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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2003 Dec;29(6):677-82. Epub 2003 Jun 12.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma is deficient in alveolar macrophages from patients with alveolar proteinosis.

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Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Desk A90, Cleveland, OH 44195-5038.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) is a ligand-activated, nuclear transcription factor that regulates genes involved in lipid and glucose metabolism, inflammation, and other pathways. The hematopoietic growth factor, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), is essential for lung homeostasis and is thought to regulate surfactant clearance, but mechanisms involved are unknown. GM-CSF is reported to stimulate PPAR-gamma, but the activation status of PPAR-gamma in human alveolar macrophages has not been defined. In pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), a rare interstitial lung disease, surfactant accumulates in alveolar airspaces, resident macrophages become engorged with lipoproteinaceous material, and GM-CSF deficiency is strongly implicated in pathogenesis. Here we show that PPAR-gamma mRNA and protein are highly expressed in alveolar macrophages of healthy control subjects but severely deficient in PAP in a cell-specific manner. Further, we show that the PPAR-gamma-regulated lipid scavenger receptor, CD36, is also deficient in PAP. PPAR-gamma and CD36 deficiency are not intrinsic to PAP alveolar macrophages, but can be upregulated by GM-CSF therapy. Moreover, GM-CSF treatment of patients with PAP fully restores PPAR-gamma to healthy control levels. Based upon these novel findings, we hypothesize that GM-CSF regulates lung homeostasis via PPAR-gamma-dependent pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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