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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2008 May-Jun;40(3):370-80. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Role of p38 in regulation of hematopoiesis: effect of p38 inhibition on cytokine production and transcription factor activity in human bone marrow stromal cells.

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GlaxoSmithKline, 709 Swedeland Road, Mail Stop UE0364, King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA.


This study was designed to evaluate effects of specific p38 MAP kinase inhibition on gene and protein expression of essential hematopoietic cytokines in primary human bone marrow stromal cells (HBMSC) and to identify downstream transcription factors (TF) regulated by the p38 MAP kinase signalling pathway. In vitro effects of p38 inhibitors (p38i) on cytokine regulation were compared to inhibitors of other major signalling pathways including PI3 kinase, JNK, MEK-1, NF-kappaB or protein kinase C (PKC). HBMSC were pre-treated with p38i (SB-203580) for 1 h and then stimulated with 200 ng/ml lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Supernatants and RNA were collected 6 h post LPS treatment for quantitative protein and mRNA analyses by ELISA and real-time RT-PCR, respectively, for interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-11 (IL-11), granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and Activin A. Effects of the inhibitors of PI3 kinase (LY294002), JNK (synthetic inhibitory peptide), MEK-1 (PD90859), NF-kappaB (pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate (PDTC)) and protein kinase C (calphostin C) on HBMSC expression hematopoietic cytokines were evaluated and compared. SB-203580 caused dose-dependent decreases in cytokine protein expression and decreased IL-6 and IL-11 mRNA expression. Of the pathway inhibitors examined, only NF-kappaB elicited similar effects on cytokine protein and mRNA expression. p38-regulated transcription factor activity was assessed using a DNA/Protein array. Several TFs linked to cytokine regulation were modulated by SB-203580, with 10 of 21 p38-regulated TFs identified have not been previously linked to downstream p38 signalling. These observations in cultured HBMSC have illustrated the involvement of cytokine proteins, mRNA and TF activities and may improve the current understanding of the in vivo p38i suppression of erythropoiesis. In addition, these results suggest that IL-6, IL-11, GM-CSF, G-CSF and Activin A are similarly regulated by p38 and NF-kappaB and that the MEK1, JNK and PKC pathways appear to play a more limited role in modulating cytokine expression in HBMSC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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