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J Immunol. 2002 Apr 1;168(7):3577-85.

Activation of protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1, PAR-2, and PAR-4 stimulates IL-6, IL-8, and prostaglandin E2 release from human respiratory epithelial cells.

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  • 1Division of Inflammation and Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, Asthma & Allergy Research Institute, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia.


Epithelia from many tissues express protease-activated receptors (PARs) that play a major role in several different physiological processes. In this study, we examined their capacity to modulate IL-6, IL-8, and PGE(2) production in both the A459 and BEAS-2B cell lines and primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs). All three cell types expressed PAR-1, PAR-2, PAR-3, and PAR-4, as judged by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. Agonist peptides corresponding to the nascent N termini of PAR-1, PAR-2, and PAR-4 induced the release of cytokines from A549, BEAS-2B, and HBECs with a rank order of potency of PAR-2 > PAR-4 > PAR-1 at 400 microM. PAR-1, PAR-2, and PAR-4 also caused the release of PGE(2) from A549 and HBECs. The PAR-3 agonist peptide was inactive in all systems tested. PAR-1, PAR-2, or PAR-4, in combination, caused additive IL-6 release, but only the PAR-1 and PAR-2 combination resulted in an additive IL-8 response. PAR peptide-induced responses were accompanied by changes in intracellular calcium ion concentrations. However, Ca(2+) ion shutoff was approximately 2-fold slower with PAR-4 than with PAR-1 or PAR-2, suggesting differential G protein coupling. Combined, these data suggest an important role for PAR in the modulation of inflammation in the lung.

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