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J Immunol. 2009 Jul 15;183(2):1328-36. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900801. Epub 2009 Jun 19.

Prostaglandin E2 differentially modulates proinflammatory/prodestructive effects of TNF-alpha on synovial fibroblasts via specific E prostanoid receptors/cAMP.

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Experimental Rheumatology Unit, Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany.


The present study investigated the influence of PGE(2), E prostanoid (EP) receptors, and their signaling pathways on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and IL-6 expression in synovial fibroblasts (SFs) from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. RASFs expressed all four EP receptors, with selective induction of EP2 by TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha time-dependently increased intracellular cAMP/protein kinase A signaling (maximum, 6-12 h) and PGE(2) secretion (maximum, 24 h). PGE(2) and the EP2 agonists butaprost or ONO-AE1-259 ((16)-9-deoxy-9beta-chloro-15-deoxy-16-hydroxy-17,17-trimethylene-19,20-didehydro PGE(1)), in turn, induced a rapid, time-dependent (maximum, 15-30 min) increase of cAMP. Additionally, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition by NS-398 (N-(2-cyclohexyloxy-4-nitrophenyl)-methanesulfonamide) reduced the TNF-alpha-induced increase in IL-6 mRNA/protein, which was restored by stimulation with PGE(2) or EP2, EP3, and EP4 agonists. In contrast, TNF-alpha-induced MMP-1 secretion was not influenced by NS-398 and diminished by PGE(2) via EP2. Finally, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine enhanced the effects of PGE(2) on MMP-1, but not on IL-6 mRNA. In conclusion, PGE(2) differentially affects TNF-alpha-induced mRNA expression of proinflammatory IL-6 and prodestructive MMP-1 regarding the usage of EP receptors and the dependency on cAMP. Although specific blockade of EP2 receptors is considered a promising therapeutic strategy in RA, opposite regulation of proinflammatory IL-6 and prodestructive MMP-1 by PGE(2) via EP2 may require more complex approaches to successfully inhibit the cyclooxygenase-1/2 cAMP axis.

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