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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2011;(204):365-90. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-17969-3_16.

Cyclic nucleotides and phosphodiesterases in monocytic differentiation.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Washington, 357280, Seattle, WA 98125, USA.


Monocytes are immune cells that can differentiate into a number of cell types including macrophages, dendritic cells, and osteoclasts upon exposure to various cytokines. The phenotypes of these differentiated cells are highly heterogeneous and their differentiation can be affected by the cyclic nucleotides, 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and 3'-5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The intracellular levels of cAMP and cGMP are controlled through regulation of production by adenylyl and guanylyl cyclases and through degradation by cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs). PDE inhibition and subsequent changes in cyclic nucleotide levels can alter the final phenotype of a differentiating monocyte with regards to surface marker expression, gene expression, or changes in secreted chemokine and cytokine levels. The differentiation process itself can also be either inhibited or augmented by changes in cyclic nucleotide levels, depending on the system being studied and the timing of cyclic nucleotide elevation. This chapter explores the effects of PDE inhibition and increases in cGMP and cAMP on monocytic differentiation into osteoclasts, dendritic cells, and macrophages.

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