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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Jun 1;302(11):L1192-9. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00099.2012. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

RAGE signaling by alveolar macrophages influences tobacco smoke-induced inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 94602, USA.


Receptors for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) are multiligand cell surface receptors of the immunoglobin family expressed by epithelium and macrophages, and expression increases following exposure to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). The present study sought to characterize the proinflammatory contributions of RAGE expressed by alveolar macrophages (AMs) following CSE exposure. Acute exposure of mice to CSE via nasal instillation revealed diminished bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cellularity and fewer AMs in RAGE knockout (KO) mice compared with controls. Primary AMs were obtained from BAL, exposed to CSE in vitro, and analyzed. CSE significantly increased RAGE expression by wild-type AMs. Employing ELISAs, wild-type AMs exposed to CSE had increased levels of active Ras, a small GTPase that perpetuates proinflammatory signaling. Conversely, RAGE KO AMs had less Ras activation compared with wild-type AMs after exposure to CSE. In RAGE KO AMs, assessment of p38 MAPK and NF-κB, important intracellular signaling intermediates induced during an inflammatory response, revealed that CSE-induced inflammation may occur in part via RAGE signaling. Lastly, quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the expression of proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-1β were detectably decreased in RAGE KO AMs exposed to CSE compared with CSE-exposed wild-type AMs. These results reveal that primary AMs orchestrate CSE-induced inflammation, at least in part, via RAGE-mediated mechanisms.

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