Effect of toluene on RANTES and eotaxin expression through the p38 and JNK pathways in human lung epithelial cells

Yu Ri Kim, In Kyoung Kim, Sang Hui Seo, Seung Ho Lee, Hee Ra Lee, Jae Eun Pie, Meyoung Kon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing prevalence and severity of environmental diseases have been attributed the rise in environmental pollutants occurring as a consequence of industrial development. In this study, we examined that underlying mechanisms of toluene in human lung epithelial cells. We selected two genes known to be involved in environmental disease such as RANTES and eotaxin for the present study based on published reports and prior observation. We observed that toluene increased the mRNA and protein levels of RANTES and eotaxin in a dose-dependent manner, together with the activation of p38 MAPK and JNK. Moreover, the inhibition of p38 MAPK and JNK activation prevented the release of RANTES and eotaxin induced by toluene. The present study is the first to show that toluene exposure induces the expression of RANTES and eotaxin in human bronchial epithelial cells through two distinct MAPKs such as p38 and JNK. Our observations suggest that modulation of the expression of immunerelated chemokines and cytokines may be important factors in development of environmental diseases induced by air pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental diseases
  • Eotaxin
  • MAPK
  • Toluene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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