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J Surg Res. 2011 Dec;171(2):769-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.05.035. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Role of the mTOR pathway in LPS-activated monocytes: influence of hypertonic saline.

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  • 1Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA. valschae@u.washington.edu



As heightened protein synthesis is the hallmark of many inflammatory syndromes, we hypothesize that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which control the cap-dependent translation initiation phase, was activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In addition, we studied the effect of hypertonic saline solution (HTS) on the mTOR cascade in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).


PBMCs were isolated from healthy volunteers and treated with LPS. Cells were pretreated with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and mTOR inhibitors, or with HTS. Supernatants were harvested 20 h following LPS treatment, and interleukin-10 (IL-10), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis alpha (TNFα) were analyzed by ELISA. Immunoblot experiments were performed for components of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway at various time points. RNA was extracted after 90 min for real-time RT-PCR quantification.


The mTOR pathway is activated in PBMCs within 1 h of LPS stimulation. Pretreatment with rapamycin, a specific inhibitor of mTOR, resulted in a significant decrease of IL-10 and IL-6 translation and expression but did not affect the LPS-induced TNFα production. Both the mTOR pathway and the LPS-induced IL-6 production were down-regulated by HTS pretreatment.


The PI3k/Akt/mTOR cascade modulates LPS-induced cytokines production differentially. IL-10 and IL-6 expression are both up-regulated by activation of the mTOR pathway in response to LPS in PBMCs, while TNFα is not controlled by the mTOR cascade. Meanwhile, pretreatment of PBMCs with a HTS solution suppresses mTOR activity as well as LPS-induced IL-6, suggesting a more central role for mTOR as a regulator of the immuno-inflammatory response.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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