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Lipocalin 2: A New Antimicrobial in Mast Cells

Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(10), 2380;
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mast Cells in Health and Disease)
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Mast cells (MCs) play a significant role in the innate immune defense against bacterial infection through the release of cytokines and antimicrobial peptides. However, their antimicrobial function is still only partially described. We therefore hypothesized that MCs express additional antimicrobial peptides. In this study, we used FANTOM 5 transcriptome data to identify for the first time that MCs express lipocalin 2 (LCN2), a known inhibitor of bacterial growth. Using MCs derived from mice which were deficient in LCN2, we showed that this antimicrobial peptide is an important component of the MCs’ antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli). Since sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors (S1PRs) on MCs are known to regulate their function during infections, we hypothesized that S1P could activate LCN2 production in MCs. Using an in vitro assay, we demonstrated that S1P enhances MCs antimicrobial peptide production and increases the capacity of MCs to directly kill S. aureus and E. coli via an LCN2 release. In conclusion, we showed that LCN2 is expressed by MCs and plays a role in their capacity to inhibit bacterial growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: mast cell; lipocalin 2; antimicrobial; microbiome; sphingosine-1-phosphate cathelicidin; keratinocyte mast cell; lipocalin 2; antimicrobial; microbiome; sphingosine-1-phosphate cathelicidin; keratinocyte

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Chang, Y.-L.; Wang, Z.; Igawa, S.; Choi, J.E.; Werbel, T.; Di Nardo, A. Lipocalin 2: A New Antimicrobial in Mast Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2380.

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