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J Immunol. 1997 Aug 1;159(3):1404-11.

Identification of an inhibitor targeting macrophage production of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 as TGF-beta 1.

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Department of Medicine, University College London Medical School, United Kingdom.


Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is expressed in a diverse range of cells in response to various pathologic stimuli, whereas little is known about endogenous inhibitors of MCP-1 expression. I sought negative regulators of MCP-1 in culture medium conditioned by several cell lines and found that glomerular mesangial cells exclusively secrete a factor that inhibits expression of MCP-1 by activated macrophages. Treatment of J774.2 macrophages with conditioned medium from mesangial cells blunted the induction of MCP-1 by LPS. Even after the induction, subsequent treatment of macrophages with the conditioned medium down-regulated the MCP-1 expression. Medium conditioned by normal rat glomeruli contained a similar inhibitory activity that was enhanced in regenerating glomeruli, where mesangial cells are activated. The activity of the conditioned medium was not diminished, but enhanced by heat treatment, which was consistent with the unique property of TGF-beta family of molecules. Indeed, the mesangial cell-derived medium contained active TGF-beta 1. An anti-TGF-beta 1 neutralizing Ab abolished the inhibitory effect exerted by the mesangial cell medium, and externally added TGF-beta 1 suppressed the MCP-1 expression by macrophages at both mRNA and protein levels. The inhibitory effect of TGF-beta 1 on MCP-1 was observed in other macrophage cell lines, RAW264.7 and NR8383, and peritoneal macrophages, but not in fibroblastic cell line NRK49F. Treatment of J774.2 macrophages with TGF-beta 1 inhibited LPS induction of c-jun that was found to be crucial for the MCP-1 expression. These data demonstrate that TGF-beta 1 functions as an inhibitor of MCP-1 expression in macrophages possibly via down-regulation of c-Jun/activator protein-1.

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