Novel lineage- and stage-selective effects of retinoic acid on mouse granulopoiesis: Blockade by dexamethasone or inducible NO synthase inactivation

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Despite the close relationship of eosinophils and neutrophils, these granulocyte lineages respond to distinct cytokines and play unique roles in immune responses. They nevertheless respond to shared physiological/pharmacological regulators, including glucocorticoids and retinoids, and to ubiquitous mediators, including NO. Others showed that, in humans, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) suppresses eosinophil differentiation, but promotes neutrophil differentiation. Mechanisms of dual co-regulation of physiological granulopoiesis were here examined in murine bone-marrow, a model system suitable for exploration of immunopharmacological mechanisms, given the availability of experimental resources, including mutant/knockout mouse strains. We examined the effects of ATRA on mouse eosinophil and neutrophil production, using wild-type (BALB/c, C57BL/6) and mutant (iNOS-, CD95L-, or CD95-KO) bone-marrow cultures, further assessing the modification of ATRA activity by dexamethasone and iNOS blockade. ATRA (10− 6–10− 8 M) significantly decreased eosinophil production relative to IL-5 controls. This effect was iNOS-independent, but CD95L- and caspase-dependent, and prevented by dexamethasone (10− 7 M in vitro; 1–20 mg·kg− 1 in vivo). In myeloid colony formation assays, ATRA markedly suppressed GM-CSF-responsive progenitors, through an iNOS-dependent, CD95-independent, dexamethasone-sensitive mechanism. By contrast, ATRA potently enhanced GM-CSF-dependent neutropoiesis in liquid culture from BALB/c or C57BL/6 bone-marrow. This novel stimulatory effect was resistant to dexamethasone and abolished in iNOS-KO bone-marrow. ATRA injections also induced lineage- and stage-selective effects on granulopoiesis in vivo. ATRA therefore co-regulates eosinophil and neutrophil production in murine bone-marrow through multiple lineage- and stage-selective mechanisms.

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