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1.  Mouse mast cell protease -6 and MHC are involved in the development of experimental asthma1 
Allergic asthma is a complex disease with a strong genetic component where mast cells play a major role by the release of pro-inflammatory mediators. In the mouse, mast cell protease-6 (mMCP-6) closely resembles the human version of mast cell tryptase, β-tryptase. The gene that encodes mMCP-6, Tpsb2, resides close by the H-2 complex (MHC gene) on chromosome 17. Thus, when the original mMCP-6 knockout mice were backcrossed to the BALB/c strain, these mice were carrying the 129/Sv haplotype of MHC (mMCP-6−/−/H-2bc). Further backcrossing yielded mMCP-6−/− mice with the BALB/c MHC locus. BALB/c mice were compared with mMCP-6−/− and mMCP-6−/−/H-2bc mice in a mouse model of experimental asthma. While OVA-sensitized and challenged wild type mice displayed a striking airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), mMCP-6−/− mice had less AHR that was comparable to that of mMCP-6−/−/H-2bc mice, suggesting that mMCP-6 is required for a full-blown AHR. The mMCP-6−/−/H-2bc mice had strikingly reduced lung inflammation, IgE-responses and Th2 cell-responses upon sensitization and challenge, whereas the mMCP-6−/− mice responded similarly to the wild type mice but with a minor decrease in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) eosinophils. These findings suggest that inflammatory Th2-responses are highly dependent on the MHC-haplotype and that they can develop essentially independently of mMCP-6 while mMCP-6 plays a key role in the development of AHR.
PMCID: PMC4225174  PMID: 25320274
2.  Mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (mBMMC) obtained in vitro from mice that are mast cell-deficient in vivo express the same panel of granule proteases as mBMMC and serosal mast cells from their normal littermates 
The ear, skin, and purified serosal mast cells of WBB6F1/J-(+/+) (WB- (+/+)) and WCB6F1/J-(+/+) (WC-(+/+)) mice contain high steady-state levels of the transcripts that encode mouse mast cell protease (mMCP) 2, mMCP-4, mMCP-5, mMCP-6, and mouse mast cell carboxypeptidase A (mMC- CPA). In contrast, no mast cell protease transcripts are present in abundance in the ear and skin of WBB6F1/J-W/Wv (W/Wv) and WCB6F1/J- Sl/Sld (Sl/Sld) mice which are mast cell-deficient in vivo due to defects in their c-kit and c-kit ligand genes, respectively. We now report that the immature bone marrow-derived mast cells (mBMMC) obtained in vitro with recombinant interleukin 3 (rIL-3) or WEHI-3 cell conditioned medium from WB-(+/+), WC-(+/+), W/Wv, and Sl/Sld mice all contain high steady-state levels of the mMCP-2, mMCP-4, mMCP-5, mMCP-6, and mMC-CPA transcripts. As assessed immunohistochemically, mMCP-2 protein and mMCP-5 protein are also present in the granules of mBMMC from WB-(+/+), WC-(+/+), and W/Wv mice. That Sl/Sld and W/Wv mBMMC contain high steady-state levels of five granule protease transcripts expressed by the mature serosal, ear, and skin mast cells of their normal +/+ littermates suggests that c-kit-mediated signal transduction is not essential for inducing transcription of these protease genes. Because rIL-4 inhibits the rIL-10-induced expression of mMCP-1 and mMCP- 2 in BALB/cJ mBMMC, the ability of rIL-4 to influence protease mRNA levels in WC-(+/+) mBMMC and W/Wv mBMMC was investigated. Although rIL- 10 induced expression of the mMCP-1 transcript in WC-(+/+) and W/Wv mBMMC, rIL-4 was not able to suppress the steady-state levels of the mMCP-1 transcript or any other protease transcript in these cultured mast cells. Thus, not only do BALB/cJ mBMMC express fewer granule proteases than mBMMC from mast cell-deficient strains and their normal littermates but the subsequent induction of late-expressed proteases in BALB/cJ mBMMC is more tightly regulated by IL-3 and IL-4.
PMCID: PMC2191541  PMID: 8006601
3.  Mast cells that reside at different locations in the jejunum of mice infected with Trichinella spiralis exhibit sequential changes in their granule ultrastructure and chymase phenotype 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1996;135(1):279-290.
Whether or not a nontransformed, mature mouse mast cell (MC) or its committed progenitor can change its granule protease phenotype during inflammatory responses, has not been determined. To address this issue, the granule morphology and protease content of the MC in the jejunum of BALB/c mice exposed to Trichinella spiralis were assessed during the course of the infection. Within 1 wk after helminth infection of the mice, increased numbers of MC appeared in the crypts at the base of the villi, and by wk 2 the number of MC throughout the villi increased by approximately 25-fold. Shortly after the peak of the mastocytosis, the intraepithelial population of MC disappeared, followed by a progressive loss of lamina propria MC. The presence of stellate-shaped granules containing crystalline structures in intraepithelial MC at the height of infection and the retention of such granules with fragmented crystals in lamina propria MC during resolution of the mastocytosis suggest that MC migrate during the various phases of the inflammation. As assessed by immunohistochemical analyses of serial sections, predominant chymase phenotypes were observed at the height of the infection in the muscle that expressed mouse MC protease (mMCP) 5 without mMCP-1 or mMCP-2 and in the epithelium that expressed mMCP-1 and mMCP-2 without mMCP-5. Accompanying these two MC populations were transitional forms in the submucosa that expressed mMCP-2 and mMCP-5 without mMCP-1 and in the lamina propria that expressed mMCP-2 alone. These data suggest that jejunal MC sequentially express mMCP-2, cease expressing mMCP-5, and finally express mMCP-1 as the cells progressively appear in the submucosa, lamina propria, and epithelium, respectively. In the recovery phase of the disease, MC sequentially cease expressing mMCP-1, express mMCP-5, and finally cease expressing mMCP-2 as they present at the tips of the villi, the base of the villi, and the submucosa, respectively. That MC can reversibly alter their protease phenotypes suggests that a static nomenclature with fixed functional implications is inadequate to describe MC populations during an inflammatory process within a particular tissue.
PMCID: PMC2121032  PMID: 8858180
4.  Investigation of the functional role played by the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in interleukin-1-induced murine peritonitis 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1998;125(2):319-326.
Intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of murine recombinant IL-1β (mrIL-1β) produced a dose-dependent (0.5–50 ng) and time-related (0.5–2 h) secretion of murine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (mMCP-1; 3–4 ng per cavity) in the lavage fluids. MCP-1 mRNA could also be detected in the cell pellets by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).MCP-1 levels were reduced by more than 90% by co-administration of IL-1 receptor antagonist (10 μg) (n=6, P<0.05). In contrast, an IL-1 mutant with low affinity for IL-1 receptor type I, termed yIL-1βΔ4 (50 ng), produced only a modest release of the chemokine. Treatment of mice with dexamethasone (DEX) (∼1 mg kg−1 s.c.) reduced mrIL-1β-induced mMCP-1 gene expression (apparent total inhibition) and protein release in the lavage fluids (∼40% reduction; n=10; P<0.05). Drastic reductions in the numbers of residential macrophages or mast cells did not modify the levels of mMCP-1 recovered in the lavage fluids.Injection of mrIL-1β produced neutrophil accumulation into the peritoneal cavities (maximal at 4 h with 1.42±0.15×106 cells per mouse). Co-injection of a specific polyclonal antibody against mMCP-1 reduced this process by more than 50% (n=6; P<0.05). In conclusion, we studied the mechanisms leading to the specific release of the CC chemokine mMCP-1 after in vivo administration of mrIL-1β.
PMCID: PMC1565623  PMID: 9786504
Neutrophils; chemokines; inflammation; dexamethasone
5.  Mouse Mast Cell Protease-4 Deteriorates Renal Function by Contributing to Inflammation and Fibrosis in Immune Complex-Mediated Glomerulonephritis 
Mast cells exert protective effects in experimental antiglomerular basement membrane-induced glomerulonephritis (GN), yet the responsible mediators have not been identified. In this study, we investigated the role of mouse mast cell protease (mMCP)-4, the functional homolog of human chymase, using mMCP-4–deficient mice. Compared with wild type animals, mMCP-4–deficient mice exhibited lower proteinuria, blood creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen levels, indicating an aggravating role of mMCP-4. Kidney histology confirmed less severe renal damage in mMCP-4–deficient mice with reduced deposits, glomerular and interstitial cellularity, and fibrosis scores. High amounts of mMCP-4 were detected in renal capsules, but not in the whole kidney, from wild type mice. Its expression in renal capsules was markedly decreased after GN induction, suggesting that locally released enzyme by degranulated mast cells could contribute to the functional and physiopathological hallmarks of GN. Supporting a proinflammatory role, glomerular and interstitial macrophage and T cell infiltration, levels of proinflammatory TNF and MCP-1 mRNA, and the expression of the profibrotic peptide angiotensin II together with type I collagen were markedly down-regulated in kidneys of mMCP-4–deficient mice. We conclude that mMCP-4 chymase, contrary to the global anti-inflammatory action of mast cells, aggravates GN by promoting kidney inflammation. These results highlight the complexity of mast cell-mediated inflammatory actions and suggest that chymase inhibition may represent a novel therapeutic target in GN.
PMCID: PMC2980698  PMID: 20530261
6.  Chemokine-induced eosinophil recruitment. Evidence of a role for endogenous eotaxin in an in vivo allergy model in mouse skin. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(7):1657-1666.
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.
PMCID: PMC508348  PMID: 9312163
7.  Expression of Mast Cell Proteases Correlates with Mast Cell Maturation and Angiogenesis during Tumor Progression 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40790.
Tumor cells are surrounded by infiltrating inflammatory cells, such as lymphocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, and mast cells. A body of evidence indicates that mast cells are associated with various types of tumors. Although role of mast cells can be directly related to their granule content, their function in angiogenesis and tumor progression remains obscure. This study aims to understand the role of mast cells in these processes. Tumors were chemically induced in BALB/c mice and tumor progression was divided into Phases I, II and III. Phase I tumors exhibited a large number of mast cells, which increased in phase II and remained unchanged in phase III. The expression of mouse mast cell protease (mMCP)-4, mMCP-5, mMCP-6, mMCP-7, and carboxypeptidase A were analyzed at the 3 stages. Our results show that with the exception of mMCP-4 expression of these mast cell chymase (mMCP-5), tryptases (mMCP-6 and 7), and carboxypeptidase A (mMC-CPA) increased during tumor progression. Chymase and tryptase activity increased at all stages of tumor progression whereas the number of mast cells remained constant from phase II to III. The number of new blood vessels increased significantly in phase I, while in phases II and III an enlargement of existing blood vessels occurred. In vitro, mMCP-6 and 7 are able to induce vessel formation. The present study suggests that mast cells are involved in induction of angiogenesis in the early stages of tumor development and in modulating blood vessel growth in the later stages of tumor progression.
PMCID: PMC3399855  PMID: 22815822
8.  Significant Contribution of Mouse Mast Cell Protease 4 in Early Phases of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis 
Mediators of Inflammation  2016;2016:9797021.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a mouse model that reproduces cardinal signs of clinical, histopathological, and immunological features found in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Mast cells are suggested to be involved in the main inflammatory phases occurring during EAE development, possibly by secreting several autacoids and proteases. Among the latter, the chymase mouse mast cell protease 4 (mMCP-4) can contribute to the inflammatory response by producing endothelin-1 (ET-1). The aim of this study was to determine the impact of mMCP-4 on acute inflammatory stages in EAE. C57BL/6 wild type (WT) or mMCP-4 knockout (KO) mice were immunized with MOG35–55 plus complete Freund's adjuvant followed by pertussis toxin. Immunized WT mice presented an initial acute phase characterized by progressive increases in clinical score, which were significantly reduced in mMCP-4 KO mice. In addition, higher levels of spinal myelin were found in mMCP-4 KO as compared with WT mice. Finally, whereas EAE triggered significant increases in brain levels of mMCP-4 mRNA and immunoreactive ET-1 in WT mice, the latter peptide was reduced to basal levels in mMCP-4 KO congeners. Together, the present study supports a role for mMCP-4 in the early inflammatory phases of the disease in a mouse model of MS.
PMCID: PMC5005578  PMID: 27610007
9.  The αvβ6 integrin modulates airway hyperresponsiveness in mice by regulating intraepithelial mast cells 
Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma, affecting more than 10 million Americans. Although it is clear that mast cells have a key role in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma, the mechanisms by which they regulate airway narrowing in vivo remain to be elucidated. Here we report that mice lacking αvβ6 integrin are protected from exaggerated airway narrowing in a model of allergic asthma. Expression microarrays of the airway epithelium revealed mast cell proteases among the most prominent differentially expressed genes, with expression of mouse mast cell protease 1 (mMCP-1) induced by allergen challenge in WT mice and expression of mMCP-4, -5, and -6 increased at baseline in β6-deficient mice. These findings were most likely explained by loss of TGF-β activation, since the epithelial integrin αvβ6 is a critical activator of latent TGF-β, and in vitro–differentiated mast cells showed TGF-β–dependent expression of mMCP-1 and suppression of mMCP-4 and -6. In vitro, mMCP-1 increased contractility of murine tracheal rings, an effect that depended on intact airway epithelium, whereas mMCP-4 inhibited IL-13–induced epithelial-independent enhancement of contractility. These results suggest that intraepithelial activation of TGF-β by the αvβ6 integrin regulates airway responsiveness by modulating mast cell protease expression and that these proteases and their proteolytic substrates could be novel targets for improved treatment of allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC3266785  PMID: 22232213
10.  Production of the novel C-C chemokine MCP-4 by airway cells and comparison of its biological activity to other C-C chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;99(5):926-936.
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.
PMCID: PMC507900  PMID: 9062350
11.  Mast cells contribute to autoimmune inflammatory arthritis via their tryptase•heparin complexes1 
Although mast cells (MCs) often are abundant in the synovial tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), MC’s contribution to joint inflammation and cartilage loss remains poorly understood. MC-restricted tryptase•heparin complexes have pro-inflammatory activity, and significant amounts of hTryptase-β are present in RA synovial fluid. Mouse MC protease-6 (mMCP-6) is the ortholog of hTryptase-β, and this serine protease is abundant in the synovium of arthritic mice. We now report that C57BL/6 (B6) mice lacking their tryptase•heparin complexes have attenuated arthritic responses, with mMCP-6 as the dominant tryptase responsible for augmenting neutrophil infiltration in the K/B×N mouse serum-transfer arthritis model. While inflammation in this experimental arthritis model was not dependent on protease activated receptor-2, it was dependent on the chemokine receptor CXCR2. In support of the latter data, exposure of synovial fibroblasts to hTryptase-β•heparin or mMCP-6•heparin complexes resulted in expression of the neutrophil chemotactic factors CXCL1/KC, CXCL5/LIX, and CXCL8/IL-8. Our proteomics, histochemistry, and immunohistochemistry data also revealed substantial loss of cartilage-derived aggrecan proteoglycans in the arthritic joints of wild-type B6 mice but not mMCP-6-null B6 mice. These observations demonstrate the functional contribution of MC-restricted tryptase•heparin complexes in the K/B×N mouse arthritis model and connect our mouse findings with RA pathophysiology.
PMCID: PMC2610352  PMID: 19109198
mast cell; rheumatoid arthritis; inflammation; chemokines; transgenic/knockout mice
12.  Constitutive and allergen-induced expression of eotaxin mRNA in the guinea pig lung 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1995;181(3):1211-1216.
Eotaxin is a member of the C-C family of chemokines and is related during antigen challenge in a guinea pig model of allergic airway inflammation (asthma). Consistent with its putative role in eosinophilic inflammation, eotaxin induces the selective infiltration of eosinophils when injected into the lung and skin. Using a guinea pig lung cDNA library, we have cloned full-length eotaxin cDNA. The cDNA encodes a protein of 96 amino acids, including a putative 23-amino acid hydrophobic leader sequence, followed by 73 amino acids composing the mature active eotaxin protein. The protein-coding region of this cDNA is 73, 71, 50, and 48% identical in nucleic acid sequence to those of human macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP) 3, MCP-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP) 1 alpha, and RANTES, respectively. Analysis of genomic DNA suggested that there is a single eotaxin gene in guinea pig which is apparently conserved in mice. High constitutive levels of eotaxin mRNA expression were observed in the lung, while the intestines, stomach, spleen, liver, heart, thymus, testes, and kidney expressed lower levels. To determine if eotaxin mRNA levels are elevated during allergen-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation, ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea pigs were challenged with aerosolized antigen. Compared with the lungs from saline-challenged animals, eotaxin mRNA levels increased sixfold within 3 h and returned to baseline by 6 h. Thus, eotaxin mRNA levels are increased in response to allergen challenge during the late phase response. The identification of constitutive eotaxin mRNA expression in multiple tissues suggests that in addition to regulating airway eosinophilia, eotaxin is likely to be involved in eosinophil recruitment into other tissues as well as in baseline tissue homing.
PMCID: PMC2191932  PMID: 7869037
13.  Chemokines in the limbal form of vernal keratoconjunctivitis 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2000;84(12):1360-1366.
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.

PMCID: PMC1723358  PMID: 11090473
14.  Murine Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein (MCP)-5: A Novel CC Chemokine That Is a Structural and Functional Homologue of Human MCP-1 
The chemokines are a large family of cytokines that control the recruitment of leukocytes in immune and inflammatory responses. We describe the isolation of a novel murine CC chemokine that, based on its biological and structural features, we have named monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-5. MCP-5 mapped to the CC chemokine cluster on mouse chromosome 11 and was most closely related to human MCP-1 in structure (66% amino acid identity). Purified recombinant MCP-5 protein was a potent chemoattractant for peripheral blood monocytes, was only weakly active on eosinophils at high doses, and was inactive on neutrophils. MCP-5 induced a calcium flux in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but not in purified murine eosinophils or neutrophils. Consistent with these results, MCP-5 induced a calcium flux in human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells transfected with human and murine CCR2, a CC chemokine receptor expressed on monocytes. MCP-5 did not induce a calcium flux in HEK-293 cells transfected with CCR1, CCR3, or CCR5. Constitutive expression of MCP-5 mRNA was detected predominantly in lymph nodes, and its expression was markedly induced in macrophages activated in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, MCP-5 expression was upregulated in the lungs of mice following aerosolized antigen challenge of sensitized mice, and during the host response to infection with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. These data indicate that MCP-5 is a novel and potent monocyte active chemokine that is involved in allergic inflammation and the host response to pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2196097  PMID: 8996246
15.  Mouse Mast Cell Protease 4 and 5 Mediate Epidermal Injury Through Disruption of Tight Junctions 
We previously established a mast cell (MC)-dependent thermal injury model in mice with ulceration and scar formation that depended on non-redundant functions of mouse MC protease 4 (mMCP4) and mMCP5. We hypothesized that MC activation is an early event and now find by histology that exocytosis of granule contents occurred by 2 min after thermal injury in wild type (WT) C57BL/6 mice and in the mMCP4- or mMCP5-deficient mice. The degranulation was equivalent for MCs in the dermis and hypodermis of all three strains, but only the WT mice showed an appreciable increase in epidermal thickness. There was no loss of total MCs, partially degranulated plus intact, over the 4 h of observation. By electron microscopy, MCs in all strains showed early zonal degranulation at 30 s with marked progression in magnitude by 120 s and no mitochondrial injury or cellular necrosis. Concomitantly there was an increase in intercellular spaces indicative of tight junction (TJ) disruption in WT mice but not in the mMCP4- or mMCP5-deficient strains. The desmosomes were intact in all strains. Immunodetection of the TJ protein claudin 4 in WT and mMCP5-deficient mice indicated a significant reduction after scald injury while mMCP4−/− mice showed no significant changes. Taken together, these findings reveal that a second degree burn injury can initiate an immediate novel zonal degranulation of MCs throughout all skin layers and a disruption of the epidermal TJs dependent on the non-redundant presence of mMCP4 and mMCP5.
PMCID: PMC3970423  PMID: 24523504
16.  High expression of the chemokine receptor CCR3 in human blood basophils. Role in activation by eotaxin, MCP-4, and other chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(5):1137-1143.
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.
PMCID: PMC508288  PMID: 9276730
17.  Monocyte chemotactic protein 3 is a most effective basophil- and eosinophil-activating chemokine 
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.
PMCID: PMC2191381  PMID: 7507512
18.  The Coordinated Action of CC Chemokines in the Lung Orchestrates Allergic Inflammation and Airway Hyperresponsiveness  
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.
PMCID: PMC2525544  PMID: 9653092
chemokines; allergic inflammation; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; eosinophilia; leukocytes
19.  Murine lung eosinophil activation and chemokine production in allergic airway inflammation 
Eosinophils play important roles in asthma and lung infections. Murine models are widely used for assessing the functional significance and mechanistic basis for eosinophil involvements in these diseases. However, little is known about tissue eosinophils in homeostasis. In addition, little data on eosinophil chemokine production during allergic airway inflammation are available. In this study, the properties and functions of homeostatic and activated eosinophils were compared. Eosinophils from normal tissues expressed costimulation and adhesion molecules B7-1, B7-2 and ICAM-1 for Ag presentation but little major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, and were found to be poor stimulators of T-cell proliferation. However, these eosinophils expressed high levels of chemokine mRNA including C10, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1γ, MIP-2, eotaxin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-5 (MCP-5), and produced chemokine proteins. Eosinophil intracellular chemokines decreased rapidly with concomitant surface marker downregulation upon in vitro culturing consistent with piecemeal degranulation. Lung eosinophils from mice with induced allergic airway inflammation exhibited increased chemokines mRNA expression and chemokines protein production and upregulated MHC class II and CD11c expression. They were also found to be the predominant producers of the CCR1 ligands CCL6/C10 and CCL9/MIP-1γ in inflamed lungs. Eosinophil production of C10 and MIP-1γ correlated with the marked influx of CD11bhigh lung dendritic cells during allergic airway inflammation and the high expression of CCR1 on these dendritic cells (DCs). The study provided baseline information on tissue eosinophils, documented the upregulation of activation markers and chemokine production in activated eosinophils, and indicated that eosinophils were a key chemokine-producing cell type in allergic lung inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3045045  PMID: 20622891
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
20.  Murine lung eosinophil activation and chemokine production in allergic airway inflammation 
Cellular & molecular immunology  2010;7(5):361-374.
Eosinophils play important roles in asthma and lung infections. Murine models are widely used for assessing the functional significance and mechanistic basis for eosinophil involvements in these diseases. However, little is known about tissue eosinophils in homeostasis. In addition, little data on eosinophil chemokine production during allergic airway inflammation are available. In this study, the properties and functions of homeostatic and activated eosinophils were compared. Eosinophils from normal tissues expressed costimulation and adhesion molecules B7-1, B7-2 and ICAM-1 for Ag presentation but little major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, and were found to be poor stimulators of T-cell proliferation. However, these eosinophils expressed high levels of chemokine mRNA including C10, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1γ, MIP-2, eotaxin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-5 (MCP-5), and produced chemokine proteins. Eosinophil intracellular chemokines decreased rapidly with concomitant surface marker downregulation upon in vitro culturing consistent with piecemeal degranulation. Lung eosinophils from mice with induced allergic airway inflammation exhibited increased chemokines mRNA expression and chemokines protein production and upregulated MHC class II and CD11c expression. They were also found to be the predominant producers of the CCR1 ligands CCL6/C10 and CCL9/MIP-1γ in inflamed lungs. Eosinophil production of C10 and MIP-1γ correlated with the marked influx of CD11bhigh lung dendritic cells during allergic airway inflammation and the high of CCR1 on these dendritic cells (DCs). The study provided baseline information on tissue eosinophils, documented the upregulation of activation markers and chemokine production in activated eosinophils, and indicated that eosinophils were a key chemokine-producing cell type in allergic lung inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3045045  PMID: 20622891
allergy; chemokines; eosinophils; lung; mouse
21.  Eosinophil recruitment to the lung in a murine model of allergic inflammation. The role of T cells, chemokines, and adhesion receptors. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(10):2332-2345.
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.
PMCID: PMC507684  PMID: 8941651
22.  Mast Cell-restricted, Tetramer-forming Tryptases Induce Aggrecanolysis in Articular Cartilage by Activating Matrix Metalloproteinase-3 and -13 Zymogens1 
Mouse mast cell protease (mMCP)-6-null C57BL/6 mice lost less aggrecan proteoglycan from the extracellular matrix of their articular cartilage during inflammatory arthritis than wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice, suggesting that this mast cell (MC)-specific mouse tryptase plays prominent roles in articular cartilage catabolism. We used ex vivo mouse femoral head explants to determine how mMCP-6 and its human ortholog hTryptase-β mediate aggrecanolysis. Exposure of the explants to recombinant hTryptase-β, recombinant mMCP-6, or lysates harvested from WT mouse peritoneal MCs (PMCs) significantly increased the levels of enzymatically active matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) in cartilage and significantly induced aggrecan loss into the conditioned media, relative to replicate explants exposed to medium alone or lysates collected from mMCP-6-null PMCs. Treatment of cartilage explants with tetramer-forming tryptases generated aggrecan fragments that contained C-terminal DIPEN and N-terminal FFGVG neoepitopes, consistent with MMP-dependent aggrecanolysis. In support of these data, hTryptase-β was unable to induce aggrecan release from the femoral head explants obtained from Chloe mice that resist MMP cleavage at the DIPEN↓FFGVG site in the interglobular domain of aggrecan. In addition, the abilities of mMCP-6-containing lysates from WT PMCs to induce aggrecanolysis were prevented by inhibitors of MMP-3 and MMP-13. Finally, recombinant hTryptase-β was able to activate latent pro-MMP-3 and pro-MMP-13 in vitro. The accumulated data suggest that human and mouse tetramer-forming tryptases are MMP convertases that mediate cartilage damage and the proteolytic loss of aggrecan proteoglycans in arthritis, in part, by activating the zymogen forms of MMP-3 and MMP-13 which are constitutively present in articular cartilage.
PMCID: PMC3727140  PMID: 23797671
mast cells; inflammation; arthritis; cartilage; aggrecan proteoglycan; matrix metalloproteinases; tryptase
23.  Fate of two mast cell tryptases in V3 mastocytosis and normal BALB/c mice undergoing passive systemic anaphylaxis: prolonged retention of exocytosed mMCP-6 in connective tissues, and rapid accumulation of enzymatically active mMCP-7 in the blood 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;184(3):1061-1073.
The mouse mast cell protease granule tryptases designated mMCP-6 and mMCP-7 are encoded by highly homologous genes that reside on chromosome 17. Because these proteases are released when mast cells are activated, we sought a basis for distinctive functions by examining their fates in mice undergoing passive systemic anaphylaxis. 10 min-1 h after antigen (Ag) was administered to immunoglobulin (Ig)E-sensitized mice, numerous protease/proteoglycan macromolecular complexes appeared in the extracellular matrix adjacent to most tongue and heart mast cells of normal BALB/c mice and most spleen and liver mast cells of V3 mastocytosis mice. These complexes could be intensively stained by anti- mMCP-6 Ig but not by anti-mMCP-7 Ig. Shortly after Ag challenge of V3 mastocytosis mice, large amounts of properly folded, enzymatically active mMCP-7 were detected in the plasma. This plasma-localized tryptase was approximately 150 kD in its multimeric state and approximately 32 kD in its monomeric state, possessed an NH2 terminus identical to that of mature mMCP-7, and was not covalently bound to any protease inhibitor. Comparative protein modeling and electrostatic calculations disclosed that mMCP-6 contains a prominent Lys/Arg-rich domain on its surface, distant from the active site. The absence of this domain in mMCP-7 provides an explanation for its selective dissociation from the exocytosed macromolecular complex. The retention of exocytosed mMCP-6 in the extracellular matrix around activated tissue mast cells suggests a local action. In contrast, the rapid dissipation of mMCP-7 from granule cores and its inability to be inactivated by circulating protease inhibitors suggests that this tryptase cleaves proteins located at more distal sites.
PMCID: PMC2192771  PMID: 9064323
24.  Monocyte chemotactic protein 4 (MCP-4), a novel structural and functional analogue of MCP-3 and eotaxin 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1996;183(5):2379-2384.
A novel human CC chemokine complementary DNA was identified in a library constructed from human fetal RNA, cloned into a baculovirus vector, and expressed in Sf9 insect cells. The mature recombinant protein that was released had the NH2-terminal sequence pyro- QPDALNVPSTC...and consisted of 75 amino acids. Minor amounts of two variants of 77 and 82 residues (NH2 termini: LAQPDA...and FNPQGLAQPDA...) were released as well. The novel chemokine was designated monocyte chemotactic protein 4 (MCP-4) and the variants were designated (LA)MCP-4 and (FNPQGLA)MCP-4. MCP-4 shares the pyroglutamic acidproline NH2-terminal motif and 56-61% sequence identity with the three known monocyte chemotactic proteins and is 60% identical to eotaxin. It has marked functional similarities to MCP-3 and eotaxin. Like MCP-3, MCP-4 is a chemoattractant of high efficacy for monocytes and T lymphocytes. On these cells, it binds to receptors that recognize MCP-1, MCP-3, and RANTES. On eosinophils, MCP-4 has similar efficacy and potency as MCP-3, RANTES, and cotaxin. It shares receptors with eotaxin and shows full cross-desensitization with this cosinophil- selective chemokine. Of the two variants, only (LA)MCP-4 could be purified in sufficient quantities for testing and was found to be at least 30-fold less potent than MCP-4 itself. This suggests that the 75- residue form with the characteristic NH2 terminus of an MCP is the biologically relevant species.
PMCID: PMC2192560  PMID: 8642349
25.  The inflammatory response following an epidermal burn depends on the activities of mouse mast cell proteases 4 and 5 
A second degree epidermal scald burn in mice elicits an inflammatory response mediated by natural IgM directed to non-muscle myosin with complement activation that results in ulceration and scarring. We find that such burn injury is associated with early mast cell (MC) degranulation and is absent in WBB6F1-KitW/KitWv mice which lack MCs in a context of other defects due to a mutation of the KIT receptor. To further address a MC role, we used transgenic strains with normal lineage development and a deficiency in a specific secretory granule component. Mouse strains lacking the MC-restricted chymase, mouse MC protease (mMCP)-4, or elastase, mMCP-5, show decreased injury following a second degree scald burn while mice lacking the MC-restricted tryptases, mMCP-6 and mMCP-7, or the MC-specific carboxypeptidase A3 activity are not protected. Histologic sections showed some disruption of the epidermis at the scald site in the protected strains suggesting the possibility of topical reconstitution of full injury. Topical application of recombinant mMCP-5 or human neutrophil elastase to the scalded area increases epidermal injury with subsequent ulceration and scarring, both clinically and morphologically, in mMCP-5-deficent mice. Restoration of injury requires that topical administration of recombinant mMCP-5 occurs within the first h post burn. Importantly, topical application of human MC chymase restores burn injury to scalded mMCP-4-deficient mice but not to mMCP-5-deficient mice revealing non-redundant actions for these two MC proteases in a model of innate inflammatory injury with remodeling.
PMCID: PMC3058366  PMID: 21076070

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