- Toll-like receptor-mediated regulation of Leukotriene biosynthesis in human monocytes (2010)
- Leukotrienes (LTs) are pro-inflammatory lipid mediators that belong to the group of eicosanoids, which are oxygenated metabolites of one common precursor, the aracidonic acid (AA). This polyunsaturated fatty acid is esterified at the sn-2 position of cellular membrane phospholipids and can be released by cytosolic phospholipase A2 alpha (cPLA2alpha) enzymatic deacylation. AA can be converted into LTs by the catalytic reaction of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO). Enzymatic activation of cPLA2alpha as well as of 5-LO is regulated by similar determinants. In response to cellular stimuli that elevate the intracellular Ca2+ level and/or activate MAP kinase pathways, cPLA2alpha and 5-LO comigrate from a soluble cell compartment (mainly the cytosol) to the nuclear membrane, where AA is released und converted into LTs. LTs play a significant role in promoting inflammatory reactions and immune processes. They have been shown to be released from leukocytes in response to bacterial and viral infections and substantially contribute to an effective immune reaction for host defense. Innate immune pathogen recognition is mediated to a substantial part by the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family. So far, 10 human TLR subtypes have been identified, all of which detect distinct highly conserved microbial structures and trigger the induction of signaling pathways that lead to the expression of numerous immune and inflammatory genes. TLR signaling culminates in the activation NF-kappaB and/or MAP kinases, which as well are known to be involved in the regulation of cellular LT biosynthesis. In this regard, it seemed conceivable that the release of LTs might be regulated by TLR activation. Present studies were undertaken in order to verify and characterize a possible influence of TLR activation on the LT biosynthesis, and furthermore to identify the involved signaling pathways and underlying mechanisms. First experiments revealed that pre-incubation of differentiated Mono Mac 6 (MM6) cells with a TLR4 ligand, a TLR5 ligand, as well as with different TLR2 ligands led to an about 2-fold enhancement of Ca2+ ionophore induced LT biosynthesis. Ligands of other TLR subtypes did not show any influence. These observations could also be confirmed in primary human monocytes stimulated with ionophore or fMLP. With focus on TLR2 ligands, further studies were carried out to characterize the observed enhancement of LT biosynthesis in MM6 cells. It was demonstrated that the extent of LT formation was dependent on the ligand concentration used, but was also dependent on the duration of pre-incubation. Ligand pre-incubation of 15 minutes was optimal to maximally enhance LT formation and further prolongation of pre-incubation decreased LT formation again. Moreover, simultaneous addition of TLR2 ligands with ionophore did also not enhance LT formation. These results indicated that TLR2 ligands seemed to prime human monocytes for an enhanced response upon ionophore stimulation, but did not act as costimuli, which per se were not capable of directly stimulating the biosynthesis of LTs. To analyze the underlying mechanism, the impact of TLR2 ligands on the two key enzymes of the LT biosynthesis pathway, cPLA2alpha and 5-LO, was investigated. In this regard, 5-LO could not been shown to be positively regulated by TLR ligand priming. Neither a direct stimulation, nor an enhancement of 5-LO activity by TLR ligands was detectable in MM6 cells. Similarly, TLR2 ligands did also not enhance ionophore induced 5-LO translocation to the nuclear membrane. However, it was shown that TLR2 ligands enhanced ionophore induced release of AA in MM6 cells, which occurred with a similar time course as LT formation, displaying a maximum at 10 minutes of pre-incubation. A direct stimulation of AA release, however, could not been detected. Inhibitor studies revealed cPLA2alpha to be essential for AA release in TLR2 ligand primed, ionophore stimulated MM6 cells, but also sPLA2 was found to be involved. However, the priming effect of TLR2 ligands was mediated exclusively by cPLA2alpha. Western Blot analyses revealed that p38 MAP kinase, as well as ERK1/2, are activated in MM6 cells in response to TLR2 ligands, and also Ser-505 phosphorylation of cPLA2alpha was detected, which is known to be mediated by MAP kinases and to increase cPLA2alpha activity in vitro. Maximal cPLA2alpha phosphorylation occurred after 5-10 minutes of TLR2 ligand incubation, slightly preceding maximal AA release at 10 minutes and maximal LT formation at 15 minutes of priming. The combined use of a specific p38 MAPK inhibitor with an inhibitor of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway resulted in a complete prevention of cPLA2alpha phosphorylation and TLR2 ligand mediated enhancement of AA release. Thus, both MAPK pathways seem to play a role for TLR2 ligand mediated priming effects on the release of AA. An impact of other kinases such as Mnk-1 and CamKII, which can also regulate cPLA2alpha by phosphorylation, was excluded. Finally, an anti-hTLR2 antibody significantly reduced enhanced AA release, confirming the priming effects to be dependent on TLR2 activation. In summary, it was concluded that the increase of LT biosynthesis by TLR2 ligand priming is considerably due to an enhanced cellular AA supply, which arises from a MAPK mediated phosphorylation and up-regulation of cPLA2alpha. TLR dependent enhancement of LT biosynthesis represents an interesting link between activation of innate immune receptors and the rapid formation of pro-inflammatory lipid mediators. On the one hand, this support the role of LTs in host defence and infectious diseases, but may also be relevant in pathophysiological processes, which involve TLRs as well as LTs, as it has been shown for the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis or allergic diseases.