Airway brush cells generate cysteinyl leukotrienes through the ATP sensor P2Y2

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Science Immunology  17 Jan 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 43, eaax7224
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aax7224

Nasal sensors of danger

The epithelium of the nasal mucosa includes specialized chemosensory cells in the brush/tuft cell family that use taste receptors to detect environmental stimuli. Activated brush cells initiate host protective responses by releasing mediators including the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and the cytokine IL-25. Ualiyeva et al. detected two subsets of nasal brush cells in mice and used RNA sequencing and functional assays to identify additional brush cell effector mechanisms. Brush cells were identified as the primary source of the proinflammatory cysteinyl leukotrienes LTC4, LTD4, and LTE4 in naïve nasal mucosa, a response that depends on the P2Y2 purinergic receptor responding to ATP as a danger signal. These findings provide new insights into how brush cells contribute to both physiologic and pathologic mucosal inflammation including respiratory allergy symptoms.

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