Induction of thymic stromal lymphopoietin by a steroid alkaloid derivative in mouse keratinocytes

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Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) plays critical roles in inducing and exacerbating allergic diseases. Chemical compounds that induce TSLP production can enhance sensitization to antigens and exacerbate allergic inflammation. Hence, identifying such chemicals will be important to prevent an increase in allergic diseases. In the present study, we found, for the first time, that a steroid alkaloid derivative, code no. 02F04, concentration and time dependently induced mRNA expression and production of TSLP in a mouse keratinocyte cell line, PAM212. In particular, the activity of 02F04 was selective to TSLP. As an analogue of the liver X receptor (LXR) endogenous ligand, 02F04 rapidly increased ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) expression by regulating the nuclear receptor of LXR. However, instead of being inhibited by the LXR antagonist, 02F04-induced TSLP production was delayed and markedly suppressed by inhibitors of phospholipase C (PLC), pan-protein kinase C (PKC), PKCδ, Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, and IκB kinase 2 (IKK2). Treatment with 02F04 caused the formation of F-actin filaments surrounding the nucleus of PAM212 cells, which then disappeared following addition of ROCK inhibitor. 02F04 also induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 from 2 h after treatment, with a maximum at 24 h, and increased nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) promoter activity by 1.3-fold. Taken together, these results indicate that 02F04-induced TSLP production is regulated via distinct signal transduction pathways, including PLC, PKC, ROCK, ERK1/2, and NF-κB but not nuclear receptors. 02F04, with a unique skeletal structure in inducing TSLP production, can represent a potential new tool for investigating the role of TSLP in allergic diseases.Graphical abstractHighlightsA steroid alkaloid derivative, 02F04, induced TSLP production in mouse keratinocytes.The activity of 02F04 was selective to TSLP, but not other cytokines.02F04 activated liver X receptor strongly and induced ABCA1 expression rapidly.02F04-induced TSLP production involved distinct signal transduction pathways.02F04 can be classified into a novel group of TSLP-inducing chemicals.

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