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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 1;93(20):10978-83.

Prostaglandin E2 receptors of the EP2 and EP4 subtypes regulate activation and differentiation of mouse B lymphocytes to IgE-secreting cells.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY 14642, USA.


Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a potent lipid molecule with complex proinflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. PGE2 can shape the immune response by stimulating the production of IgE antibody by B lymphocytes and the synthesis of T-helper type 2 cytokines [e.g., interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10], while inhibiting production of Th1 cytokines (e.g., interferon-gamma, IL-12). It is unknown what type of receptor binds PGE2 and modulates these responses. Recent analyses in nonhematopoietic cells have identified six PGE2 receptors (EP1, EP2, EP3 alpha, EP3 beta, EP3 gamma, and EP4). This investigation examines quiescent B lymphocytes and reports that these cells express mRNA encoding EP1, EP2, EP3 beta, and EP4 receptors. The immunoregulatory functions of each receptor were investigated using small molecule agonists that preferentially bind EP receptor subtypes. Unlike agonists for EP1 and EP3, agonists that bound EP2 or EP2 and EP4 receptors strongly inhibited expression of class II major histocompatibility complex and CD23 and blocked enlargement of mouse B lymphocytes stimulated with IL-4 and/or lipopolysaccharide. PGE2 promotes differentiation and synergistically enhances IL-4 and lipopolysaccharide-driven B-cell immunoglobulin class switching to IgE. Agonists that bound EP2 or EP2 and EP4 receptors also strongly stimulated class switching to IgE. Experiments employing inhibitors of cAMP metabolism demonstrate that the mechanism by which EP2 and EP4 receptors regulate B lymphocyte activity requires elevation of cAMP. In conclusion, these data suggest that antagonists to EP2 and EP4 receptors will be important for diminishing allergic and IgE-mediated asthmatic responses.

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