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Int Immunol. 2004 Dec;16(12):1701-9. Epub 2004 Oct 11.

Role of c-Jun N-terminal kinase on lipopolysaccharide induced maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Japan.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that play a pivotal role in the initiation of T cell-dependent immune responses. Immature DCs obtained from peripheral blood CD14+ monocytes by culture with granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) differentiate into mature DCs upon stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). At least three families of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), that is, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and p38 MAPK, are involved in the DC maturation process. We report investigations of the role of JNK in the maturation of human monocyte-derived DCs. SP600125, a specific inhibitor of JNK, inhibited the LPS-induced up-regulation of CD80, CD83, CD86 and CD54, but augmented the up-regulation of HLA-DR. SP600125 slightly inhibited the down-regulation of FITC-dextran uptake during DC maturation. However, SP600125 did not affect the LPS induced up-regulation of allostimulatory capacity of DCs. SP600125 inhibited the release of IL-12 p70 and TNF-alpha from mature DCs. Although autologous T cells primed by the ovalbumin (OVA)-pulsed mature DCs produced IFN-gamma, but not IL-4, OVA-pulsed SP600125-treated mature DCs could initiate IL-4 production from autologous T cells. In contrast, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, profoundly inhibited the phenotypic and functional maturation of DCs, while an ERK inhibitor, PD98059, had little or no effect. Taken together, the JNK signaling pathway appears to have a role that is distinct from the p38 MAPK and ERK cascades in the maturation process of DCs, and may be involved in the augmentation of Th2-prone T cell responses when it is suppressed.

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