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J Immunol. 2003 Feb 15;170(4):1770-80.

NF-kappa B hyperactivation has differential effects on the APC function of nonobese diabetic mouse macrophages.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a chronic inflammatory response resulting in the selective destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. We have previously demonstrated that dendritic cells (DCs) prepared from nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, a model for spontaneous type 1 diabetes, exhibit hyperactivation of NF-kappaB resulting in an increased capacity to secrete proinflammatory cytokines and stimulate T cells compared with DCs of nondiabetic strains of mice. In the current study, the activational status of NF-kappaB and its role in regulating the APC function of macrophages (Mphi) prepared from NOD, nonobese resistant (NOR), and BALB/c mice was investigated. Independent of the stimulus, splenic and bone marrow-derived Mphi prepared from NOD mice exhibited increased NF-kappaB activation relative to NOR and BALB/c Mphi. This hyperactivation was detected for different NF-kappaB complexes and correlated with increased IkappaBalpha degradation. Furthermore, increased NF-kappaB activation resulted in an enhanced capacity of NOD vs NOR or BALB/c Mphi to secrete IL-12(p70), TNF-alpha, and IL-1alpha, which was inhibited upon infection with an adenoviral recombinant encoding a modified form of IkappaBalpha. In contrast, elevated NF-kappaB activation had no significant effect on the capacity of NOD Mphi to stimulate CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells in an Ag-specific manner. These results demonstrate that in addition to NOD DCs, NOD Mphi exhibit hyperactivation of NF-kappaB, which correlates with an increased ability to mediate a proinflammatory response. Furthermore, NF-kappaB influences Mphi APC function by regulating cytokine secretion but not T cell stimulation.

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