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It is now well established that interaction of PGD(2) with chemoattractant receptor- homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2) promotes chemotaxis and proinflammatory cytokine production by Th2 lymphocytes. In this study we show a novel function of CRTH2 in mediating an inhibitory effect of PGD(2) on the apoptosis of human Th2 cells induced by cytokine deprivation. This effect was mimicked by the selective CRTH2 agonist 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-PGD(2), inhibited by the CRTH2 antagonists ramatroban and TM30089, and not observed in CRTH2-negative T cells. D prostanoid receptor 1 (DP(1)) or the thromboxane-like prostanoid (TP) receptor did not play a role in mediating the effects of PGD(2) on the apoptosis of Th2 cells because neither the DP(1) antagonist BW868C nor the TP antagonist SQ29548 had any effect on the antiapoptotic effect of PGD(2). Apoptosis of Th2 cells induced by Fas ligation was not suppressed by treatment with PGD(2), illustrating that activation of CRTH2 only inhibits apoptosis induced by cytokine deprivation. Treatment with PGD(2) induced phosphorylation of Akt and BAD, prevented release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, and suppressed cleavage of caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in Th2 cells deprived of IL-2. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 blocked the effect of PGD(2) both on the signaling events and on the apoptotic death of Th2 cells. These data suggest that in addition to promoting the recruitment and activation of Th2 cells, PGD(2) may also impede the resolution of allergic inflammation through inhibiting apoptosis of Th2 cells.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





7580 - 7586


Apoptosis, Cells, Cultured, Enzyme Activation, Humans, Interleukin-2, Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases, Prostaglandin D2, Receptors, Immunologic, Receptors, Prostaglandin, Signal Transduction, Th2 Cells, fas Receptor