Phosphorylation of tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (p55) protects macrophages from silica-induced apoptosis.


Journal Article

Macrophages play a fundamental role in silicosis in part by removing silica particles and producing inflammatory mediators in response to silica. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) is a prominent mediator in silicosis. Silica induction of apoptosis in macrophages might be mediated by TNFalpha. However, TNFalpha also activates signal transduction pathways (NF-kappaB and AP-1) that rescue cells from apoptosis. Therefore, we studied the TNFalpha-mediated mechanisms that confer macrophage protection against the pro-apoptotic effects of silica. We will show that exposure to silica induced TNFalpha production by RAW 264.7 cells, but not by IC-21. Silica-induced activation of NF-kappaB and AP-1 was only observed in RAW 264.7 macrophages. ERK activation in response to silica exposure was only observed in RAW 264.7 macrophages, whereas activation of p38 phosphorylation was predominantly observed in IC-21 macrophages. No changes in JNK activity were observed in either cell line in response to silica exposure. Silica induced apoptosis in both macrophage cell lines, but the induction of apoptosis was significantly larger in IC-21 cells. Protection against apoptosis in RAW 264.7 cells in response to silica was mediated by enhanced NF-kappaB activation and ERK-mediated phosphorylation of the p55 TNFalpha receptor. Inhibition of these two protective mechanisms by specific pharmacological inhibitors or transfection of dominant negative mutants that inhibit IkappaBalpha or ERK phosphorylation significantly increased silica-induced apoptosis in RAW 264.7 macrophages. These data suggest that NF-kappaB activation and ERK-mediated phosphorylation of the p55 TNF receptor are important cell survival mechanisms in the macrophage response to silica exposure.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gambelli, F; Di, P; Niu, X; Friedman, M; Hammond, T; Riches, DWH; Ortiz, LA

Published Date

  • January 16, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 279 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 2020 - 2029

PubMed ID

  • 14570868

Pubmed Central ID

  • 14570868

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9258

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1074/jbc.M309763200


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States