In an experimental asthma model, the activation of TLR4 by bacterial LPS occasionally exacerbates allergic inflammation through the production of Th2 cytokines, and mast cells have been suggested to play a central role in this response. However, the detailed mechanism underlying how LPS/TLR4 stimulates the production of Th2 cytokines, especially IL-13, remains unclear in mast cells. In the current study, we observed that the expression levels of leukotriene B4 receptor-2 (BLT2) and the synthesis of its ligands were highly upregulated in LPS-stimulated bone marrow-derived mast cells and that BLT2 blockade with small interfering RNA or a pharmacological inhibitor completely abolished IL-13 production, suggesting a mediatory role of the BLT2 ligand-BLT2 axis in LPS/TLR4 signaling to IL-13 synthesis in mast cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that MyD88 lies upstream of the BLT2 ligand-BLT2 axis and that this MyD88-BLT2 cascade leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species through NADPH oxidase 1 and the subsequent activation of NF-kB, thereby mediating IL-13 synthesis. Interestingly, we observed that costimulation of LPS/ TLR4 and IgE/FcRI caused greatly enhanced IL-13 synthesis in mast cells, and blockading BLT2 abolished these effects. Similarly, in vivo, the IL-13 level was markedly enhanced by LPS administration in an OVA-induced asthma model, and injecting a BLT2 antagonist beforehand clearly attenuated this increase. Together, our findings suggest that a BLT2-linked cascade plays a pivotal role in LPS/TLR4 signaling for IL-13 synthesis in mast cells, thereby potentially exacerbating allergic response. Our findings may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying how bacterial infection worsens allergic inflammation under certain conditions.
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