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J Exp Med. 2002 Mar 4;195(5):583-92.

Cysteinyl leukotrienes and uridine diphosphate induce cytokine generation by human mast cells through an interleukin 4-regulated pathway that is inhibited by leukotriene receptor antagonists.

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Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


We previously reported that interleukin (IL)-4 upregulates the expression of leukotriene C(4) synthase (LTC(4)S) by human cord blood--derived mast cells (hMCs), augments their high-affinity Fc receptor for IgE (Fc(epsilon)RI)-dependent generation of eicosanoids and cytokines, and induces a calcium flux in response to cysteinyl leukotrienes (cys-LTs) and uridine diphosphate (UDP) that is blocked by cys-LT receptor antagonists. We speculated that this IL-4-dependent, receptor-mediated response to the cys-LTs and UDP might induce cytokine generation by hMCs without concomitant exocytosis. Unlike hMCs maintained in cytoprotective stem cell factor (SCF) alone, hMCs primed for 5 d with IL-4 responded to UDP (1microM), LTC(4) (100 nM), and LTD(4) (100 nM) by producing IL-5, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and especially large quantities of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1beta de novo at 6 h, preceded by the induced expression of the corresponding mRNAs. Cys-LT- and UDP-mediated cytokine production by the primed hMCs occurred without histamine release or PGD(2) generation and was inhibited by the CysLT1 receptor antagonist MK571. Additionally, pretreatment of hMCs with MK571 or with the cys-LT biosynthetic inhibitor MK886 decreased IL-5 and TNF-alpha production in response to IgE receptor cross-linkage, implying a positive feedback by endogenously produced cys-LTs. Cys-LTs and UDP thus orchestrate a novel, IL-4-regulated, non-IgE-dependent hMC activation for cytokine gene induction that could be initiated by microbes, cellular injury, or neurogenic or inflammatory signals; and this pathobiologic event would not be recognized in tissue studies where hMC activation is classically defined by exocytosis.

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