Free Access
J Innate Immun 2012;4:100–110

German Cockroach Proteases and Protease-Activated Receptor-2 Regulate Chemokine Production and Dendritic Cell Recruitment

Day S.B.a · Ledford J.R.a · Zhou P.a · Lewkowich I.P.b · Page K.a, c
Divisions of aCritical Care Medicine and bImmunobiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, and cDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Allergy
  • Chemokines
  • Immune response
  • Dendritic cell
  • Murine
  • Pulmonary

 goto top of outline Abstract

We recently showed that serine proteases in German cockroach (GC) feces (frass) decreased experimental asthma through the activation of protease-activated receptor (PAR)-2. Since dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in the initiation of asthma, we queried the role of GC frass proteases in modulating CCL20 (chemokine C-C motif ligand 20) and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) production, factors that regulate pulmonary DCs. A single exposure to GC frass resulted in a rapid, but transient, increase in GM-CSF and a steady increase in CCL20 in the airways of mice. Instillation of protease-depleted GC frass or instillation of GC frass in PAR-2-deficient mice significantly decreased chemokine release. A specific PAR-2-activating peptide was also sufficient to induce CCL20 production. To directly assess the role of the GC frass protease in chemokine release, we enriched the protease from GC frass and confirmed that the protease was sufficient to induce both GM-CSF and CCL20 production in vivo. Primary airway epithelial cells produced both GM-CSF and CCL20 in a protease- and PAR-2-dependent manner. Finally, we show a decreased percentage of myeloid DCs in the lung following allergen exposure in PAR-2-deficient mice compared to wild-type mice. However, there was no difference in GC frass uptake. Our data indicate that, through the activation of PAR-2, allergen-derived proteases are sufficient to induce CCL20 and GM-CSF production in the airways. This leads to increased recruitment and/or differentiation of myeloid DC populations in the lungs and likely plays an important role in the initiation of allergic airway responses.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Dr. Kristen Page
Division of Critical Care Medicine
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
3333 Burnet Ave, ML 7006, Cincinnati, OH 45229 (USA)
Tel. +1 513 636 3079, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: March 4, 2011
Accepted after revision: May 8, 2011
Published online: August 29, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 11
Number of Figures : 6, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 36

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Journal of Innate Immunity

Vol. 4, No. 1, Year 2012 (Cover Date: December 2011)

Journal Editor: Herwald H. (Lund), Egesten A. (Lund)
ISSN: 1662-811X (Print), eISSN: 1662-8128 (Online)

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