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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2001 Oct;281(4):C1266-76.

Agonist-specific cross talk between ERKs and p38(mapk) regulates PGI(2) synthesis in endothelium.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London NW1 0TU, United Kingdom.


We have examined the mechanisms regulating prostacyclin (PGI(2)) synthesis after acute exposure of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) to interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha). IL-1 alpha evoked an early (30 min) release of PGI(2) and [(3)H]arachidonate that was blocked by the cytosolic phospholipase A(2)alpha (cPLA(2)alpha) inhibitor arachidonyl trifluoromethyl ketone. IL-1 alpha-mediated activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2; p42/p44(mapk)) coincided temporally with phosphorylation of cPLA(2)alpha and with the onset of PGI(2) synthesis. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK) inhibitors, PD-98059 and U-0126, blocked IL-1 alpha-induced ERK activation and partially attenuated cPLA(2)alpha phosphorylation and PGI(2) release, suggesting that ERK-dependent and -independent pathways regulate cPLA(2)alpha phosphorylation. SB-203580 treatment enhanced IL-1 alpha-induced MEK, p42/44(mapk), and cPLA(2)alpha phosphorylation but reduced thrombin-stimulated MEK and p42/44(mapk) activation. IL-1 alpha, but not thrombin, activated Raf-1 as assessed by immune-complex kinase assay, as did SB-203580 alone. These results show that IL-1 alpha causes an acute upregulation of PGI(2) generation in HUVEC, establish a role for the MEK/ERK/cPLA(2)alpha pathway in this early release, and provide evidence for an agonist-specific cross talk between p38(mapk) and p42/44(mapk) that may reflect receptor-specific differences in the signaling elements proximal to MAPK activation.

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