15-deoxy-Δ12,14-PGJ2 promotes inflammation and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes via the DP2/MAPK/TNFα axis
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- International Journal of Cardiology
DOI 10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.03.086
  1. Cardiomyocytes
  2. TNFα
  3. 15d-PGJ2
  4. Apoptosis
  5. PGD2 receptor


Prostaglandins (PGs), lipid autacoids derived from arachidonic acid, play a pivotal role during inflammation. PGD2 synthase is abundantly expressed in heart tissue and PGD2 has recently been found to induce cardiomyocyte apoptosis. PGD2 is an unstable prostanoid metabolite; therefore the objective of the present study was to elucidate whether its final dehydration product, 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-PGJ2 (15d-PGJ2, present at high levels in ischemic myocardium) might cause cardiomyocyte damage.

Methods and results

Using specific (ant)agonists we show that 15d-PGJ2 induced formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phosphorylation of p38 and p42/44 MAPKs via the PGD2 receptor DP2 (but not DP1 or PPARγ) in the murine atrial cardiomyocyte HL-1 cell line. Activation of the DP2-ROS-MAPK axis by 15d-PGJ2 enhanced transcription and translation of TNFα and induced apoptosis in HL-1 cardiomyocytes. Silencing of TNFα significantly attenuated the extrinsic (caspase-8) and intrinsic apoptotic pathways (bax and caspase-9), caspase-3 activation and downstream PARP cleavage and γH2AX activation. The apoptotic machinery was unaffected by intracellular calcium, transcription factor NF-κB and its downstream target p53. Of note, 9,10-dihydro-15d-PGJ2 (lacking the electrophilic carbon atom in the cyclopentenone ring) did not activate cellular responses. Selected experiments performed in primary murine cardiomyocytes confirmed data obtained in HL-1 cells namely that the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic cascades are activated via DP2/MAPK/TNFα signaling.


We conclude that the reactive α,β-unsaturated carbonyl group of 15d-PGJ2 is responsible for the pronounced upregulation of TNFα promoting cardiomyocyte apoptosis. We propose that inhibition of DP2 receptors could provide a possibility to modulate 15d-PGJ2-induced myocardial injury.