Neutrophil apoptosis mediated by nicotinic acid receptors (GPR109A)

Kostylina, G; Simon, D; Fey, M F; Yousefi, S; Simon, H U (2008). Neutrophil apoptosis mediated by nicotinic acid receptors (GPR109A). Cell death and differentiation, 15(1), pp. 134-42. Basingstoke: Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/sj.cdd.4402238

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G protein-coupled receptor (GPR)109A (HM74A) is a G(i) protein-coupled receptor, which is activated by nicotinic acid (NA), a lipid-lowering drug. Here, we demonstrate that mature human neutrophils, but not eosinophils, express functional GPR109A receptors. The induction of the GPR109A gene appears to occur late in the terminal differentiation process of neutrophils, since a mixed population of immature bone marrow neutrophils did not demonstrate evidence for its expression. NA accelerated apoptosis in cultured neutrophils in a concentration-dependent manner, as assessed by phosphatidylserine redistribution, caspase-3 activation, and DNA fragmentation assays. The pro-apoptotic effect of NA was abolished by pertussis toxin, which was used to block G(i) proteins, suggesting a receptor-mediated mechanism. Activation of GPR109A by NA resulted in decreased levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), most likely due to G(i)-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity. NA-induced apoptosis was reversed by the addition of cell-permeable cAMP, pointing to the possibility that reduced cAMP levels promote apoptosis in neutrophils. Distal mechanism involved in this process may include the post-translational modification of members of the Bcl-2 family, such as dephosphorylation of pro-apoptotic Bad and antiapoptotic Mcl-1 proteins. Taken together, following maturation in the bone marrow, neutrophils express functional GPR109A receptors, which might be involved in the regulation of neutrophil numbers. Moreover, this study identified a new cellular target of NA and future drugs activating GPR109A receptors, the mature neutrophil.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Simon, Dagmar, Simon, Hans-Uwe






Nature Publishing Group




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:02

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:19

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URI: (FactScience: 93082)

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