Activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of pancreatic inflammation and fibrosis. Trypsin and tryptase, which are agonists for protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2), are involved in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis. Here, we examined whether PSCs expressed PAR-2 and its agonists affect the cell functions of PSCs. PSCs were isolated from rat pancreas tissue. Expression of PAR-2 was examined by Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Trypsin, activating peptide (SLIGRL-NH2, corresponding to the PAR-2 tethered ligand), and tryptase were tested for their ability to affect proliferation, chemokine production, and collagen synthesis in culture-activated PSCs. Activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases was asessed by Western blotting using antiphosphospecific antibodes. The effect of PAR-2 agonists on the activation of freshly solated PSCs in culture was also examined. PAR-2 expression was observed in culture-activated PSCs, whereas it was undetectable in freshly isolated PSCs. PAR-2 agonists activated activator protein-1 and MAP kinases (extracellular signal-regulated kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38 MAP kinase) but not nuclear factor κB. PAR-2 agonist induced proliferation of PSCs through the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. PAR-2 agonists increased collagen synthesis through the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 MAP kinase. PAR-2 agonists did not induce the production of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 or initiate the transformation of freshly isolated PSCs in culture. Taken together, our results suggest a role of PAR-2 in the sustenance of pancreatic fibrosis through the increased proliferation and collagen production in PSCs.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 Feb|