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Hepatology. 2001 Jan;33(1):91-9.

Activation of retinoic X receptor and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma inhibits nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-alpha production in rat Kupffer cells.

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Department of Medicine and Bioregulatory Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma), which forms a heterodimer with retinoic X receptor (RXR), inhibit the production of certain inflammatory mediators. To clarify the role of the PPAR gamma:RXR signaling pathway in Kupffer cells, we studied the effect of an RXR agonist and PPARgamma agonist on LPS-induced nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production. An RXR-specific agonist, Ro47-5944, and a PPAR gamma-specific agonist, AD4833 (pioglitazone hydrochloride), each inhibited LPS-induced NO and TNF-alpha production. The combined treatment of Ro47-5944 and AD4833 resulted in enhanced inhibition, and suppressed the mRNA levels of NO and TNF-alpha. PPAR gamma:RXR activation did not affect the level of LPS-induced phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. PPAR gamma:RXR activation also did not affect nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) nuclear translocation nor NF-kappa B and activator protein 1 (AP-1) activation in the electrophoretic mobility-shift assay. Finally, PPAR gamma:RXR activation suppressed the LPS-induced promoter activity of the NF-kappa B-luciferase reporter gene in RAW 264.7 cells. These data imply that PPARgamma:RXR activation suppresses LPS-induced NO and TNF-alpha production in Kupffer cells, and that this inhibition occurred at the transcriptional level. Although no consensus PPAR gamma:RXR-responsive element in the promoter regions of the inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and TNF-alpha genes was found, PPAR gamma:RXR may interfere with NF-kappa B and AP-1 transcriptional activity. Our data also suggest a potential therapeutic approach for moderating hepatic injury such as endotoxin shock in which Kupffer cell activation has been implicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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