Thrombin induces inducible nitric oxide synthase expression via the MAPK, MSK1, and NF-κB signaling pathways in alveolar macrophages

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Abstract

In this study, we investigated the roles of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), mitogen stress-activated protein kinase 1 (MSK1), and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways in thrombin-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in alveolar macrophages (NR8383). Treatment of NR8383 cells with thrombin caused an increase in iNOS expression in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Treatment of NR8383 cells with SB203580 (4-(4-Fluorophenyl)-2-[4-(methylsulfinyl)phenyl]-5-(4-pyridyl)-1H-imidazole, a p38 MAPK inhibitor), PD98059 (2′-amino-3′-methoxyflavone, a MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibitor), and SP600125 (anthra[1–9-cd]pyrazol-6(2H)-one, a JNK inhibitor) all inhibited thrombin-induced iNOS expression. Stimulation of cells with thrombin caused an increase in p38 MAPK, ERK, and JNK phosphorylation. Treatment of cells with Ro 31–8220 (an MSK1 inhibitor) and MSK1 small interfering RNA (MSK1 siRNA) both inhibited thrombin-induced iNOS expression. Thrombin caused time-dependent activation of MSK1 Ser531 phosphorylation, which was inhibited by SB203580 and PD98059, but not by SP600125. Treatment of cells with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC, an NF-κB inhibitor) inhibited thrombin-induced iNOS expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Treatment of NR8383 cells with thrombin induced κB-luciferase activity and p65 Ser276 phosphorylation. Thrombin-induced increases in p65 Ser276 phosphorylation and κB-luciferase activity were inhibited by SB203580, PD98059, Ro 31–8220, and MSK1 siRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that the signaling pathways of MAPK, MSK1, and NF-κB play important roles in thrombin-induced iNOS expression in alveolar macrophages.

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