Wang, J., Zheng, H., Hollenberg, M. D., Wijesuriya, S. J., Ou, X. and Hauer-Jensen, M. Up-regulation and Activation of Proteinase-Activated Receptor 2 in Early and Delayed Radiation Injury in the Rat Intestine: Influence of Biological Activators of Proteinase-Activated Receptor 2. Radiat. Res. 160, 524–535 (2003).

Proteinase-activated receptor 2 (Par2, F2rl1, also designated PAR-2 or PAR2) is prominently expressed in the intestine and has been suggested as a mediator of inflammatory, mitogenic and fibrogenic responses to injury. Mast cell proteinases and pancreatic trypsin, both of which have been shown to affect the intestinal radiation response, are the major biological activators of Par2. Conventional Sprague-Dawley rats, mast cell-deficient rats, and rats in which pancreatic exocrine secretion was blocked pharmacologically by octreotide underwent localized irradiation of a 4-cm loop of small bowel. Radiation injury was assessed 2 weeks after irradiation (early, inflammatory phase) and 26 weeks after irradiation (chronic, fibrotic phase). Par2 expression and activation were assessed by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, using antibodies that distinguished between total (preactivated and activated) Par2 and preactivated Par2. Compared to unirradiated intestine, irradiated intestine exhibited increased Par2 expression, particularly in areas of myofibroblast proliferation and collagen accumulation, after both single-dose and fractionated irradiation. The majority of Par2 expressed in fibrotic areas was activated. Postirradiation Par2 overexpression was greatly attenuated in both mast cell-deficient and octreotide-treated rats. The severity of acute mucosal injury did not affect postirradiation Par2 expression. Mast cells and pancreatic proteinases may exert their fibro-proliferative effects partly through activation of Par2. Par2 may be a potential target for modulating the intestinal radiation response, particularly delayed intestinal wall fibrosis.

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