Korean J Parasitol.  2020 Aug;58(4):393-402. 10.3347/kjp.2020.58.4.393.

Adenosine A3 Receptor Mediates ERK1/2- and JNK-Dependent TNF-α Production in Toxoplasma gondii-Infected HTR8/SVneo Human Extravillous Trophoblast Cells

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524001, China
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524001, China
  • 3Stem Cell Research and Cellular Therapy Center, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524001, China

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that causes severe disease when the infection occurs during pregnancy. Adenosine is a purine nucleoside involved in numerous physiological processes; however, the role of adenosine receptors in T. gondii-induced trophoblast cell function has not been investigated until now. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the intracellular signaling pathways regulated by adenosine receptors using a HTR-8/SVneo trophoblast cell model of T. gondii infection. HTR8/SVneo human extravillous trophoblast cells were infected with or without T. gondii and then evaluated for cell morphology, intracellular proliferation of the parasite, adenosine receptor expression, TNF-α production and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling pathways triggered by adenosine A3 receptor (A3AR). HTR8/SVneo cells infected with T. gondii exhibited an altered cytoskeletal changes, an increased infection rate and reduced viability in an infection time-dependent manner. T. gondii significantly promoted increased TNF-α production, A3AR protein levels and p38, ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation compared to those observed in uninfected control cells. Moreover, the inhibition of A3AR by A3AR siRNA transfection apparently suppressed the T. gondii infection-mediated upregulation of TNF-α, A3AR production and MAPK activation. In addition, T. gondii-promoted TNF-α secretion was dramatically attenuated by pretreatment with PD098059 or SP600125. These results indicate that A3AR-mediated activation of ERK1/2 and JNK positively regulates TNF-α secretion in T. gondii-infected HTR8/SVneo cells.

Keyword

; adenosine A receptor; TNF-α; HTR8/SVneo trophoblast cell; MAPK
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