Fatty acids have been recognized as regulators of immune function in addition to their known metabolic role. Long-chain fatty acids bind free fatty acid receptor (FFAR)-1/GPR40, which is expressed on bovine neutrophils, and increase responses such as granule release and gene expression. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms governing the up-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and IL-8, as well as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 granule release in FFAR1/GPR40 agonist-stimulated neutrophils. Our results showed that natural (oleic and linoleic acid) and synthetic (GW9508) FFAR1/GPR40 agonists increased ERK1/2, p38 MAPK and Akt phosphorylation, and that the FFAR1/GPR40 antagonist GW1100 reduced these responses. We evaluated the levels of IκBα, a component of the classical activation pathway of the transcription factor NF-κB, and we observed IκBα reduction after stimulation with FFAR1/GPR40 agonists, an effect that was inhibited by GW1100 or the inhibitors UO126, SB203580 or LY294002. FFAR1/GPR40 agonists increased COX-2 and IL-8 expression, which was inhibited by GW1100 and an NF-κB inhibitor. Finally, the FFAR1/GPR40 agonist-induced MMP-9 granule release was reduced by GW1100 and UO126. In conclusion, FFAR1/GPR40 agonists differentially stimulate neutrophil functions; COX-2 and IL-8 are expressed after FFAR1/GPR40 activation via NF-κB, IκBα reduction is FFAR1/GPR40- and PI3K/MAPK-dependent, and MMP-9 granule release is FFAR1/GPR40- and ERK1/2-dependent.
Keywords: COX-2; FFAR1/GPR40; IL-8; MMP-9; NF-κB; Neutrophils.
© The Author(s) 2016.