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Prostaglandin (PG) E2 and interleukin (IL)-8 are simultaneously increased during the inflammation that characterizes numerous pathologies such as inflammatory bowel disease. IL-8 is a potent neutrophil chemo-attractant and activator, and can initiate and/or exacerbate tissue injury. PGE2 signals principally through prostanoid receptors of the EP2 and/or EP4 subtypes to promote cAMP-dependent cellular functions. The aim of this study was to identify the role of the EP2 and EP4 receptor subtype(s) on two human colonic epithelial cell lines (Caco-2 and T84), in regulating PGE2-induced IL-8 production.To identify the causative receptor, we knocked-down and over-expressed EP2 and EP4 receptor subtypes in colonic epithelial cells and studied the effect of several selective EP2/EP4 receptor agonists and antagonists. The inductions of IL-8 and EP receptor mRNA and protein expression were determined by real-time PCR and western blot analysis. The affinity of PGE2 and Bmax values for the EP2 and EP4 receptor on colonic epithelial cells were determined by radioligand-binding assays with [3H]PGE2.PGE2 had the highest affinity for the EP4 receptor subtype and promoted a robust stimulation of cAMP-dependent IL-8 synthesis. This effect was mimicked by a selective EP4 receptor agonist, ONO-AE1-329, and abolished by silencing the EP4 receptor gene by using siRNA techniques, a selective EP4 receptor antagonist (ONO-AE3-208) and a selective inhibitor (Rp-cAMP) of cAMP-dependent protein kinase.These findings suggest that initiation and progression of colonic inflammation induced by IL-8 could be mediated, at least in part, by PGE2 acting via the EP4 receptor subtype.