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J Cell Physiol. 1997 Jul;172(1):94-108.

Inhibition of neutrophil oxidative burst and granule secretion by wortmannin: potential role of MAP kinase and renaturable kinases.

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Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Exposure of neutrophils to a variety of agonists including soluble chemoattractant peptides and cytokines results in degranulation and activation of the oxidative burst (effector functions) that are required for bacterial killing. At present, the signaling pathways regulating these important functions are incompletely characterized. Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases (MAPK) as well as members of a family of "renaturable kinases" are rapidly activated in neutrophils in response to diverse physiological agonists, suggesting that they may regulate cell activation. Antagonists of phosphatidyl inositol-3-(OH) kinase (PI3-kinase) such as wortmannin (Wtmn) inhibit these effector responses as well as certain of the above-mentioned kinases, leading to the suggestion that these enzymes lie downstream of PI3-kinase in the pathway regulating the oxidative burst and granule secretion. However, an apparent discrepancy exists in that, while virtually obliterating activity of PI3-kinase and the oxidase at low concentrations (ID50 < 20 nM), Wtmn has only variable inhibitory effects on MAPK even at substantially higher concentrations (75-100 nM). This raises the possibility that the inhibitory effects of Wtmn are mediated via other enzyme systems. The purpose of the current study was therefore to compare the effects of Wtmn on PI3-kinase activity and on the chemoattractant-activated kinases, and to determine the potential relationship of these pathways to microbicidal responses. In human neutrophils, both the oxidative burst and granule secretion induced by fMLP were inhibited by Wtmn but at markedly different concentrations: the oxidative burst was inhibited with an ID50 of < 5 nM while granule secretion was only partially inhibited at concentrations exceeding 75 nM. Activation of both MEK-1 and MAPK in response to fMLP was only partially inhibited by high doses of Wtmn (ID50 of > 100 nM and approximately 75 nM, respectively). In contrast, Wtmn potently inhibited fMLP-induced activation of the 63 and 69 kDa renaturable kinases (ID50 approximately 5-10 nM). We speculate that the renaturable kinases may be involved in the regulation of the oxidative burst, whereas the MAPK pathway may play a role in other neutrophil functions such as granule secretion.

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