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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Selective early production of CCL20, or macrophage inflammatory protein 3alpha, by human mast cells in response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Mast cells are important as sentinel cells in host defense against bacterial infection. Much of their effectiveness depends upon recruiting other immune cells; however, little is known about the mechanisms of this response. CCL20, also known as macrophage inflammatory protein-3alpha (MIP-3alpha), Exodus, and LARC, is a chemokine known to be a potent chemoattractant for immature dendritic cells and T cells. In this study, we examined the human mast cell production of both CCL20 and granulocyte-macrophage colony- stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a critical cytokine for innate immune responses in the lung, in response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analysis demonstrated that the human mast cells (HMC-1) express CCL20 mRNA and are able to produce a significant amount (32.4 ng/ml) of CCL20 protein following stimulation by calcium ionophore and phorbol myristate acetate. Importantly, P. aeruginosa potently stimulated CCL20 production in human cord blood-derived mast cells (CBMC), with production peaking at 6 h after stimulation. This time course of expression was distinct from that of GM-CSF, which peaked after 24 to 48 h. Significant CCL20 production did not occur following immunoglobulin E- mediated activation of CBMC under conditions which induced a substantial GM-CSF response. Interestingly, the CCL20 response of mast cells to P. aeruginosa was relatively resistant to inhibition by the corticosteroid dexamethasone, interleukin-10, or cyclosporine, while GM-CSF production was potently inhibited. However, P. aeruginosa-induced CCL20 production was blocked by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor Ro 31-8220 and a PKC pseudosubstrate. These results support a role for human mast cells in the initiation of immune responses to P. aeruginosa infection.[1]


  1. Selective early production of CCL20, or macrophage inflammatory protein 3alpha, by human mast cells in response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Lin, T.J., Maher, L.H., Gomi, K., McCurdy, J.D., Garduno, R., Marshall, J.S. Infect. Immun. (2003) [Pubmed]
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