Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic Abs targeting proteinase 3 (PR3) have been detected in relation to a wide range of inflammatory conditions such as periodontitis, and interaction of anti-PR3 Abs with endothelial and epithelial cells provokes cell activation, although the underlying mechanism has been unclear. The present study showed that human oral epithelial cells expressed PR3 mRNA after treatment with proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1α, TNF-α, IFN-α, IFN-β, and IFN-γ. A 29-kDa PR3 was expressed on the cell surface and released into culture supernatants by the cells upon stimulation with these cytokines. The membrane and supernatant fractions of oral epithelial cells exhibited enzymatic activity, which was inhibited by serine proteinase inhibitors, but not by a cysteine proteinase inhibitor or secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor. Addition of anti-PR3 Abs to cytokine-primed oral epithelial cells in culture induced remarkable secretion of IL-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and aggregation of PR3 on the cells. RNA interference targeted to protease-activated receptor-2 mRNA and intracellular Ca2+ mobilization assays revealed that anti-PR3 Abs activated the epithelial cells through protease-activated receptor-2, a family of G protein-coupled receptors. The anti-PR3 Ab-mediated cell activation was completely abolished by RNA interference targeted to PR3 mRNA and by inhibition of phospholipase C and NF-κB. Immunohistochemistry showed that inflamed oral epithelium actually expresses PR3 protein. These results suggest that oral epithelial cells express functional PR3 in the inflamed sites and respond to anti-PR3 Abs detected in diseased sera, and that these mechanisms may actively participate in the inflammatory process, including periodontitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy