Inhibition of LPS-induced cytokines by Bcl-xL in a murine macrophage cell line.J Immunol. 2000 Sep 01; 165(5):2729-37.JI
The antiapoptotic molecule Bcl-xL has been implicated in the differentiation and survival of activated macrophages in inflammatory conditions. In this report, the role of Bcl-xL in LPS-induced cytokine gene expression and secretion was studied. Bcl-xL-transfected RAW 264 macrophages were protected from gliotoxin-induced apoptosis, indicating the presence of functional Bcl-xL. Overexpression of Bcl-xL in this macrophage cell line was also associated with a marked inhibition of LPS-induced TNF-alpha, JE/monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 secretion. Inhibition of LPS-induced cytokine secretion was paralleled by a decrease in levels of steady-state mRNA for the above cytokines and for IL-1beta. Decreased production of TNF-alpha in Bcl-xL transfectants was not due to increased mRNA degradation, as the mRNA half-lives were the same in Bcl-xL transfectants and control macrophages. Although the composition of NF-kappaB complexes detected by EMSA and supershift analysis in nuclear lysates derived from Bcl-xL transfectants and control cells was indistinguishable, LPS-induced inhibitory kappaBalpha degradation, as well as NF-kappaB binding and AP-1 activation, were slightly decreased by ectopic expression of Bcl-xL. More strikingly, LPS-induced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase was strongly repressed by Bcl-xL overexpression, offering a possible mechanism for the inhibition of LPS-induced cytokine production. These data provide the first evidence for a novel role for Bcl-xL as an anti-inflammatory mediator in macrophages.