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J Immunol. 2006 Sep 1;177(5):2755-9.

Cutting edge: Interleukin 4-dependent mast cell proliferation requires autocrine/intracrine cysteinyl leukotriene-induced signaling.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Reactive mastocytosis (RM) in epithelial surfaces is a consistent Th2-associated feature of allergic disease. RM fails to develop in mice lacking leukotriene (LT) C4 synthase (LTC4S), which is required for cysteinyl leukotriene (cys-LT) production. We now report that IL-4, which induces LTC4S expression by mast cells (MCs), requires cys-LTs, the cys-LT type 1 receptor (CysLT1), and Gi proteins to promote MC proliferation. LTD4 (10-1000 nM) enhanced proliferation of human MCs in a CysLT1-dependent, pertussis toxin-sensitive manner. LTD4-induced phosphorylation of ERK required transactivation of c-kit. IL-4-driven comitogenesis was likewise sensitive to pertussis toxin or a CysLT1-selective antagonist and was attenuated by treatment with leukotriene synthesis inhibitors. Mouse MCs lacking LTC4S or CysLT1 showed substantially diminished IL-4-induced comitogenesis. Thus, IL-4 induces proliferation in part by inducing LTC4S and cys-LT generation, which causes CysLT1 to transactivate c-kit in RM.

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