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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Oct 28;105(43):16695-700. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0808993105. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Functional recognition of a distinct receptor preferential for leukotriene E4 in mice lacking the cysteinyl leukotriene 1 and 2 receptors.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The cysteinyl leukotrienes (cys-LTs) are a family of potent lipid mediators of inflammation derived from arachidonic acid. Activation of certain cell types results in the biosynthesis and export of leukotriene (LT) C(4), which then undergoes extracellular metabolism to LTD(4) and LTE(4). LTE(4), the most stable cys-LT, is only a weak agonist for the defined type 1 and type 2 cys-LT receptors (CysLT(1)R and CysLT(2)R, respectively). We had recognized a greater potency for LTE(4) than LTC(4) or LTD(4) in constricting guinea pig trachea in vitro and comparable activity in eliciting a cutaneous wheal and flare response in humans. Thus, we hypothesized that a vascular permeability response to LTE(4) in mice lacking both the CysLT(1)R and CysLT(2)R could establish the existence of a separate LTE(4) receptor. We now report that the intradermal injection of LTE(4) into the ear of mice deficient in both CysLT(1)R and CysLT(2)R elicits a vascular leak that exceeds the response to intradermal injection of LTC(4) or LTD(4), and that this response is inhibited by pretreatment of the mice with pertussis toxin or a Rho kinase inhibitor. LTE(4) is approximately 64-fold more potent in the CysLT(1)R/CysLT(2)R double-deficient mice than in sufficient mice. The administration of a CysLT(1)R antagonist augmented the permeability response of the CysLT(1)R/CysLT(2)R double-deficient mice to LTC(4), LTD(4), and LTE(4). Our findings establish the existence of a third receptor, CysLT(E)R, that responds preferentially to LTE(4), the most abundant cys-LT in biologic fluids, and thus reveal a new target for therapeutic intervention.

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