This project tests the hypotheses that deficient EP2 receptor expression and function in platelets and leukocytes alters homeostasis of the adenylyl cyclase/cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) pathway as a disease-causing mechanism in aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). Platelets are required for granulocyte recruitment in animal models of pulmonary inflammation, binding to leukocytes via P-selectin (CD62P) and facilitating integrin avidity. When bound to neutrophils, platelets can also form leukotriene (LT)C4 (the parent of the cysteinly leukotrienes (cys-LTs)) from neutrophil-derived LTA4. We have discovered that platelets from subjects with aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) are markedly deficient in expression of the Gs-linked EP2 receptor for PGE2 relative to platelets from normal and aspirin-tolerant asthmatic (ATA) controls. As a result, neither exogenous PGE2 nor a selective EP2 agonist can block activation of platelets from individuals with AERD in vitro, or the formation of platelet-leukocyte aggregates. Moreover, peripheral blood samples from individuals with AERD contain several fold higher frequencies of platelet-leukocyte aggregates than do samples from normal and aspirin-tolerant ATA controls, suggesting a functional result of diminished EP2 signaling in vivo that could enhance both tissue inflammation and the generation of cys-LTs. Furthermore, the defect in EP2 receptor expression extends to peripheral blood leukocytes from individuals with AERD, accompanied by concomitantly defective expression of mRNA encoding EP4 receptors;both defects are reversed by aspirin treatment.
Aim 1 is to determine the consequences of defects in the function of the EP2 subtype of prostaglandin E2 receptor on platelets in the pathophysiology of AERD.
Aim 2 is to determine the consequences of deficient of EP2 and EP4 receptor signaling on 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) pathway activity in peripheral blood leukocytes and whether the deficiency is corrected by treatment with aspirin.
Aim 3 is to characterize the extent of epigenetic variation in EP receptors, classical and novel CysLTRs, and associated candidate effectors in AERD.
Aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is a severe form of asthma. This project seeks to determine the reason why individuals with AERD lack a protein called EP2, and to determine whether the lack of EP2 is a causitive feature of the disease. The studies will point the way toward expaining why people develop AERD, and what can be done to treat or prevent it.
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