Author(s): Cao J, Cetrulo CL, Theoharides TC, Cao J, Cetrulo CL, Theoharides TC
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Abstract Mast cells are involved in allergic reactions but also in innate immunity and inflammation. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), the key regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, also has proinflammatory effects, apparently through mast cells. We showed recently that CRH selectively stimulates human leukemic mast cells and human umbilical cord blood-derived mast cells to release newly synthesized vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) without release of either preformed mediators or cytokines. This effect was mediated through the activation of CRH receptor-1 and adenylate cyclase with increased intracellular cAMP. However, the precise mechanism by which CRH induces VEGF secretion has not yet been defined. Here, we show that CRH-induced VEGF release was dose-dependently inhibited by the specific protein kinase A inhibitor N-[2-(4-bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinoline (H89) or the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor 4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)1H-imidazole (SB203580) but not by the specific inhibitor 2'-amino-3'-methoxyflavone (PD98059) of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, the upstream kinase of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) or the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor 1,9-pyrazoloanthrone anthra-(1,9-cd)pyrazol-6(2H)-one (SP600125). Furthermore, CRH significantly increased protein kinase A activity, which could be mimicked by the cell-permeable cAMP analog 8-bromo-cAMP, and was blocked by H89 or the adenylate cyclase inhibitor 9-(tetrahydro-2-furanyl)-9H-purine-6-amine (SQ22536). CRH also induced rapid phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, which was mimicked by 8-bromo-cAMP and was inhibited by H89 or SB203580. CRH did not stimulate ERK or JNK phosphorylation and did not increase intracellular calcium levels. These results indicate that CRH induces VEGF release in human mast cells via selective activation of the cAMP/protein kinase A/p38 MAPK signaling pathway, thereby providing further insight into the molecular mechanism of how CRH affects the release of a key proinflammatory mediator.
This article was published in Mol Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy