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J Immunol. 2008 Dec 1;181(11):7706-12.

The phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent activation of Btk is required for optimal eicosanoid production and generation of reactive oxygen species in antigen-stimulated mast cells.

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Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Activated mast cells are a major source of the eicosanoids PGD(2) and leukotriene C(4) (LTC(4)), which contribute to allergic responses. These eicosanoids are produced following the ERK1/2-dependent activation of cytosolic phospholipase A(2), thus liberating arachidonic acid, which is subsequently metabolized by the actions of 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase to form LTC(4) and PGD(2), respectively. These pathways also generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have been proposed to contribute to FcepsilonRI-mediated signaling in mast cells. In this study, we demonstrate that, in addition to ERK1/2-dependent pathways, ERK1/2-independent pathways also regulate FcepsilonRI-mediated eicosanoid and ROS production in mast cells. A role for the Tec kinase Btk in the ERK1/2-independent regulatory pathway was revealed by the significantly attenuated FcepsilonRI-dependent PGD(2), LTC(4), and ROS production in bone marrow-derived mast cells of Btk(-/-) mice. The FcepsilonRI-dependent activation of Btk and eicosanoid and ROS generation in bone marrow-derived mast cells and human mast cells were similarly blocked by the PI3K inhibitors, Wortmannin and LY294002, indicating that Btk-regulated eicosanoid and ROS production occurs downstream of PI3K. In contrast to ERK1/2, the PI3K/Btk pathway does not regulate cytosolic phospholipase A(2) phosphorylation but rather appears to regulate the generation of ROS, LTC(4), and PGD(2) by contributing to the necessary Ca(2+) signal for the production of these molecules. These data demonstrate that strategies to decrease mast cell production of ROS and eicosanoids would have to target both ERK1/2- and PI3K/Btk-dependent pathways.

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