleukin-3 (rIL-3) and/or recombinant stem cell factor (rSCF). Downstream signaling pathways of C(2)-ceramide and sphingosine were analyzed by using caspase inhibitors.

RESULTS:

C(2)-ceramide, sphingosine, and sphingomyelinase induced apoptosis in BMCMC in the presence of rIL-3 and/or rSCF, and Z-VAD-fmk (a broad caspase inhibitor), Z-DEVD-fmk (a caspase 3 inhibitor), and Z-IETD-fmk (a caspase 8 inhibitor) partially prevented apoptosis of BMCMC induced by C(2)-ceramide but not sphingosine.

CONCLUSION:

The present results suggest that ceramide and sphingosine may function as intracellular mediators of apoptotic signals in mast cells, which override survival signals from IL-3 and SCF. In addition, caspases may be partially involved in ceramide- but not sphingosine-mediated apoptosis of mast cells.

PMID:
11882365
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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