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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 Dec;331(3):1051-61. doi: 10.1124/jpet.109.157651. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Adenosine suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha production by murine macrophages through a protein kinase A- and exchange protein activated by cAMP-independent signaling pathway.

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1
Department of Pharmacology and the Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.

Abstract

Adenosine is generated during tissue hypoxia and stress, which reduces inflammation by suppressing the activity of most immune cells. Among its various actions, adenosine suppresses the production of proinflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, through the cAMP-elevating A(2A) adenosine receptor (AR) subtype. In this study, we examined the signaling mechanisms by which A(2A)AR activation inhibits TNF-alpha production in thioglycollate-elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages. Pretreating murine macrophages with the nonselective AR agonist adenosine-5'-N-ethylcarboxamide (NECA), the A(2A)AR agonist 2-[p-(2-carboxyethyl)phenethylamino]-5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (CGS 21680), or the cAMP-elevating agent forskolin reduced TNF-alpha production in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by greater than 60%. All of these agents increased cAMP production in macrophages and activated protein kinase A (PKA). However, we were surprised to find that treating macrophages with three different PKA inhibitors or small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of the exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac-1) failed to block the suppressive actions of NECA or forskolin on LPS-induced TNF-alpha release. Instead, okadaic acid was effective at low concentrations that selectively inhibit protein serine/threonine phosphatases. Subsequent studies showed that NECA and forskolin decreased LPS-induced steady-state TNF-alpha mRNA levels; this effect was due to a decreased rate of transcription based on assays examining the rate of generation of primary TNF-alpha transcripts. Treatment with NECA or forskolin did not interfere with LPS-induced translocation or DNA binding of the RelA/p65 subunit of nuclear factor-kappaB or phosphorylation of inhibitor of nuclear factor-kappaB-alpha, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, or p38 kinase. Our results suggest that AR activation inhibits LPS-induced TNF-alpha production by murine macrophages at the level of gene transcription through a unique cAMP-dependent, but PKA- and Epac-independent, signaling pathway involving protein phosphatase activity.

PMID:
19749080
PMCID:
PMC2784717
DOI:
10.1124/jpet.109.157651
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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