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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33172. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033172. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Glutathione peroxidase-1 primes pro-inflammatory cytokine production after LPS challenge in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Reactive oxygen species produced during the innate immune response to LPS are important agents of anti-pathogen defence but may also cause oxidative lung damage. Glutathione peroxidase-1 (gpx-1) is an anti-oxidant enzyme that may protect lungs from such damage. We assessed the in vivo importance of gpx-1 in LPS-induced lung inflammation. Male wild-type (WT) or gpx-1 deficient (gpx-1(-/-)) mice were treated intranasally with PBS or 10 µg LPS and killed 3 and 24 h post LPS. Lungs were lavaged with PBS and then harvested for inflammatory marker expression. LPS caused an intense neutrophilia in WT BALF evident 3 and 24 h post challenge that was reduced in gpx-1(-/-) mice. In addition, LPS-treated gpx-1(-/-) mice had significantly fewer macrophages than LPS-treated WT mice. To understand the basis for this paradoxical reduction we assessed inflammatory cytokines and proteases at protein and transcript levels. MMP-9 expression and net gelatinase activity in BALF of gpx-1(-/-) mice treated with LPS for 3 and 24 h was no different to that found in LPS-treated WT mice. BALF from LPS-treated gpx-1(-/-) mice (3 h) had less TNF-α, MIP-2 and GM-CSF protein than LPS-treated WT mice. In contrast, LPS-induced increases in TNF-α, MIP-2 and GM-CSF mRNA expression in WT mice were similar to those observed in gpx-1(-/-) mice. These attenuated protein levels were unexpectedly not mirrored by reduced mRNA transcripts but were associated with increased 20S proteasome expression. Thus, these data suggest that gpx-1 primes pro-inflammatory cytokine production after LPS challenge in vivo.

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