Mast cells are among the principal effector cells in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. In allergic reactions, allergen (Ag)-induced cross-linking of IgE bound to Fc-RI on mast cells results in the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is essential for the initiation and development of the allergic response. Despite the central role of VEGF in allergic asthma, the signaling events responsible for the production of VEGF remain unclear, particularly in Ag-stimulated mast cells. In the present study, we observed that blocking leukotriene B4 Receptor 2 (BLT2) completely abrogated the production of VEGF in Ag-stimulated bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs). The synthesis of BLT2 ligands (leukotriene B4 and 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) was also required for VEGF production, suggesting a mediating role of an autocrine BLT2 ligands-BLT2 axis in the production of VEGF in mast cells. The NADPH oxidase 1-reactive oxygen species-NF-kB cascade is downstream of BLT2 during Ag signaling to VEGF synthesis in mast cells. Furthermore, the level of VEGF synthesis in genetically mast cell- deficient Kit(W/Wv) mice was significantly lower than that in wild-type mice in the OVA-induced asthma model, suggesting that mast cells play a critical role in the synthesis of VEGF in OVA-induced allergic asthma. Importantly, VEGF production was restored to the levels observed in wild-type mice after adoptive transfer of normal BMMCs into Kit(W/Wv) mice but was not restored in BLT22/2 BMMC-reconstituted Kit(W/Wv) mice in the OVA-induced asthma model. Taken together, our results suggest that BLT2 expression in mast cells is essential for the production of VEGF in OVA-induced allergic asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas