Human Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


Molecular mechanism in down regulation of TNF expression


Excessive production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) after stimulation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) may result in fever, intravascular coagulation, and lethal shock. An efficient way of preventing the excessive TNF production is desensitization of monocytes/macrophages to LPS. We have analyzed the molecular mechanisms involved in the induction of desensitization and the mechanisms operative in the desensitized, LPS-refractory cells by employing the human monocytic cell line Mono-Mac-6. Similar to human blood monocytes, treatment of Mono-Mac-6 cells with LPS (1 microgram/ml) results in a rapid and transient expression of TNF. When Mono-Mac-6 cells are precultured in medium containing low levels of LPS, they become refractory to subsequent LPS stimulation and show no or little secretion of TNF protein. Desensitization can be blocked by the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and protein kinase C; both prostaglandin E2 (together with a second signal) and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate can mimic desensitization. By employing prostaglandin E2 and low concentrations of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a synergism in the induction of desensitization can be demonstrated. Hence, our studies show that two distinct pathways are involved in the induction of hyporesponsiveness. In both LPS-responsive and LPS-desensitized Mono-Mac-6 cells, LPS was able to induce the transcription factor NF-kappa B in the nucleus. Still, the prevalence of TNF-specific mRNA was dramatically reduced in the desensitized cells. These data indicate that LPS-desensitized Mono-Mac-6 cells are able to activate initial steps of signal transduction up to the level of the NF-kappa B transcription factor. The absence of TNF transcripts, however, indicates that additional nuclear factors may be missing or that silencers may be active such that transcription of the TNF gene is prevented.

Authors: Haas, J.G., Bäuerle, P.A., Riethmüller, G., Ziegler-Heitbrock, H.W.L.
Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sciences, 87: 9563-9567
Year: 1990
PubMed: Find in PubMed