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Arch Toxicol. 2014 Feb;88(2):415-24. doi: 10.1007/s00204-013-1144-z. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Role of PKC-β in chemical allergen-induced CD86 expression and IL-8 release in THP-1 cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Toxicology, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari (DiSFeB), Università degli Studi di Milano, Via G. Balzaretti 9, 20133, Milan, Italy,


We previously demonstrated an age-related decrease in receptor for activated C-kinase (RACK-1) expression and functional deficit in Langerhans cells' responsiveness. This defect specifically involves the translocation of protein kinase C (PKC)-β. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of RACK-1 and PKC-β in chemical allergen-induced CD86 expression and IL-8 release in the human promyelocytic cell line THP-1 and primary human dendritic cells (DC). Dinitrochlorobenzene, p-phenylenediamine and diethyl maleate were used as contact allergens. The selective cell-permeable inhibitor of PKC-β and the broad PKC inhibitor GF109203X completely prevented chemical allergen- or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced CD86 expression and significantly modulated IL-8 release (50 % reduction). The selective cell-permeable inhibitor of PKC-ε (also known to bind to RACK-1) failed to modulate allergen- or LPS-induced CD86 expression or allergen-induced IL-8 release, while modulating LPS-induced IL-8 release. The use of a RACK-1 pseudosubstrate, which directly activates PKC-β, resulted in dose-related increase in CD86 expression and IL-8 release. Similar results were obtained with human DC, confirming the relevance of results obtained in THP-1 cells. Overall, our findings demonstrate the role of PKC-β and RACK-1 in allergen-induced CD86 expression and IL-8 production, supporting a central role of PKC-β in the initiation of chemical allergen-induced DC activation.

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