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Endocrinology. 2003 Sep;144(9):4080-6.

Inhibition of the stem cell factor-induced migration of mast cells by dexamethasone.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Kyung Hee University College of Oriental Medicine, 130-701 Seoul, South Korea.


Mast cell accumulation can be causally related to several allergic inflammations. Previous work has demonstrated that glucocorticoids decreased tissue mast cell number, and stem cell factor (SCF)-induced migration of mast cells required p38 MAPK activation. In the present study we investigated the effects of dexamethasone on SCF-induced migration of rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMCs). SCF significantly induced the migration of RPMCs at 4 h. Dexamethasone dose-dependently inhibited SCF-induced migration of RPMCs (approximately 90.1% at 100 nM; P < 0.05). The MAPK p38 inhibitor SB203580 (20 microM) also inhibited the SCF-induced migration. The ability of SCF to enhance morphological alteration and filamentous actin formation was also abolished by treatment with dexamethasone. Dexamethasone inhibited SCF-induced p38 MAPK activation to near-basal levels and induced MAPK phosphatase-1 expression. In addition, SCF-induced inflammatory cytokine production was significantly inhibited by treatment with dexamethasone or SB203580 (P < 0.01). Our results show that dexamethasone potently regulates SCF-induced migration, p38 MAPK activation, and inflammatory cytokine production through the expression of MKP-1 protein in RPMCs. Such modulation may have functional consequences during dexamethasone treatment, especially mast cell-mediated allergic inflammation disorders.

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