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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2013 May 15;153(1-2):17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Protease-activated receptor-2 induces proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine gene expression in canine keratinocytes.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


Although the molecular basis of the allergenicity remains to be fully elucidated, the ability of allergens to elicit allergic responses is at least partly attributed to their proteolytic activity. Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a G protein-coupled receptor that is activated by site-specific proteolysis by serine proteases and is known to mediate inflammatory processes in various tissues. In this study, we investigated the effects of trypsin, a major serine protease, and a human PAR-2 agonist peptide (SLIGKV-NH2) on proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine gene expression in the canine keratinocyte cell line CPEK. The expression of PAR-2 mRNA and protein in CPEK cells was detected by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The localization of PAR-2 in CPEK was examined by immunofluorescence. The mRNA expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines were quantified by real-time RT-PCR. The free intracellular Ca(2+) concentration was measured using the Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent dye. CPEK cells constitutively expressed PAR-2 mRNA and protein. Stimulation of CPEK cells with trypsin induced significant upregulation of the mRNA expression levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, P<0.05), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF, P<0.01), thymus and activation regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17, P<0.01), and interleukin 8 (IL-8/CXCL8, P<0.01). Similarly, the PAR-2 agonist peptide increased the mRNA expression levels of TNF-α (P<0.05), GM-CSF (P<0.05), TARC/CCL17 (P<0.05), and IL-8/CXCL8 (P<0.05) in CPEK cells. Both trypsin and the PAR-2 agonist peptide increased the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and PAR-2 internalization. These results suggest that PAR-2 activation can augment inflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression in canine keratinocytes, and it may initiate allergic inflammation through the proteolytic activity of allergens in canine atopic dermatitis.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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