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J Immunol. 2000 Aug 15;165(4):2190-7.

Requirement of hydrogen peroxide generation in TGF-beta 1 signal transduction in human lung fibroblast cells: involvement of hydrogen peroxide and Ca2+ in TGF-beta 1-induced IL-6 expression.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Taejon, Republic of Korea.


Stimulation of human lung fibroblast cells with TGF-beta1 resulted in a transient burst of reactive oxygen species with maximal increase at 5 min after treatment. This reactive oxygen species increase was inhibited by the antioxidant, N-acetyl-l -cysteine (NAC). TGF-beta1 treatment stimulated IL-6 gene expression and protein synthesis in human lung fibroblast cells. Antioxidants including NAC, glutathione, and catalase reduced TGF-beta1-induced IL-6 gene expression, and direct H2O2 treatment induced IL-6 expression in a dose-dependent manner. NAC also reduced TGF-beta1-induced AP-1 binding activity, which is involved in IL-6 gene expression. It has been reported that Ca2+ influx is stimulated by TGF-beta1 treatment. EGTA suppressed TGF-beta1- or H2O2-induced IL-6 expression, and ionomycin increased IL-6 expression, with simultaneously modulating AP-1 activity in the same pattern. PD98059, an inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase/extracellular signal-related kinase kinase 1, suppressed TGF-beta1- or H2O2-induced IL-6 and AP-1 activation. In addition, TGF-beta1 or H2O2 increased MAPK activity which was reduced by EGTA and NAC, suggesting that MAPK is involved in TGF-beta1-induced IL-6 expression. Taken together, these results indicate that TGF-beta1 induces a transient increase of intracellular H2O2 production, which regulates downstream events such as Ca2+ influx, MAPK, and AP-1 activation and IL-6 gene expression.

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