Interleukin-3, -5, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor induce adhesion and chemotaxis of human eosinophils via p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor kappaB

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2005;27(3):371-93. doi: 10.1080/08923970500240925.


Hematopoietic cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-3, IL-5, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) play a fundamental role in eosinophil functions in allergic asthma. The intracellular signal transduction mechanisms of these cytokines regulating the activation of eosinophils have been potential therapeutic targets. We investigated the roles of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappaB) in IL-3, IL-5, and GM-CSF-induced adhesion, morphological changes, and subsequence transmigration of human eosinophils. IL-3, IL-5, and GM-CSF could augment the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and nucleus translocation of NF-kappaB in eosinophils. cDNA expression arrays demonstrated that the gene expression levels of several adhesion molecules including intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), alpha6, beta2 integrin (CD18), and CD44 were upregulated by these cytokines. Results from functional assays showed that adhesion of eosinophils onto airway epithelial cells was enhanced after IL-3 and IL-5 but not GM-CSF stimulation. These cytokines could markedly induce shape change and augment the transmigration of eosinophils. Moreover, administration of either p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB 203580, or proteasome inhibitor, N-cbz-Leu-Leu-leucinal (MG-132), could inhibit the cytokine-induced adhesion, shape change, and transmigration of eosinophils. Together, our findings suggest that IL-3, IL-5, and GM-CSF regulated the adhesion and chemotaxis of human eosinophils through shared signaling pathways involving both p38 MAPK and NF-kappaB. Our results therefore shed light on the further development of more effective agents for allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bronchi / cytology
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Chemotaxis / genetics
  • Eosinophils / drug effects
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-3 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-5 / pharmacology*
  • Leupeptins / pharmacology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Imidazoles
  • Interleukin-3
  • Interleukin-5
  • Leupeptins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Pyridines
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • SB 203580
  • benzyloxycarbonylleucyl-leucyl-leucine aldehyde