Hemokinin-1 (HK-1) is a novel neuropeptide produced by human bronchial cells and macrophages and causes contraction of human bronchi ex vivo. It is also generated by antigen/IgE-activated murine mast cells (MCs) and contributes to experimental chronic allergic airway inflammation via the activation of the neurokinin receptor-1 (NK-1R) expressed on murine MCs. We found elevated MC numbers in the lungs of individuals who died from asthma (asthma) when compared to lungs of individuals who died from other causes (non-asthma). Mas-related G Protein coupled receptor X2 (MRGPRX2) is a novel G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that is expressed predominantly on human MCs. We detected low level of MRGPRX2 in non-asthma lung MCs but its expression was significantly upregulated in asthma lung MCs. HK-1 caused degranulation in a human MC line (LAD2) and RBL-2H3 cells stably expressing MRGPRX2 and this response was resistant to inhibition by an NK-1R antagonist. However, knockdown of MRGPRX2 in LAD2 cells resulted in substantial inhibition of HK-1-induced degranulation. These findings suggest that while HK-1 contributes to the development of experimental asthma in mice via NK-1R on murine MCs the effect of this neuropeptide on human bronchoconstriction likely reflects the activation of MRGPRX2 on lung MCs. Thus, development of selective MRGPRX2 antagonists could serve as novel target for the modulation of asthma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Lung mast cells
- Substance P