4c). Interestingly, Cox-2-deficient mice had an approximately
25-fold lower Blimp-1 protein expression compared with wild-type controls (Fig. 4c). This further demonstrates that B-cell differentiation is Cox-2-dependent. To determine if the reduced generation of CD38+ antibody-secreting cells was a result of impaired differentiation of human B cells, we investigated whether the expression of plasma cell transcriptional regulators was influenced. We assessed both mRNA steady-state levels and protein expression of Blimp-1 and Xbp-1, which are essential transcription factors necessary for plasma cell differentiation. Pax5, a transcription factor important for initiating and maintaining the B-cell phenotype, was also investigated. Purified human B cells from three different donors activated for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hr were treated with either DMSO (vehicle) or the Cox-2 selective inhibitor SC-58125. RNA was extracted JQ1 price at each time-point, reverse transcribed,
and subjected to real-time PCR analysis for Blimp-1, Xbp-1 and Pax5 expression. Messenger RNA steady-state levels of each transcription BGB324 nmr factor were normalized to 7S control mRNA steady-state levels. Comparing levels of Blimp-1, Xbp-1 and Pax5 with freshly isolated B-cell mRNA demonstrated that Pax5 mRNA steady-state levels decreased following stimulation with CpG plus anti-IgM, while Blimp-1 and Xbp-1 expression was enhanced (Fig. 5a). The mRNA fold-expression decrease after Cox-2 inhibitor treatment was determined by dividing the normalized mRNA expression values of the vehicle-treated cells by the normalized values of the SC-58125-treated cells (Fig. 5b,c). Following treatment of three different human donors with SC-58125, Blimp-1 mRNA expression was decreased 2·6 ± 0·8-fold by 24 hr, Gemcitabine 2·8 ± 1·2-fold by 72 hr and 3·3 ± 1·1-fold by 96 hr (Fig. 5b). At the 20-μm dose Blimp-1 levels were reduced by 3·6 ± 0·5-fold after 72 hr of incubation (Fig. 5c). Over the time–course,
Xbp-1 mRNA expression was decreased (1·9 ± 0·1-fold) in the presence of SC-58125 at 72 hr (Fig. 5b). By 96 hr after Cox-2 inhibitor treatment we observed a 2·9 ± 1·2-fold decrease. Treatment of B cells with 20 μm SC-58125 for 72 hr resulted in a 4·9 ± 0·6-fold decrease in Xbp-1 mRNA expression (Fig. 5c). In contrast, Pax5 mRNA expression was relatively unchanged following inhibition of Cox-2 (Fig. 5b,c). These new data indicate that inhibition of Cox-2 reduced mRNA transcript levels of the transcription factors, Blimp-1 and Xbp-1, which are essential for the differentiation of B cells to plasma cells. To further demonstrate that the decrease in Blimp-1 and Xbp-1 mRNA was seen at the translational level, protein was extracted from activated human B cells treated with vehicle or SC-58125. A Western blot containing these samples from two different donors was probed for the expression of Blimp-1, Xbp-1, Pax5 and GAPDH as a loading control (Fig. 5d).