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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 23;278(21):19325-30. Epub 2003 Mar 17.

Induction of heme oxygenase-1 expression in murine macrophages is essential for the anti-inflammatory effect of low dose 15-deoxy-Delta 12,14-prostaglandin J2.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Research, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, Republic of China.


15-Deoxy-Delta 12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2), a cyclopentenone prostaglandin, displays a potent anti-inflammatory effect at micromolar concentrations (>2 microM) through direct inhibition of nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B activation. Here we show that at submicromolar concentrations (0.1-0.5 microM) 15d-PGJ2 retains the ability to suppress the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and nitric oxide (NO) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated murine J774 macrophages under the conditions of a prolonged incubation (>12 h). Western blot analysis revealed that the expression of the cytoprotective enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), was induced and coincident with the anti-inflammatory action of 15d-PGJ2. Inhibition of HO-1 activity or scavenging carbon monoxide (CO), a byproduct derived from heme degradation, significantly attenuated the suppressive activity of 15d-PGJ2. Furthermore, LPS-induced NF-kappa B activation assessed by the inhibitory protein of NF-kappa B(I kappa B) degradation and p50 nuclear translocation was diminished in cells subjected to prolonged treatment with the low concentration of 15d-PGJ2. Treatment of cells with the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, or the specific p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, SB203580, blocked the induction of HO-1 and suppression of LPS-induced I kappa B degradation mediated by 15d-PGJ2. Likewise, HO inhibitor and CO scavenger were effective in abolishing the inhibitory effects of 15d-PGJ2 on NF-kappa B activation induced by LPS. The functional role of CO was further demonstrated by the use of a CO releasing molecule, tricarbonyldichlororuthenium(II) dimer, which significantly suppressed LPS-induced nuclear translocation of p50 as assessed by confocal immunofluorescence. Collectively, these data suggest that even at submicromolar concentrations 15d-PGJ2 can exert an anti-inflammatory effect in macrophages through a mechanism that involves the action of HO/CO.

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