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Int J Mol Med. 2005 Mar;15(3):503-11.

Diminished PKC activity and decreased binding of transcription factors are involved in the impaired production of nitric oxide by macrophages from tumor-bearing mice.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


In previous studies we have shown that peritoneal macrophages (PEM) from mammary tumor-bearing BALB/c mice (T-PEM) display a diminished ability to lyse tumor cells upon stimulation with LPS, a phenomenon that is associated to a lower production of nitric oxide, and that is reverted upon costimulation with IFN-gamma. The reduced lytic activity and NO production displayed by T-PEM upon LPS activation were earlier shown by us to be due to a diminished transcription of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene. In the present study, we have investigated the participation of possible signaling molecules and transcription factors - PKC, NF-kappaB, C/EBP and IRF-1 - in the downregulation of NO production in LPS-activated T-PEM. It was found that PKC activity was greatly reduced in T-PEM as compared to normal macrophages, and did not respond to activation. Interestingly, the different PKC isozyme levels were not significantly altered in T-PEM, with the exception of PKC delta. Alterations in the binding activity of the transcription factors NF-kappaB and C/EBP appeared to be involved in the reduced transcription of iNOS previously observed in T-PEM after LPS activation. These results provide evidence that reductions in iNOS transcription secondary to alterations in cell signaling may be responsible for the diminished capacity of macrophages of LPS-activated tumor-bearers to produce NO and lyse tumor targets.

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