Background: Bv8, prokineticin-1, or endocrine gland-vascular endothelial growth factor, and prokineticin-2 are recently isolated peptide agonists of two G protein-coupled receptors, prokineticin receptor-1 (PROKR 1) and PROKR 2, and have been described as affecting a number of myeloid cell functions. We evaluated the impact of Bv8 on lymphoid cells by investigating its ability to modulate T cell cytokine balance in mouse.
Results: The production of T-helper1 cytokines (IL-2, IFN-gamma and IL-1beta), the T-helper 2 cytokine IL-4, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 by mouse splenocytes was evaluated after polyclonal stimulation or immunisation with the keyhole limpet hemocyanin protein antigen by measuring cytokine levels. When added in vitro to Con-A-stimulated splenocytes, Bv8 significantly increased IL-1beta and decreased IL-4 and IL-10; IL-2 and IFN-gamma were not affected. Similar results were obtained when Bv8 was administered in vivo. In KLH-immunised mice, splenocytes restimulated in vitro with KLH and Bv8 produced significantly smaller amounts of IL-4 and IL-10. KLH-induced IL-10 and IL-4 production was also significantly blunted in animals administered Bv8 in vivo at the time of KLH immunisation or two weeks later. The Bv8-induced effects were lost in mice lacking the PROKR 1 gene, thus indicating that PROKR 1 is the receptor involved in the modulation of cytokines.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that Bv8/prokineticin-1 is a novel modulator of lymphoid functions, and may be a suitable target for new immunopharmacological strategies.