Background: Stimulation with antigen and IgE is known to activate NF-κB in mast cells. In the present research, we studied the role of NF-κB on cellular migration in mast cell-like RBL-2H3 cells and bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) using the NF-κB inhibitor (-)-DHMEQ. Methods: A Matrigel invasion chamber was used to evaluate cell migration. A PCR array was used to screen the expression of 84 key genes involved in cell migration. Results: (-)-DHMEQ inhibited antigen/IgE-induced NF-κB activation and expressions of its target genes such as IL-6 and TNF-α. (-)-DHMEQ was found to inhibit in vitro invasion toward the antigen without any toxicity. We then looked for NF-κB-dependent genes that would be important for mast cell invasion using the PCR array. (-)-DHMEQ was found to lower the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. The MMP inhibitor GM6001 also inhibited cellular invasion toward the antigen. These effects of (-)-DHMEQ were obtained in both RBL-2H3 cells and BMMCs. Conclusions: These findings indicate that (-)-DHMEQ suppressed mast cell migration via the inhibition of NF-κB-regulated MMP-2 expression.
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