Eotaxin induces degranulation and chemotaxis of eosinophils through the activation of ERK2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases

Gita T. Kampen, Susan Stafford, Tetsuya Adachi, Tan Jinquan, Sha Quan, J. Andrew Grant, Per S. Skov, Lars K. Poulsen, Rafeul Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


Eotaxin and other CC chemokines acting via CC chemokine receptor-3 (CCR3) are believed to play an integral role in the development of eosinophilic inflammation in asthma and allergic inflammatory diseases. However, little is known about the intracellular events following agonist binding to CCR3 and the relationship of these events to the functional response of the cell. The objectives of this study were to investigate CCR3- mediated activation of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases extracellular signal-regulated kinase-2 (ERK2), p38, and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in eosinophils and to assess the requirement for MAP kinases in eotaxin-induced eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) release and chemotaxis. MAP kinase activation was studied in eotaxin-stimulated eosinophils (more than 97% purity) by Western blotting and immune-complex kinase assays. ECP release was measured by radioimmunoassay. Chemotaxis was assessed using Boyden microchambers, Eotaxin (10-11 to 10-7 mol/L) induced concentration- dependent phosphorylation of ERK2 and p38. Phosphorylation was detectable after 30 seconds, peaked at about 1 minute, and returned to baseline after 2 to 5 minutes. Phosphorylation of JNK above baseline could not be detected. The kinase activity of ERK2 and p38 paralleled phosphorylation. PD980 59, an inhibitor of the ERK2- activating enzyme MEK (MAP ERK kinase), blocked phosphorylation of ERK2 in a concentration-dependent manner. The functional relevance of ERK2 and p38 was studied using PD98 059 and the p38 inhibitor SB202 190. PD98 059 and SB202 190 both caused inhibition of eotaxin-induced ECP release and chemotaxis. We conclude that eotaxin induces a rapid concentration-dependent activation of ERK2 and p38 in eosinophils and that the activation of these MAP kinases is required for eotaxin-stimulated degranulation and directed locomotion. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1911-1917
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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