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J Immunol. 2002 Oct 1;169(7):3801-10.

Th2 cytokine production from mast cells is directly induced by lipopolysaccharide and distinctly regulated by c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 pathways.

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Laboratory of Host Defense and Germfree Life, Research Institute for Disease Mechanism and Control, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Mast cells secrete multiple cytokines and play an important role in allergic inflammation. Although it is widely accepted that bacteria infection occasionally worsens allergic airway inflammation, the mechanism has not been defined. In this study, we show that LPS induced Th2-associated cytokine production such as IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 from mast cells and also synergistically enhanced production of these cytokines induced by IgE cross-linking. LPS-mediated Th2-type cytokine production was abolished in mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells derived from C3H/HeJ mice, suggesting that Toll-like receptor 4 is essential for the cytokine production. Furthermore, we found that mitogen-activated protein kinases including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38 kinase were activated by LPS stimulation in bone marrow-derived mast cells. Inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation has little effect on LPS-mediated cytokine production. In contrast, inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation significantly suppressed both IL-10 and IL-13 expression at both mRNA and protein levels. Interestingly, although inhibition of p38 did not down-regulate the mRNA induction, it moderately decreased all three cytokine productions by LPS. These results indicate that LPS-mediated production of IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 was distinctly regulated by mitogen-activated protein kinases. Our findings may indicate a clue to understanding the mechanisms of how bacteria infection worsens the clinical features of asthma.

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