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Nat Med. 2001 Dec;7(12):1291-7.

Possible new role for NF-kappaB in the resolution of inflammation.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, William Harvey Research Institute, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.


Inflammation involves the sequential activation of signaling pathways leading to the production of both pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators. Although much attention has focused on pro-inflammatory pathways that initiate inflammation, relatively little is known about the mechanisms that switch off inflammation and resolve the inflammatory response. The transcription factor NF-kappaB is thought to have a central role in the induction of pro-inflammatory gene expression and has attracted interest as a new target for the treatment of inflammatory disease. We show here that NF-kappaB activation in leukocytes recruited during the onset of inflammation is associated with pro-inflammatory gene expression, whereas such activation during the resolution of inflammation is associated with the expression of anti-inflammatory genes and the induction of apoptosis. Inhibition of NF-kappaB during the resolution of inflammation protracts the inflammatory response and prevents apoptosis. This suggests that NF-kappaB has an anti-inflammatory role in vivo involving the regulation of inflammatory resolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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