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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-04-10
    Description: Airway epithelial cell death and inflammation are pathological features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) is involved in inflammation and multiple cellular processes, e.g., autophagy and apoptosis, but little is known about its function in COPD pathogenesis. In this article, we illustrate how MTOR regulates cigarette smoke (CS)–induced cell death, airway inflammation, and emphysema. Expression of MTOR was significantly decreased and its suppressive signaling protein, tuberous sclerosis 2 (TSC2), was increased in the airway epithelium of human COPD and in mouse lungs with chronic CS exposure. In human bronchial epithelial cells, CS extract (CSE) activated TSC2, inhibited MTOR, and induced autophagy. The TSC2–MTOR axis orchestrated CSE-induced autophagy, apoptosis, and necroptosis in human bronchial epithelial cells; all of which cooperatively regulated CSE-induced inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 through the NF-B pathway. Mice with a specific knockdown of Mtor in bronchial or alveolar epithelial cells exhibited significantly augmented airway inflammation and airspace enlargement in response to CS exposure, accompanied with enhanced levels of autophagy, apoptosis, and necroptosis in the lungs. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MTOR suppresses CS-induced inflammation and emphysema—likely through modulation of autophagy, apoptosis, and necroptosis—and thus suggest that activation of MTOR may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for COPD.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-04-10
    Description: Increasing toxicological and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that ambient particulate matter (PM) could cause adverse health effects including inflammation in the lung. Alveolar macrophages represent a major type of innate immune responses to foreign substances. However, the detailed mechanisms of inflammatory responses induced by PM exposure in macrophages are still unclear. We observed that coarse PM treatment rapidly activated mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) in mouse alveolar macrophages in vivo, and in cultured mouse bone marrow–derived macrophages, mouse peritoneal macrophages, and RAW264.7 cells. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic knockdown of MTOR in bone marrow–derived macrophages leads to an amplified cytokine production upon PM exposure, and mice with specific knockdown of MTOR or ras homolog enriched in brain in myeloid cells exhibit significantly aggregated airway inflammation. Mechanistically, PM activated MTOR through modulation of ERK, AKT serine/threonine kinase 1, and tuberous sclerosis complex signals, whereas MTOR deficiency further enhanced the PM-induced necroptosis and activation of subsequent NF light-chain–enhancer of activated B cells (NFKB) signaling. Inhibition of necroptosis or NFKB pathways significantly ameliorated PM-induced inflammatory response in MTOR-deficient macrophages. The present study thus demonstrates that MTOR serves as an early adaptive signal that suppresses the PM-induced necroptosis, NFKB activation, and inflammatory response in lung macrophages, and suggests that activation of MTOR or inhibition of necroptosis in macrophages may represent novel therapeutic strategies for PM-related airway disorders.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-03-20
    Description: The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to block host antimicrobial responses in infected cells provides a key mechanism for disease pathogenesis. The immune system has evolved to overcome this blockade to restrict the infection, but it is not clear whether two key innate cytokines (IL-12/IL-18) involved in host defense can enhance antimycobacterial mechanisms. In this study, we demonstrated that the combination of IL-12 and IL-18 triggered an antimicrobial response against mycobacteria in infected macrophages (THP-1 and human primary monocyte-derived macrophages) and pulmonary epithelial A549 cells. The inhibition of intracellular bacterial growth required p38–MAPK and STAT4 pathways, the vitamin D receptor, the vitamin D receptor–derived antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin, and autophagy, but not caspase-mediated apoptosis. Finally, the ability of IL-12+IL-18 to activate an innate antimicrobial response in human primary macrophages was dependent on the autonomous production of IFN- and the CAMP/autophagy pathway. Together, these data suggest that IL-12+IL-18 cosignaling can trigger the antimicrobial protein cathelicidin and autophagy, resulting in inhibition of intracellular mycobacteria in macrophages and lung epithelial cells.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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