Investigating the role of MRGPRC11 and capsaicin-sensitive afferent nerves in the anti-influenza effects exerted by SLIGRL-amide in murine airways

Amy Y. Chang, Tracy S. Mann, Peter K. McFawn, L. Han, X. Dong, Peter J. Henry

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The hexapeptide SLIGRL-amide activates protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) and mas-related G protein-coupled receptor C11 (MRGPRC11), both of which are known to be expressed on populations of sensory nerves. SLIGRL-amide has recently been reported to inhibit influenza A (IAV) infection in mice independently of PAR-2 activation, however the explicit roles of MRGPRC11 and sensory nerves in this process are unknown. Thus, the principal aim of this study was to determine whether SLIGRL-amide-induced inhibition of influenza infection is mediated by MRGPRC11 and/or by capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves.Methods: The inhibitory effect of SLIGRL-amide on IAV infection observed in control mice in vivo was compared to effects produced in mice that did not express MRGPRC11 (mrgpr-cluster Delta(-/-) mice) or had impaired sensory nerve function (induced by chronic pre-treatment with capsaicin). Complementary mechanistic studies using both in vivo and ex vivo approaches investigated whether the anti-IAV activity of SLIGRL-amide was (1) mimicked by either activators of MRGPRC11 (BAM8-22) or by activators (acute capsaicin) or selected mediators (substance P, CGRP) of sensory nerve function, or (2) suppressed by inhibitors of sensory nerve function (e.g. NK1 receptor antagonists).Results: SLIGRL-amide and BAM8-22 dose-dependently inhibited IAV infection in mrgpr-cluster Delta(-/-) mice that do not express MRGPRC11. In addition, SLIGRL-amide and BAM8-22 each inhibited IAV infection in capsaicin-pre-treated mice that lack functional sensory nerves. Furthermore, the anti-IAV activity of SLIGRL-amide was not mimicked by the sensory neuropeptides substance P or CGRP, nor blocked by either NK1 (L-703,606, RP67580) and CGRP receptor (CGRP8-37) antagonists. Direct stimulation of airway sensory nerves through acute exposure to the TRPV1 activator capsaicin also failed to mimic SLIGRL-amide-induced inhibition of IAV infectivity. The anti-IAV activity of SLIGRL-amide was mimicked by the purinoceptor agonist ATP, a direct activa
Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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