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Gen Comp Endocrinol 2015 May 15;216:54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.04.009.
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Urotensin II upregulates migration and cytokine gene expression in leukocytes of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

Tomiyama S , Nakamachi T , Uchiyama M , Matsuda K , Konno N .

Urotensin II (UII) exhibits diverse physiological actions including vasoconstriction, locomotor activity, osmoregulation, and immune response via the UII receptor (UTR) in mammals. However, in amphibians the function of the UII-UTR system remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated the potential immune function of UII using leukocytes isolated from the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Stimulation of male frogs with lipopolysaccharide increased mRNA expression of UII and UTR in leukocytes, suggesting that inflammatory stimuli induce activation of the UII-UTR system. Migration assays showed that both UII and UII-related peptide enhanced migration of leukocytes in a dose-dependent manner, and that UII effect was inhibited by the UTR antagonist urantide. Inhibition of Rho kinase with Y-27632 abolished UII-induced migration, suggesting that it depends on the activation of RhoA/Rho kinase. Treatment of isolated leukocytes with UII increased the expression of several cytokine genes including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and macrophage migration inhibitory factor, and the effects were abolished by urantide. These results suggest that in amphibian leukocytes the UII-UTR system is involved in the activation of leukocyte migration and cytokine gene expression in response to inflammatory stimuli.

PubMed ID: 25907658
Article link: Gen Comp Endocrinol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: rho rho.2 rhoa