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J Immunol. 2007 Nov 15;179(10):7030-41.

Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation reduces the tissue effects of transgenic IL-13.

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Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


IL-13 is a major Th2 cytokine that is capable of inducing inflammation, excessive mucus production, airway hyperresponsiveness, alveolar remodeling, and fibrosis in the murine lung. Although IL-13 through its binding to IL-4Ralpha/IL-13Ralpha1 uses the canonical STAT6-signaling pathway to mediate these tissue responses, recent studies have demonstrated that other signaling pathways may also be involved. Previous studies from our laboratory demonstrated that IL-13 mediates its tissue effects by inducing a wide variety of downstream genes many of which are known to be regulated by NF-kappaB. As a result, we hypothesized that NF-kappaB activation plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of IL-13-induced tissue alterations. To test this hypothesis, we compared the effects of transgenic IL-13 in mice with normal and diminished levels of NF-kappaB activity. Three pharmacologic approaches were used to inhibit NF-kappaB including 1) PS1145, a small molecule inhibitor of IkappaBalpha kinase (IKK2), 2) antennapedia-linked NF-kappaB essential modulator-binding domain (NBD) peptide (wild-type NBD), and 3) an adenoviral construct expressing a dominant-negative version of IKK2. We also crossed IL-13-transgenic mice with mice with null mutations of p50 to generate mice that overproduced IL-13 in the presence and absence of this NF-kappaB component. These studies demonstrate that all these interventions reduced IL-13-induced tissue inflammation, fibrosis and alveolar remodeling. In addition, we show that both PS1145 and wild-type NBD inhibit lung inflammatory and structural cell apoptosis. PS1145 inhibits caspase activation and up-regulates inhibitor of apoptosis protein cellular-inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (c-IAP-1). Therefore, NF-kappaB is an attractive target for immunotherapy of IL-13-mediated diseases.

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