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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2007 Jan;36(1):114-21. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

GM-CSF regulates a PU.1-dependent transcriptional program determining the pulmonary response to LPS.

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Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Division of Pulmonary Biology, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Alveolar macrophages (AMs) normally respond to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by activating Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 signaling, a mechanism critical to lung host defense against gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Because granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-deficient (GM(-/-)) mice are hyporesponsive to LPS, we evaluated the role of GM-CSF in TLR-4 signaling in AMs. Pulmonary TNF-alpha levels and neutrophil recruitment 4 h after intratracheal administration of Pseudomonas LPS were reduced in GM(-/-) compared with wild-type (GM(+/+)) mice. Secretion of TNF-alpha by AMs exposed to LPS ex vivo was also reduced in GM(-/-) mice and restored in mice expressing GM-CSF specifically in the lungs (SPC-GM(+/+)/GM(-/-) mice). LPS-dependent NF-kappaB promoter activity, TNF-alpha secretion, and neutrophil chemokine release were reduced in AM cell lines derived from GM(-/-) mice (mAM) compared with GM(+/+) (MH-S). Retroviral expression of PU.1 in mAM cells, which normally lack PU.1, rescued all of these AM defects. To determine whether GM-CSF, via PU.1, regulated expression of TLR-4 pathway components, mRNA and protein levels for key components were evaluated in MH-S cells (GM(+/+), PU.1(Positive)), mAM cells (GM(-/-), PU.1(Negative)), and mAMPU.1+ cells (GM(-/-), PU.1(Positive)). Cluster of differentiation antigen-14, radioprotective 105, IL-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK)-M mRNA, and protein were dependent upon GM-CSF and restored by expression of PU.1. In contrast, expression of other TLR-4 pathway components (myeloid differentiation-2, TLR-4, IRAK-1, IRAK-2, Toll/IL-1 receptor domain containing adapter protein/MyD88 adaptor-like, myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88, IRAK-4, TNF receptor-associated factor-6, NF-kappaB, inhibitor of NF-kappaB kinase) were not GM-CSF or PU.1-dependent. These results show that GM-CSF, via PU.1, enables AM responses to P. aeruginosa LPS by regulating expression of a specific subset of components of the TLR-4 signaling pathway.

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