Eosinophil leukocytes express high numbers of the chemokine receptor CCR3 which binds eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-4, and some other CC chemokines. In this paper we show that CCR3 is also highly expressed on human blood basophils, as indicated by Northern blotting and flow cytometry, and mediates mainly chemotaxis. Eotaxin and MCP-4 elicited basophil migration in vitro with similar efficacy as regulated upon activation normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) and MCP-3. They also induced the release of histamine and leukotrienes in IL-3-primed basophils, but their efficacy was lower than that of MCP-1 and MCP-3, which were the most potent stimuli of exocytosis. Pretreatment of the basophils with a CCR3-blocking antibody abrogated the migration induced by eotaxin, RANTES, and by low to optimal concentrations of MCP-4, but decreased only minimally the response to MCP-3. The CCR3-blocking antibody also affected exocytosis: it abrogated histamine and leukotriene release induced by eotaxin, and partially inhibited the response to RANTES and MCP-4. In contrast, the antibody did not affect the responses induced by MCP-1, MCP-3, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, which may depend on CCR1 and CCR2, two additional receptors detected by Northern blotting with basophil RNA. This study demonstrates that CCR3 is the major receptor for eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-4 in human basophils, and suggests that basophils and eosinophils, which are the characteristic effector cells of allergic inflammation, depend largely on CCR3 for migration towards different chemokines into inflamed tissues.
Monocyte chemotactic protein-4 (MCP-4) is a newly identified C-C chemokine with potent eosinophil chemoattractant properties. We describe studies of its biological activity in vitro to induce chemotaxis of peripheral blood eosinophils and to induce histamine release from IL-3-primed peripheral blood basophils. MCP-4 and eotaxin caused a similar rise in eosinophil intracytoplasmic Ca2+ and complete cross-desensitization. MCP-4 also abolished the eosinophil Ca2+ response to MCP-3 and partially desensitized the response to macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha. MCP-4 activated cell migration via either CCR2b or CCR3 in mouse lymphoma cells transfected with these chemokine receptors. MCP-4 inhibited binding of 125I-eotaxin to eosinophils and CCR3-transfected cells and inhibited 125I-MCP-1 binding to CCR2b-transfectants. MCP-4 mRNA was found in cells collected in bronchoalveolar lavage of asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects and was prominently expressed in human lung and heart. MCP-4 mRNA was expressed in several human bronchial epithelial cell lines after cytokine stimulation. Pretreatment of BEAS-2B epithelial cells with the glucocorticoid budesonide inhibited MCP-4 mRNA expression. These features make MCP-4 a candidate for playing a role in eosinophil recruitment during allergic respiratory diseases.
The chemokine eotaxin is unusual in that it appears to be a highly specific chemoattractant for eosinophils. Ligand-binding studies with radiolabeled eotaxin demonstrated a receptor on eosinophils distinct from the known chemokine receptors CKR-1 and -2. The distinct eotaxin binding site on human eosinophils also bound RANTES (regulated on activation T expressed and secreted) and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)3. We have now isolated a cDNA from eosinophils, termed CKR-3, with significant sequence similarity to other well characterized chemokine receptors. Cells transfected with CKR-3 cDNA bound radiolabeled eotaxin specifically and with high affinity, comparable to the binding affinity observed with eosinophils. This receptor also bound RANTES and MCP-3 with high affinity, but not other CC or CXC chemokines. Furthermore, receptor transfectants generated in a murine B cell lymphoma cell line migrated in transwell chemotaxis assays to eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-3, but not to any other chemokines. A monoclonal antibody recognizing CKR-3 was used to show that eosinophils, but not other leukocyte types, expressed this receptor. This pattern of expression was confirmed by Northern blot with RNA from highly purified leukocyte subsets. The restricted expression of CKR-3 on eosinophils and the fidelity of eotaxin binding to CKR-3, provides a potential mechanism for the selective recruitment and migration of eosinophils within tissues.
Chemokine receptor CCR3 is highly expressed by eosinophils and signals in response to binding of the eotaxin family of chemokines, which are upregulated in allergic disorders. Consequently, CCR3 blockade is of interest as a possible therapeutic approach for the treatment of allergic disease. We have described previously a bi-specific antagonist of CCR1 and CCR3 named UCB35625, which was proposed to interact with the transmembrane residues Y41, Y113 and E287 of CCR1, all of which are conserved in CCR3. Here, we show that cells expressing the CCR3 constructs Y113A and E287Q are insensitive to antagonism by UCB35625 and also exhibit impaired chemotaxis in response to CCL11/Eotaxin suggesting that these residues are important for antagonist binding and also receptor activation. Furthermore, mutation of the residue Y113 to alanine was found to turn the antagonist UCB35625 into a CCR3 agonist. Screens of small molecule libraries identified a novel specific agonist of CCR3 named CH0076989. This was able to activate eosinophils and transfectants expressing both wild-type CCR3 and a CCR1:CCR3 chimaeric receptor lacking the CCR3 amino-terminus, indicating that this region of CCR3 is not required for CH0076989 binding. A direct interaction with the transmembrane helices of CCR3 was supported by mutation of the residues Y41, Y113 and E287 which resulted in complete loss of CH0076989 activity, suggesting that the compound mimics activation by CCL11. We conclude that both agonists and antagonists of CCR3 appear to occupy overlapping sites within the transmembrane helical bundle, suggesting a fine line between agonism and antagonism of chemokine receptors.
Eosinophils, chemokines, and neuropeptides are thought to play effector roles in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases such as rhinitis. Eotaxin is a novel C-C chemokine with a potent and relatively specific eosinophil chemoattractant activity that binds selectively to CCR3 receptor, however, its activity in inducing eosinophil granules proteins release is poorly characterized. This study was performed to determine whether eotaxin primes eosinophil exocytosis and whether this co-operates with the sensory neuroimmune-axis. In the present communication, we show that 10 ng/ml eotaxin primed normal human eosinophil for exaggerated eosonophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) release stimulated by 10(-8) M Substance-P (SP). This novel priming was blocked by; 7B11 and Herbimycin A (HA), the CCR3 antagonist and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, respectively. SDS-Page studies showed significant tyrosine phosphorylation of several protein residues induced by 10(-8) M SP only after priming with 10 ng/ml eotaxin. These results demonstrate a novel co-operation between eotaxin and SP in inducing eosinophil cytotoxicity, which at least in part involves tyrosine kinases pathway(s).
Selective eosinophil recruitment into tissues is a characteristic feature of allergic diseases. Chemokines are effective leukocyte chemoattractants and may play an important role in mediating eosinophil recruitment in various allergic conditions in man. Here, we describe a novel mouse model of eosinophil recruitment in which we have compared the in vivo chemoattractant activity of different C-C chemokines. Furthermore, we describe the use of antibodies to chemokines and receptor blockade to address the endogenous mechanisms involved in eosinophil recruitment in a late-phase allergic reaction in mouse skin. Intradermal injection of mEotaxin and mMIP-1alpha, but not mMCP-1, mRANTES, mMCP-5, or mMIP-1beta, induced significant 111In-eosinophil recruitment in mouse skin. Significant 111In-eosinophil recruitment was also observed in an active cutaneous anaphylactic reaction. Pretreatment of skin sites with antieotaxin antiserum, but not an antiMIP-1alpha antibody, suppressed 111In-eosinophil recruitment in this delayed-onset allergic reaction. Similarly, desensitization of the eosinophil eotaxin receptor CCR3 with mEotaxin, or blockade of the receptor with metRANTES, significantly inhibited 111In-eosinophil recruitment in the allergic reaction. These results demonstrate an important role for endogenous eotaxin in mediating the 111In-eosinophil recruitment in allergic inflammation, and suggest that blockade of the CCR3 receptor is a valid strategy to inhibit eosinophil migration in vivo.
CCR5 is a chemokine receptor expressed by T cells and macrophages, which also functions as the principal coreceptor for macrophage (M)-tropic strains of HIV-1. To understand the molecular basis of the binding of chemokines and HIV-1 to CCR5, we developed a number of mAbs that inhibit the various interactions of CCR5, and mapped the binding sites of these mAbs using a panel of CCR5/CCR2b chimeras. One mAb termed 2D7 completely blocked the binding and chemotaxis of the three natural chemokine ligands of CCR5, RANTES (regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted), macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, and MIP-1β, to CCR5 transfectants. This mAb was a genuine antagonist of CCR5, since it failed to stimulate an increase in intracellular calcium concentration in the CCR5 transfectants, but blocked calcium responses elicited by RANTES, MIP-1α, or MIP-1β. This mAb inhibited most of the RANTES and MIP-1α chemotactic responses of activated T cells, but not of monocytes, suggesting differential usage of chemokine receptors by these two cell types. The 2D7 binding site mapped to the second extracellular loop of CCR5, whereas a group of mAbs that failed to block chemokine binding all mapped to the NH2-terminal region of CCR5. Efficient inhibition of an M-tropic HIV-1–derived envelope glycoprotein gp120 binding to CCR5 could be achieved with mAbs recognizing either the second extracellular loop or the NH2-terminal region, although the former showed superior inhibition. Additionally, 2D7 efficiently blocked the infectivity of several M-tropic and dual-tropic HIV-1 strains in vitro. These results suggest a complicated pattern of HIV-1 gp120 binding to different regions of CCR5, but a relatively simple pattern for chemokine binding. We conclude that the second extracellular loop of CCR5 is an ideal target site for the development of inhibitors of either chemokine or HIV-1 binding to CCR5.
Although there is a mounting body of evidence that eosinophils are recruited to sites of allergic inflammation by a number of beta- chemokines, particularly eotaxin and RANTES, the receptor that mediates these actions has not been identified. We have now cloned a G protein- coupled receptor, CC CKR3, from human eosinophils which, when stably expressed in AML14.3D10 cells bound eotaxin, MCP-3 and RANTES with Kds of 0.1, 2.7 and 3.1 nM, respectively. CC CKR3 also bound MCP-1 with lower affinity, but did not bind MIP-1 alpha or MIP-1 beta. Eotaxin, RANTES, and to a lessor extent MCP-3, but not the other chemokines, activated CC CKR3 as determined by their ability to stimulate a Ca(2+) - flux. Competition binding studies on primary eosinophils gave binding affinities for the different chemokines which were indistinguishable from those measured with CC CKR3. Since CC CKR3 is prominently expressed in eosinophils we conclude that CC CKR3 is the eosinophil eotaxin receptor. Eosinophils also express a much lower level of a second chemokine receptor, CC CKR1, which appears to be responsible for the effects of MIP-1 alpha.
Chemokines are widely hypothesized to stimulate firm adhesion of leukocytes on endothelium in shear flow. Thus far, this has been demonstrated experimentally for exogenously added chemoattractants, but not for those released by endothelium. We found that human umbilical cord endothelial cells (HUVEC) stimulated with TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma secreted eosinophil chemoattractants into the culture supernatant. This material induced transendothelial chemotaxis, stimulated eosinophil binding to purified intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and augmented binding to purified vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 in a 3-min static assay. Chemotaxis and stimulation of adhesion were abrogated completely by the pretreatment of eosinophils with an mAb to the C-C chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3). Eosinophils accumulated efficiently on HUVEC stimulated with TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma in shear flow at 1.5 dyn/cm2. CCR3 mAb slightly but significantly reduced eosinophil arrest and accumulation, by preventing development of firm adhesion by some of the tethered eosinophils, so that they detached within 30 s after the initial tethering. In the presence of mAb to the alpha4 integrin subunit, the effect of CCR3 mAb was more prominent, and approximately half of eosinophil arrest and accumulation was abolished. Inhibition by CCR3 mAb in the presence of beta2 integrin mAb was similar to that in control eosinophils. This is the first evidence that endothelial cell-derived chemokines can activate firm adhesion through alpha4 and beta2 integrins even in the presence of shear flow.
The CC chemokine eotaxin, identified in guinea pigs and also recently in mice, may be a key element for the selective recruitment of eosinophils to certain inflamed tissues. Using a partial mouse eotaxin CDNA probe, the human eotaxin gene was cloned and found to be 61.8 and 63.2% identical at the amino acid level to guinea pig and mouse eotaxin. Human eotaxin protein was a strong and specific eosinophil chemoattractant in vitro and was an effective eosinophil chemoattractant when injected into the skin of a rhesus monkey. Radiolabeled eotaxin was used to identify a high affinity receptor on eosinophils (0.52 nM Kd), expressed at 4.8 x 10(4) sites per cell. This receptor also bound RANTES and monocyte chemotactic protein-3 with lower affinity, but not macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha. Eotaxin could desensitize calcium responses of eosinophils to RANTES and monocyte chemotactic protein-3, although RANTES was able to only partially desensitize eosinophil calcium responses to eotaxin. Immunohistochemistry on human nasal polyp with antieotaxin mAbs showed that certain leukocytes as well as respiratory epithelium were intensely immunoreactive, and eosinophil infiltration occurred at sites of eotaxin upregulation. Thus eotaxin in humans is a potent and selective eosinophil chemoattractant that is expressed by a variety cell types in certain inflammatory conditions.
CC chemokines constitute a novel class of cytokines that attract and activate monocytes and lymphocytes, as well as basophil and eosinophil leukocytes, with distinct target cell profiles, and are believed to be involved in the regulation of different types of inflammation. The action of the recently identified monocyte chemotactic protein 3 (MCP- 3) on human basophil and eosinophil function was studied and compared with that of other CC chemokines. In basophils, MCP-3, MCP-1, RANTES, and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 alpha all induced cytosolic- free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) changes and, with different efficacies, chemotaxis (RANTES = MCP-3 >> MCP-1 > MIP-1 alpha), histamine release (MCP-1 = MCP-3 >> RANTES > MIP-1 alpha), and leukotriene C4 formation, after IL-3 pretreatment (MCP-1 = MCP-3 >> RANTES > MIP-1 alpha). Thus, MCP-3 was as effective as MCP-1 as an inducer of mediator release, and as effective as RANTES as a stimulus of basophil migration. In contrast to MCP-1, MCP-3 was also a stimulus for eosinophils, and induced [Ca2+]i changes and chemotaxis as effectively as RANTES, which is the most potent chemotactic cytokine for these cells. Desensitization of the transient changes in [Ca2+]i was used to assess receptor usage. In basophils, stimulation with MCP-3 prevented responsiveness to MCP-1 and RANTES, but not to MIP-1 alpha. No single CC chemokine (except for MCP-3 itself) affected the response to MCP-3, however, which was prevented only when the cells were prestimulated with both MCP-1 and RANTES. In eosinophils, by contrast, cross-desensitization between RANTES and MCP-3 was obtained. RANTES and to a lesser extent MCP-3 also desensitized eosinophils toward MIP-1 alpha. The desensitization data suggest the existence of three chemokine receptors: (a) a MCP-1 receptor expressed on basophils but not eosinophils that is activated by MCP-1 and MCP-3; (b) a RANTES receptor in basophils and eosinophils that is activated by RANTES and MCP-3; and (c) a MIP-1 alpha receptor that is activated by MIP-1 alpha, RANTES and, more weakly, by MCP-3. This study shows that MCP-3 combines the properties of RANTES, a powerful chemoattractant, and MCP-1, a highly effective stimulus of mediator release, and thus has a particularly broad range of activities toward both human basophil and eosinophil leukocytes.
BACKGROUND/AIMS—Chemokines are a family of low molecular weight cytokines that attract and activate leucocytes. The CC chemokines act on eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes, suggesting that they play an important part in allergic diseases. The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of the CC chemokines, RANTES, eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP) 1, MCP-2, and MCP-3 in the conjunctiva of patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) and to determine the cellular source of these chemokines.
METHODS—Conjunctival biopsy specimens from nine subjects with active VKC, and six control subjects were studied by immunohistochemical techniques using a panel of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies directed against RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, MCP-2, and MCP-3. The phenotype of inflammatory cells expressing chemokines was examined by sequential double immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS—In the normal conjunctiva, superficial epithelial cells showed a constitutive, weak cytoplasmic expression of eotaxin. Few inflammatory cells in the perivascular areas expressed RANTES, MCP-1, MCP-2, and MCP-3. In VKC specimens, the epithelium showed intense cytoplasmic eotaxin staining in all cells, and cytoplasmic RANTES staining mainly in the superficial layers. Furthermore, RANTES and eotaxin were expressed on the vascular endothelium mainly in the upper substantia propria. Compared with normal controls, VKC specimens showed significantly more inflammatory cells expressing RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, and MCP-3 (p<0.001, 0.0028, 0.0092, and <0.001, respectively). In VKC specimens, the numbers of inflammatory cells expressing RANTES were significantly higher than the numbers of inflammatory cells expressing eotaxin, MCP-1, and MCP-2 (all p values <0.001). Colocalisation studies revealed that the majority of inflammatory cells expressing chemokines were CD68 positive monocytes/macrophages.
CONCLUSIONS—These results demonstrate an increase in the expression of RANTES, eotaxin, MCP-1, and MCP-3 in the conjunctiva of patients with VKC compared with control subjects. These data suggest a potential role for these chemokines in the pathogenesis of VKC. Antagonists of chemokine receptors may provide new therapeutic modalities in VKC.
Eosinophils cluster around airway nerves in patients with fatal asthma and in antigen-challenged animals. Activated eosinophils release major basic protein, which blocks inhibitory M2 muscarinic receptors (M2Rs) on nerves, increasing acetylcholine release and potentiating vagally mediated bronchoconstriction. We tested whether GW701897B, an antagonist of CCR3 (the receptor for eotaxin as well as a group of eosinophil active chemokines), affected vagal reactivity and M2R function in ovalbumin-challenged guinea pigs. Sensitized animals were treated with the CCR3 antagonist before inhaling ovalbumin. Antigen-challenged animals were hyperresponsive to vagal stimulation, but those that received the CCR3 antagonist were not. M2R function was lost in antigen-challenged animals, but not in those that received the CCR3 antagonist. Although the CCR3 antagonist did not decrease the number of eosinophils in lung tissues as assessed histologically, CCR3 antagonist prevented antigen-induced clustering of eosinophils along the nerves. Immunostaining revealed eotaxin in airway nerves and in cultured airway parasympathetic neurons from both guinea pigs and humans. Both IL-4 and IL-13 increased expression of eotaxin in cultured airway parasympathetic neurons as well as in human neuroblastoma cells. Thus, signaling via CCR3 mediates eosinophil recruitment to airway nerves and may be a prerequisite to blockade of inhibitory M2Rs by eosinophil major basic protein.
Eosinophil accumulation is a distinctive feature of lung allergic inflammation. Here, we have used a mouse model of OVA (ovalbumin)-induced pulmonary eosinophilia to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms for this selective recruitment of eosinophils to the airways. In this model there was an early accumulation of infiltrating monocytes/macrophages in the lung during the OVA treatment, whereas the increase in infiltrating T-lymphocytes paralleled the accumulation of eosinophils. The kinetics of accumulation of these three leukocyte subtypes correlated with the levels of mRNA expression of the chemokines monocyte chemotactic peptide-1/JE, eotaxin, and RANTES (regulated upon activation in normal T cells expressed and secreted), suggesting their involvement in the recruitment of these leukocytes. Furthermore, blockade of eotaxin with specific antibodies in vivo reduced the accumulation of eosinophils in the lung in response to OVA by half. Mature CD4+ T-lymphocytes were absolutely required for OVA-induced eosinophil accumulation since lung eosinophilia was prevented in CD4+-deficient mice. However, these cells were neither the main producers of the major eosinophilic chemokines eotaxin, RANTES, or MIP-1alpha, nor did they regulate the expression of these chemokines. Rather, the presence of CD4+ T cells was necessary for enhancement of VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) expression in the lung during allergic inflammation induced by the OVA treatment. In support of this, mice genetically deficient for VCAM-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 failed to develop pulmonary eosinophilia. Selective eosinophilic recruitment during lung allergic inflammation results from a sequential accumulation of certain leukocyte types, particularly T cells, and relies on the presence of both eosinophilic chemoattractants and adhesion receptors.
Eosinophilic leukocytes accumulate in high numbers in the lungs of asthmatic patients, and are believed to be important in the pathogenisis of asthma. A potent eosinophil chemoattractant is produced in the asthmatic lung. This small protein, the chemokine eotaxin, is synthesized by a number of different cell types, and is stimulated by interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, which are produced by T-helper (Th)2 lymphocytes. Low molecular weight compounds have been developed that can block the eotaxin receptor C-C chemokine receptor (CCR)3, and prevent stimulation by eotaxin. This provides the potential for orally available drugs that can prevent eosinophil recruitment into the lung and the associated damage and dysfunction.
allergy; asthma; chemokines; eosinophils; eotaxin
Expression of chemokine receptors on T helper 2 cells and eosinophils has been postulated to be the mechanism by which these cells are selectively recruited to the lung during allergic inflammatory reactions. Mouse models have provided evidence to show that blocking the ligands for these receptors is successful in abrogating the pathophysiological effects of allergen challenge. However, recent studies describing the effect of genetic deletions of these chemokine receptors have not confirmed the results obtained with ligand knockouts or neutralising antibodies. Coupled with the realisation that, because of a lack of species cross-reactivity, it is not possible to test small molecule antagonists against human receptors in the original in vivo animal models, the future of chemokine receptor therapeutics is in question. However, recent advances have been made regarding the therapeutic potential of blocking the chemokine receptors CCR3, CCR4 and CCR8 in allergic airway disease.
Protective innate immunity to the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis requires eosinophils in the parasite killing process. Experiments were performed to determine if an extract of S. stercoralis would trigger eosinophil chemotaxis, and to then compare the chemotactic migration response, including second messenger signals and receptors, to those mechanisms triggered by host chemoattractants. Eosinophils undergo both chemotaxis and chemokinesis to soluble parasite extract in transwell plates. Pretreatment of eosinophils with pertussis toxin, a G protein-coupled receptor inhibitor, inhibited migration of the eosinophils to the parasite extract. Likewise, blocking PI3K, tyrosine kinase, p38 and p44/42 inhibited eosinophil chemotaxis to parasite extract. Furthermore, CCR3, CXCR4 or CXCR2 antagonists significantly inhibited eosinophil chemotaxis to the parasite extract. Molecular weight fractionation of parasite extract revealed that molecules attracting eosinophils were present in several fractions, with molecules greater than 30 kDa being the most potent. Treating the extract with proteinase K or chitinase significantly inhibited its ability to induce chemotaxis, thereby demonstrating that the chemoattractants were both protein and chitin. Therefore, chemoattractants derived from parasites and host species stimulate similar receptors and second messenger signals to induce eosinophil chemotaxis. Parasite extract stimulates multiple receptors on the eosinophil surface, which ensures a robust innate immune response to the parasite.
Eosinophil; Chemotaxis; Strongyloides stercoralis; CCR3; CXCR4; CXCR2
The complex pathophysiology of lung allergic inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness
(BHR) that characterize asthma is achieved by the regulated accumulation and activation of
different leukocyte subsets in the lung. The development and maintenance of these processes
correlate with the coordinated production of chemokines. Here, we have assessed the role that
different chemokines play in lung allergic inflammation and BHR by blocking their activities
in vivo. Our results show that blockage of each one of these chemokines reduces both lung
leukocyte infiltration and BHR in a substantially different way. Thus, eotaxin neutralization reduces specifically BHR and lung eosinophilia transiently after each antigen exposure. Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-5 neutralization abolishes BHR not by affecting the accumulation of inflammatory leukocytes in the airways, but rather by altering the trafficking of the
eosinophils and other leukocytes through the lung interstitium. Neutralization of RANTES
(regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) receptor(s) with a receptor
antagonist decreases significantly lymphocyte and eosinophil infiltration as well as mRNA expression of eotaxin and RANTES. In contrast, neutralization of one of the ligands for RANTES receptors, macrophage-inflammatory protein 1α, reduces only slightly lung eosinophilia and BHR.
Finally, MCP-1 neutralization diminishes drastically BHR and inflammation, and this correlates
with a pronounced decrease in monocyte- and lymphocyte-derived inflammatory mediators.
These results suggest that different chemokines activate different cellular and molecular pathways
that in a coordinated fashion contribute to the complex pathophysiology of asthma, and that their
individual blockage results in intervention at different levels of these processes.
chemokines; allergic inflammation; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; eosinophilia; leukocytes
Chemokine CCL24 is the second member of eotaxins, a group of eosinophils’ selectively chemoattractants. Via binding to its only receptor CCR3, CCL24 mainly mediates atopic disorders, parasitic infections and systemic diseases. It is well-known that CCR3 is expressed at the maternal-fetal interface; nevertheless whether CCL24 is located there and which role CCL24/CCR3 axis played is unclear. In this article, we assessed the expression of CCL24 and CCR3 in decidual stromal cells (DSCs) and trophoblasts, investigated the effects of DSCs-trophoblasts contact and pregnancy-associated hormones on the expression of CCR3 by DSCs, and last examined the role of trophoblasts-derived CCL24 on the proliferation, cell numbers and apoptosis of DSCs in vitro. We found that trophoblasts secrete chemokine CCL24, whereas DSCs express receptor CCR3. DSCs and trophoblasts co-culture had an raised level of CCL24 in culture supernatants, and the expression of CCR3 on DSCs was also obviously improved. Estrogen, progesterone and hCG up-regulated the expression of CCR3 on DSCs at appropriate concentration. CCL24 increased the proliferation and apoptosis of DSCs, whereas on the whole it promoted the number of DSCs. Thus, we conclude that by secreting CCL24 trophoblasts could promote the growth of DSCs; pregnancy associated environments such as DSCs-trophoblasts contact and hormones increased local CCL24/CCR3, which means a beneficial factor for the process of decidualization in human early pregnancy.
CCL24; CCR3; DSCs; maternal-fetal interface; trophoblasts
Monocyte chemo attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is a member of the CC-chemokine family and it selectively recruits leukocytes from the circulation to the site of inflammation through binding with the chemotactic cytokine receptor 2B (CCR2B). The recruitment and activation of selected populations of leukocytes is a key feature in a variety of inflammatory conditions. Thus MCP-1 receptor antagonist represents an attractive target for drug discovery. To understand the structural requirements that will lead to enhanced inhibitory potencies, we have carried out 3D-QSAR (quantitative structure–activity relationship) studies on (R)-3-aminopyrrolidine series of molecules as CCR2B receptor antagonists.
Materials and Methods:
Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA) were performed on a series of (R)-3-aminopyrrolidine derivatives as antagonists of CCR2B receptor with Sybyl 6.7v.
We have derived statistically significant model from 37 molecules and validated it against an external test set of 13 compounds. The CoMFA model yielded a leave one out r2 (r2loo) of 0.847, non-cross-validated r2 (r2ncv) of 0.977, F value of 267.930, and bootstrapped r2 (r2bs) of 0.988. We have derived the standard error of prediction value of 0.367, standard error of estimate 0.141, and a reliable external predictivity, with a predictive r2 (r2pred) of 0.673. While the CoMSIA model yielded an r2loo of 0.719, r2ncv of 0.964,F value of 135.666, r2bs of 0.975, standard error of prediction of 0.512, standard error of estimate of 0.180, and an external predictivity with an r2pred of 0.611. These validation tests not only revealed the robustness of the models but also demonstrated that for our models r2pred, based on the mean activity of test set compounds can accurately estimate external predictivity.
The QSAR model gave satisfactory statistical results in terms of q2 and r2 values. We analyzed the contour maps obtained, to study the activity trends of the molecules. We have tried to demonstrate structural features of compounds to account for the activity in terms of positively contributing physicochemical properties such as steric, electrostatic, hydrophobic, hydrogen bond donor, and acceptor fields. These contour plots identified several key features, which explain the wide range of activities. The results obtained from models offer important structural insight into designing novel CCR2B antagonists before their synthesis.
(R)-3-aminopyrrolidine series; 3D-QSAR; CCR2B; CoMFA; CoMSIA
Recent studies in human have highlighted the importance of the monocyte chemotactic proteins (MCP) in leukocyte trafficking and their effects in inflammatory processes, tumor progression, and HIV-1 infection. In European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) one of the prime MCP targets, the chemokine receptor CCR5 underwent a unique structural alteration. Until now, no homologue of MCP-2/CCL8a, MCP-3/CCL7 or MCP-4/CCL13 genes have been reported for this species. This is interesting, because at least the first two genes are expressed in most, if not all, mammals studied, and appear to be implicated in a variety of important chemokine ligand-receptor interactions. By assessing the Rabbit Whole Genome Sequence (WGS) data we have searched for orthologs of the mammalian genes of the MCP-Eotaxin cluster.
We have localized the orthologs of these chemokine genes in the genome of European rabbit and compared them to those of leporid genera which do (i.e. Oryctolagus and Bunolagus) or do not share the CCR5 alteration with European rabbit (i.e. Lepus and Sylvilagus). Of the Rabbit orthologs of the CCL8, CCL7, and CCL13 genes only the last two were potentially functional, although showing some structural anomalies at the protein level. The ortholog of MCP-2/CCL8 appeared to be pseudogenized by deleterious nucleotide substitutions affecting exon1 and exon2. By analyzing both genomic and cDNA products, these studies were extended to wild specimens of four genera of the Leporidae family: Oryctolagus, Bunolagus, Lepus, and Sylvilagus. It appeared that the anomalies of the MCP-3/CCL7 and MCP-4/CCL13 proteins are shared among the different species of leporids. In contrast, whereas MCP-2/CCL8 was pseudogenized in every studied specimen of the Oryctolagus - Bunolagus lineage, this gene was intact in species of the Lepus - Sylvilagus lineage, and was, at least in Lepus, correctly transcribed.
The biological function of a gene was often revealed in situations of dysfunction or gene loss. Infections with Myxoma virus (MYXV) tend to be fatal in European rabbit (genus Oryctolagus), while being harmless in Hares (genus Lepus) and benign in Cottontail rabbit (genus Sylvilagus), the natural hosts of the virus. This communication should stimulate research on a possible role of MCP-2/CCL8 in poxvirus related pathogenicity.
Chemokines; Monocyte chemotactic protein; Pseudogene; Poxvirus; Myxomatosis; Oryctolagus; Bunolagus; Sylvilagus; Lepus
The underlying inflammation present in chronic airway diseases is orchestrated by increased expression of CC chemokines that selectively recruit leukocyte populations into the pulmonary system. Human CCL26 signals through CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3), is dramatically upregulated in challenged asthmatics, and stimulates recruitment of eosinophils (EOSs) and other leukocytes. CCL26 participates in regulation of its receptor CCR3 and modulates expression of a variety of chemokines in alveolar type II cells. Utilizing the A549 alveolar type II epithelial cell culture model, we carried out studies to test the hypothesis that CCL26-siRNA treatment of these cells would ameliorate Th2-driven release of the eotaxins and other CCR3 ligands that would, in turn, decrease recruitment and activation of EOSs. Results demonstrate that CCL26-siRNA treatments decreased interleukin-4-induced CCL26 and CCL24 expression by >70%. CCL26-directed small-interfering RNA (siRNA) treatments significantly decreased release of CCL5 (RANTES), CCL15 (MIP-1δ), CCL8 (MCP-2), and CCL13 (MCP-4). In bioactivity assays it was shown that EOS migration and activation were reduced up to 80% and 90%, respectively, when exposed to supernatants of CCL26-siRNA-treated cells. These results provide evidence that CCL26 may be an appropriate target for development of new therapeutic agents designed to alleviate the underlying inflammation associated with chronic diseases of the airways.
CC Chemokine Receptor 3 (CCR3), the major chemokine receptor expressed on eosinophils, binds promiscuously to several ligands including eotaxins 1, 2, and 3. Even though the only cells that consistently accumulate following eotaxin administration in vivo are myeloid cells (primarily eosinophils), other cell types have recently been shown to express CCR3. It is therefore important to elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulating receptor expression.
In order to define regions responsible for CCR3 transcription, a DNAse hypersensitive site was identified in the vicinity of exon 1. Coupled with our previous data implicating exon 1 in CCR3 transcription, we hypothesized that transcription factors bind to exon-1. Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis revealed that nuclear proteins in eosinophilic cells bound to exon 1. Furthermore, antibody interference and mutation studies demonstrated GATA-1 binding to exon 1. In order to test the 1.6-kb CCR3 promoter element (that includes exon 1) for in vivo function, this region was used to generate transgenic mice that expressed a reporter protein. Strong transgene expression was achieved, with the pattern of expression suggesting a broad acting promoter.
The transcription factor GATA-1 binds to CCR3 exon 1. The 1.6-kb CCR3 promoter element, that includes exon 1, is a strong promoter in vivo.
Leukocyte infiltration into inflammatory sites is regulated by the expression of adhesion and activation proteins, yet the role of these proteins in shear-dependent transmigration is poorly understood. We examined eosinophil recruitment on cytokine-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) under laminar flow conditions. Eosinophils rapidly transmigrated on interleukin (IL)-4–, but not TNF-stimulated HUVECs. Transmigration was shear dependent, with up to 90% of eosinophils transmigrating in the presence of shear and less than 25% of cells transmigrating under static conditions. Eosinophils express CC chemokine receptor CCR3 and are responsive to various CC chemokines. The effects of chemokines are mediated primarily through Gαi, which is pertussis toxin sensitive. Greater than 65% of shear-dependent eosinophil transmigration on IL-4–stimulated HUVECs was blocked by either pertussis toxin or by an anti-CCR3 monoclonal antibody. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blots, we found that IL-4–stimulated HUVECs produce both mRNA and protein for eotaxin-3. Eotaxin-3 was both released by HUVECs and expressed on the endothelial cell surface. Pretreatment of HUVECs with an anti–eotaxin-3 antibody blocked eosinophil transmigration to the same extent as an anti-CCR3 antibody. These results indicate that IL-4–stimulated HUVECs support shear-dependent eosinophil transmigration by upregulating eotaxin-3, and that surface association is critical for the role of eotaxin-3 in transmigration.
chemokines; cell adhesion; cytokines; trafficking; leukocytes
Eosinophils are circulating granulocytes involved in pathogenesis of asthma. A cascade of processes directed by Th2 cytokine producing T-cells influence the recruitment of eosinophils into the lungs. Furthermore, multiple elements including interleukin (IL)-5, IL-13, chemoattractants such as eotaxin, Clara cells, and CC chemokine receptor (CCR)3 are already directly involved in recruiting eosinophils to the lung during allergic inflammation. Once recruited, eosinophils participate in the modulation of immune response, induction of airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling, characteristic features of asthma. Various types of promising treatments for reducing asthmatic response are related to reduction in eosinophil counts both in human and experimental models of pulmonary allergic inflammation, showing that the recruitment of these cells really plays an important role in the pathophysiology of allergic diseases such asthma.
airway remodeling; asthma; eosinophils; experimental models of asthma; inflammation; respiratory hypersensitivity