P2Y receptor activation causes the release of inflammatory cytokines in the bronchial epithelium, whereas G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER), a novel estrogen (E2) receptor, may play an anti-inflammatory role in this process. We investigated the cellular mechanisms underlying the inhibitory effect of GPER activation on the P2Y receptor-mediated Ca2+ signaling pathway and cytokine production in airway epithelia. Expression of GPER in primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) or 16HBE14o- cells was confirmed on both the mRNA and protein levels. Stimulation of HBE or 16HBE14o- cells with E2 or G1, a specific agonist of GPER, attenuated the nucleotide-evoked increases in [Ca2+]i, whereas this effect was reversed by G15, a GPER-specific antagonist. G1 inhibited the secretion of two proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8, in cells stimulated by adenosine 5′-(γ-thio)triphosphate (ATPγS). G1 stimulated a real-time increase in cAMP levels in 16HBE14o- cells, which could be inhibited by adenylyl cyclase inhibitors. The inhibitory effects of E2 or G1 on P2Y receptor-induced increases in Ca2+ were reversed by treating the cells with a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor. These results demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of G1 or E2 on P2Y receptor-mediated Ca2+ mobilization and cytokine secretion were due to GPER-mediated activation of a cAMP-dependent PKA pathway. This study has reported, for the first time, the expression and function of GPER as an anti-inflammatory component in human bronchial epithelia, which may mediate through its opposing effects on the pro‐inflammatory pathway activated by the P2Y receptors in inflamed airway epithelia.
- P2Y receptor signaling pathway
- Human bronchial epithelial cells
- Calcium signaling