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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2019 Jun 1;316(6):L1035-L1048. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00299.2018. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Loss of myeloid-specific protein phosphatase 2A enhances lung injury and fibrosis and results in IL-10-dependent sensitization of epithelial cell apoptosis.

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Department of Pediatrics and Critical Care, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Molecular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Program, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Lurie Children's Hospital , Chicago, Illinois.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a ubiquitously expressed Ser/Thr phosphatase is an important regulator of cytokine signaling and cell function. We previously showed that myeloid-specific deletion of PP2A (LysMcrePP2A-/-) increased mortality in a murine peritoneal sepsis model. In the current study, we assessed the role of myeloid PP2A in regulation of lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or bleomycin delivered intratracheally. LysMcrePP2A-/- mice experienced increased lung injury in response to both LPS and bleomycin. LysMcrePP2A-/- mice developed more exuberant fibrosis in response to bleomycin, elevated cytokine responses, and chronic myeloid inflammation. Bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) from LysMcrePP2A-/- mice showed exaggerated inflammatory cytokine release under conditions of both M1 and M2 activation. Notably, secretion of IL-10 was elevated under all stimulation conditions, including activation of BMDMs by multiple Toll-like receptor ligands. Supernatants collected from LPS-stimulated LysMcrePP2A-/- BMDMs induced epithelial cell apoptosis in vitro but this effect was mitigated when IL-10 was also depleted from the BMDMs by crossing LysMcrePP2A-/- mice with systemic IL-10-/- mice (LysMcrePP2A-/- × IL-10-/-) or when IL-10 was neutralized. Despite these findings, IL-10 did not directly induce epithelial cell apoptosis but sensitized epithelial cells to other mediators from the BMDMs. Taken together our results demonstrate that myeloid PP2A regulates production of multiple cytokines but that its effect is most pronounced on IL-10 production. Furthermore, IL-10 sensitizes epithelial cells to apoptosis in response to myeloid-derived mediators, which likely contributes to the pathogenesis of lung injury and fibrosis in this model.


ARDS; acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome; fibroproliferation; macrophage


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