Exogenous oxidants activate nuclear factor kappa B through Toll-like receptor 4 stimulation to maintain inflammatory phenotype in macrophage

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Disturbances in redox equilibrium in tissue can lead to inflammatory state, which is a mediatory factor in many human diseases. The mechanism(s) by which exogenous oxidants may activate an inflammatory response is not fully understood. Emerging evidence suggests that oxidant-induced Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation plays a major role in “sterile” inflammation. In the present study, we used murine macrophage RAW-Blue cells, which are chromosomally integrated with secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) inducible by NF-κB. We confirmed the expression of TLR4 mRNA and protein in RAW-Blue cells by RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. We showed that oxidants increased intracellular reactive oxygen species production and lipid peroxidation, which resulted in decreased intracellular total antioxidant capacity. Consistent with the actions of TLR4-specific agonist LPS-EK, exogenous oxidants increased transcriptional activity of NF-κB p65 with subsequent release of NF-κB reporter gene SEAP. These effects were blocked by pretreatment with TLR4 neutralizing pAb and TLR4 signaling inhibitor CLI-095. In addition, oxidants decreased the expression of IκBα with enhanced phosphorylation at the Tyr42 residue. Finally, oxidants and LPS-EK increased TNFα production, but did not affect IL-10 production, which may cause imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory processes, which CLI-095 inhibited. For biological relevance, we confirmed that oxidants increased release of TNFα and IL-6 in primary macrophages derived from TLR4-WT and TLR4-KO mice. Our results support the involvement of TLR4 mediated oxidant-induced inflammatory phenotype through NF-κB activation in macrophages. Thus exogenous oxidants may play a role in activating inflammatory phenotypes that propagate and maintain chronic disease states.

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