Allergic asthma is a common inflammatory lung disease associated with complex pathogenesis. Mast cell (MC) is one of the key drivers of allergic asthma, Mas-related G protein-coupled receptor X2 (MRGPRX2) on the MC could mediate MC activation and trigger a pseudo-allergic reaction. Imperatorin (IMP), the main active compound of Radix Angelicae Dahuricae, has been reported to exert various pharmacological effects. In this study, we focused on the therapeutical mechanism of IMP on MRGPRX2-induced pseudo-allergy and allergic asthma.
We examined the effect of IMP on MRGPRX2 related mast cell activation in mouse peritoneal MC (MPMC), Human Laboratory of Allergic Disease 2 MCs (LAD2 cells) and Mrgprx2-expressing HEK293 cells. Molecular docking and Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) were taken to reveal the binding character between IMP and MRPGRX2. MRGPRX2 downstream proteins were also detected by western blotting. IgE-independent responses was evaluated by using passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) and active systemic anaphylaxis (ASA) models. The therapeutic effect of IMP on asthma was evaluated by a lung inflammation mouse model which was induced by ovalbumin (OVA).
IMP was found to reduce substance P (SP) induced calcium flux and suppressed degranulation of MC. SP can promote the phosphorylation of ERK and CamKII, which regulates the synthesis of inflammatory factors such as MIP-2 and TNF-α in MC. In vivo assays revealed that IMP can mitigate SP-induced mouse PCA and ASA. IMP could also mitigate lung inflammation in an OVA induced mice model by inhibiting MC activation in the lung tissue. Furthermore, IMP binds well to MRGPRX2 protein. The binding constant (K) is 4.48 ± 0.49 ×10 M. The data suggeste that IMP is a novel inhibitor of MRGPRX2 to treat allergic asthma.

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