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Shock. 2002 Jan;17(1):47-54.

Paracrine suppression of apoptosis by cytokine-stimulated neutrophils involves divergent regulation of NF-kappaB, Bcl-X(L), and Bak.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University School of Medicine, Providence 02903, USA.


Dysregulated polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) apoptosis and PMN-mediated organ damage have been associated with several medical conditions such as systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and ischemia/reperfusion injury. IL-1beta and IL-8 are two cytokines that are elevated under similar conditions. Therefore, we hypothesized that PMN exposed to these cytokines would secrete factors that could affect PMN apoptosis in a cell contact-independent manner. We have previously shown that media conditioned by IL-1beta-stimulated PMN (CM-IL1beta) for 2 h suppressed spontaneous PMN apoptosis. Data presented here demonstrate that media conditioned by IL-8-stimulated PMN (CM-IL8) also have the ability to suppress spontaneous, as well as FasL- and TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. In contrast, CM-IL1beta was able to suppress FasL-induced, but not TNF-alpha-induced, apoptosis. To elucidate the mechanisms these media use to elicit their effects, we examined the expression and function of several apoptosis-related proteins. Experimental results demonstrate that both CM-IL1beta and CM-IL8 have the ability to delay caspase activation, but have no effect on the expression of their upstream activator, Fas, or its ligand, FasL. Examination of several Bcl-2 family members revealed a selective regulation by each media: CM-IL1beta up-regulated Bcl-X(L), while CM-IL8 down-regulated Bak expression. Additionally, CM-IL1beta, but not CM-IL8, promoted the activation of NF-kappaB, which has anti-apoptotic activity. Together, we can conclude that IL-1beta- and IL-8-stimulated PMN have the ability to suppress PMN apoptosis in a paracrine manner, and that the extent and mechanism of suppression is specific for each.

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