Endothelial E-type prostanoid 4 receptors promote barrier function and inhibit neutrophil trafficking

Viktoria Konya, Andreas Üllen, Nora Kampitsch, Anna Theiler, Sonia Philipose, Gerald P Parzmair, Gunther Marsche, Bernhard A Peskar, Rufina Schuligoi, Wolfgang Sattler, Akos Heinemann
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2013, 131 (2): 532-40.e1-2

BACKGROUND: Increased vascular permeability is a fundamental characteristic of inflammation. Substances that are released during inflammation, such as prostaglandin (PG) E(2), can counteract vascular leakage, thereby hampering tissue damage.

OBJECTIVE: In this study we investigated the role of PGE(2) and its receptors in the barrier function of human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells and in neutrophil trafficking.

METHODS: Endothelial barrier function was determined based on electrical impedance measurements. Neutrophil recruitment was assessed based on adhesion and transendothelial migration. Morphologic alterations are shown by using immunofluorescence microscopy.

RESULTS: We observed that activation of E-type prostanoid (EP) 4 receptor by PGE(2) or an EP4-selective agonist (ONO AE1-329) enhanced the barrier function of human microvascular lung endothelial cells. EP4 receptor activation prompted similar responses in pulmonary artery and coronary artery endothelial cells. These effects were reversed by an EP4 antagonist (ONO AE3-208), as well as by blocking actin polymerization with cytochalasin B. The EP4 receptor-induced increase in barrier function was independent of the classical cyclic AMP/protein kinase A signaling machinery, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and Rac1. Most importantly, EP4 receptor stimulation showed potent anti-inflammatory activities by (1) facilitating wound healing of pulmonary microvascular endothelial monolayers, (2) preventing junctional and cytoskeletal reorganization of activated endothelial cells, and (3) impairing neutrophil adhesion to endothelial cells and transendothelial migration. The latter effects could be partially attributed to reduced E-selectin expression after EP4 receptor stimulation.

CONCLUSION: These data indicate that EP4 agonists as anti-inflammatory agents represent a potential therapy for diseases with increased vascular permeability and neutrophil extravasation.

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