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J Immunol. 2011 Jul 1;187(1):482-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003552. Epub 2011 May 27.

Group X secretory phospholipase A2 enhances TLR4 signaling in macrophages.

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University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


Secretory phospholipase A(2)s (sPLA(2)) hydrolyze glycerophospholipids to liberate lysophospholipids and free fatty acids. Although group X (GX) sPLA(2) is recognized as the most potent mammalian sPLA(2) in vitro, its precise physiological function(s) remains unclear. We recently reported that GX sPLA(2) suppresses activation of the liver X receptor in macrophages, resulting in reduced expression of liver X receptor-responsive genes including ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 (ABCA1) and G1 (ABCG1), and a consequent decrease in cellular cholesterol efflux and increase in cellular cholesterol content (Shridas et al. 2010. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 30: 2014-2021). In this study, we provide evidence that GX sPLA(2) modulates macrophage inflammatory responses by altering cellular cholesterol homeostasis. Transgenic expression or exogenous addition of GX sPLA(2) resulted in a significantly higher induction of TNF-α, IL-6, and cyclooxygenase-2 in J774 macrophage-like cells in response to LPS. This effect required GX sPLA(2) catalytic activity, and was abolished in macrophages that lack either TLR4 or MyD88. The hypersensitivity to LPS in cells overexpressing GX sPLA(2) was reversed when cellular free cholesterol was normalized using cyclodextrin. Consistent with results from gain-of-function studies, peritoneal macrophages from GX sPLA(2)-deficient mice exhibited a significantly dampened response to LPS. Plasma concentrations of inflammatory cytokines were significantly lower in GX sPLA(2)-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice after LPS administration. Thus, GX sPLA(2) amplifies signaling through TLR4 by a mechanism that is dependent on its catalytic activity. Our data indicate this effect is mediated through alterations in plasma membrane free cholesterol and lipid raft content.

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