Blockage of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 2 attenuates 2,4- dinitrochlorobenzene-induced atopic dermatitis in mice

Soo-Jin Park1, Dong-Soon Im1,2
1 College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea
2 Laboratory of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, and Department of Life Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: Dong-Soon Im:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-020-0412-8
Received: 3 January 2020
Accepted: 30 March 2020
Advance online: 26 May 2020


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and its receptors have been implicated in functions of Langerhans cells and atopic dermatitis. In this study, we investigated the roles of S1P receptor type 2 (S1P2) in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis, which was induced by topical application of 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) on ventral skin on D0, followed by repeated DNCB challenge on both ears from D7 to D49. Wild-type mice with atopic dermatitis displayed severe inflammation and mast cell accumulation in ear tissues and elevated IgE levels in serum. Furthermore, the mice showed significantly increased sizes of draining lymph nodes, high levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-13, IL-17, and IFN-γ) in the ears and lymph nodes and high levels of chemokines CCL17 and CCL22 in ears. Administration of JTE-013, a selective antagonist of S1P2 (3 mg/kg, i.p, from D19 to D49) before DNCB challenge significantly suppressed DNCB-induced atopic responses in ears and lymph nodes. JTE-013 administration also significantly decreased the lymph nodes sizes, the levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-13, IL-17, and IFN-γ) in the ears and lymph nodes, and the levels of chemokines CCL17 and CCL22 in ears. Furthermore, the inflammatory responses of atopic dermatitis were greatly ameliorated in S1pr2 gene-deficient mice. As CCL17 and CCL22 are CCR4 ligands, acting as Th2-attracting chemokines, we investigated CCL17 and CCL22 expression in bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) from wild-type and S1pr2 gene-deficient mice. Addition of IL-4 (10 ng/mL) markedly increased the levels of CCL17 and CCL22, but IL-4-induced CCL17 and CCL22 expression was significantly blunted in BMDCs from S1pr2 gene-deficient mice. Furthermore, pretreatment with JTE-013 (1−30 μM) dose-dependently suppressed this induction in BMDCs from wild-type mice. Our results demonstrate that blockage of S1P2 ameliorates not only DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis symptoms but also Th2 cell-attracting capacity of dendritic cells, suggesting S1P2 as a potential therapeutic target for atopic dermatitis.
Keywords: atopic dermatitis; sphingosine-1-phosphate; sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor type 2 (S1P2); S1pr2 gene-deficient mice; bone marrow-derived dendritic cell; cytokines

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