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J Immunol. 2002 Oct 15;169(8):4594-603.

Activation of human oral epithelial cells by neutrophil proteinase 3 through protease-activated receptor-2.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Dentistry, Tohoku University, 4-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.


Proteinase 3 (PR3), a 29-kDa serine proteinase secreted from activated neutrophils, also exists in a membrane-bound form, and is suggested to actively contribute to inflammatory processes. The present study focused on the mechanism by which PR3 activates human oral epithelial cells. PR3 activated the epithelial cells in culture to produce IL-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and to express ICAM-1 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Incubation of the epithelial cells for 24 h with PR3 resulted in a significant increase in the adhesion to neutrophils, which was reduced to baseline levels in the presence of anti-ICAM-1 mAb. Activation of the epithelial cells by PR3 was inhibited by serine proteinase inhibitors and serum. The epithelial cells strongly express protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1 and PAR-2 mRNA and weakly express PAR-3 mRNA. The expression of PAR-2 on the cell surface was promoted by PR3, and inhibited by cytochalasin B, but not by cycloheximide. PR3 cleaved the peptide corresponding to the N terminus of PAR-2 with exposure of its tethered ligand. Treatment with trypsin, an agonist for PAR-2, and a synthetic PAR-2 agonist peptide induced intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization, and rendered cells refractory to subsequent stimulation with PR3 and vice versa. The production of cytokine induced by PR3 and the PAR-2 agonist peptide was completely abolished by a phospholipase C inhibitor. These findings suggest that neutrophil PR3 activates oral epithelial cells through G protein-coupled PAR-2 and actively participates in the process of inflammation such as periodontitis.

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