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J Exp Med. 2002 Sep 16;196(6):841-50.

Intracrine cysteinyl leukotriene receptor-mediated signaling of eosinophil vesicular transport-mediated interleukin-4 secretion.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Thorndike Laboratories, Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


We investigated whether cysteinyl leukotrienes (cysLT) are intracrine signal transducers that regulate human eosinophil degranulation mechanisms. Interleukin (IL)-16, eotaxin, and RANTES stimulate vesicular transport-mediated release of preformed, granule-derived IL-4 and RANTES from eosinophils and the synthesis at intracellular lipid bodies of LTC(4), the dominant 5-lipoxygenase-derived eicosanoid in eosinophils. 5-Lipoxygenase inhibitors blocked IL-16-, eotaxin-, and RANTES-induced IL-4 release; but neither exogenous LTC(4), LTD(4), nor LTE(4) elicited IL-4 release. Only after membrane permeabilization enabled cysLTs to enter eosinophils did LTC(4) and LTD(4) stimulate IL-4, but not RANTES, release. LTC(4)-elicited IL-4 release was pertussis toxin inhibitable, but inhibitors of the two known G protein-coupled cysLT receptors (cysLTRs) (CysLT1 and CysLT2) did not block LTC(4)-elicited IL-4 release. LTC(4) was 10-fold more potent than LTD(4) and at low concentrations (0.3-3 nM) elicited, and at higher concentrations (>3 nM) inhibited, IL-4 release from permeabilized eosinophils. Likewise with intact eosinophils, LTC(4) export inhibitors, which increased intracellular LTC(4), inhibited eotaxin-elicited IL-4 release. Thus, LTC(4) acts, via an intracellular cysLTR distinct from CysLT1 or CysLT2, as a signal transducer to selectively regulate IL-4 release. These results demonstrate that LTC(4), well recognized as a paracrine mediator, may also dynamically govern inflammatory and immune responses as an intracrine mediator of eosinophil cytokine secretion.

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