Serine protease inhibition attenuates rIL-12-induced GZMA activity and proinflammatory events by modulating the Th2 profile from estrogen-treated mice.

PMID 24840346


Estrogen has potent immunomodulatory effects on proinflammatory responses, which can be mediated by serine proteases. We now demonstrate that estrogen increased the extracellular expression and IL-12-induced activity of a critical member of serine protease family Granzyme A, which has been shown to possess a novel inflammatory persona. The inhibition of serine protease activity with inhibitor 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride hydrochloride significantly diminished enhanced production of proinflammatory interferon-γ, IL-1β, IL-1α, and Granzyme A activity even in the presence of a Th1-inducing cytokine, IL-12 from splenocytes from in vivo estrogen-treated mice. Inhibition of serine protease activity selectively promoted secretion of Th2-specific IL-4, nuclear phosphorylated STAT6A, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)6A translocation, and STAT6A DNA binding in IL-12-stimulated splenocytes from estrogen-treated mice. Inhibition with 4-(2-aminoethyl) benzenesulfonyl fluoride hydrochloride reversed the down-regulation of Th2 transcription factors, GATA3 and c-Maf in splenocytes from estrogen-exposed mice. Although serine protease inactivation enhanced the expression of Th2-polarizing factors, it did not reverse estrogen-modulated decrease of phosphorylated STAT5, a key factor in Th2 development. Collectively, data suggest that serine protease inactivity augments the skew toward a Th2-like profile while down-regulating IL-12-induced proinflammatory Th1 biomolecules upon in vivo estrogen exposure, which implies serine proteases as potential regulators of inflammation. Thus, these studies may provide a potential mechanism underlying the immunomodulatory effect of estrogen and insight into new therapeutic strategies for proinflammatory and female-predominant autoimmune diseases.