Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Counterregulates Dexamethasone-Mediated Suppression of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 Function and Differentially Influences Human CD4+ T Cell Proliferation under Hypoxia

Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charité University Hospital, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 01/2011; 186(2):764-74. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903421
Source: PubMed


Hypoxia, a feature of inflammation and tumors, is a potent inducer of the proinflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). In transformed cells, MIF was shown to modulate and to be modulated via the oxygen-sensitive transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1. Furthermore, anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids (GCs) were described to regulate MIF action. However, in-depth studies of the interaction between MIF and HIF-1 and GC action in nontransformed primary human CD4(+) T cells under hypoxia are missing. Therefore, we investigated the functional relationship between MIF and HIF and the impact of the GC dexamethasone (DEX) on these key players of inflammation in human CD4(+) T cells. In this article, we show that hypoxia, and specifically HIF-1, is a potent and rapid inducer of MIF expression in primary human CD4(+) T cells, as well as in Jurkat T cells. MIF signaling via CD74, in turn, is essential for hypoxia-mediated HIF-1α expression and HIF-1 target gene induction involving ERK/mammalian target of rapamycin activity complemented by PI3K activation upon mitogen stimulation. Furthermore, MIF signaling enhances T cell proliferation under normoxia but not hypoxia. MIF also counterregulates DEX-mediated suppression of MIF and HIF-1α expression. Based on these data, we suggest that hypoxia significantly affects the expression of HIF-1α in a MIF-dependent manner leading to a positive-feedback loop in primary human CD4(+) T cells, thus influencing the lymphoproliferative response and DEX action via the GC receptor. Therefore, we suggest that HIF and/or MIF could be useful targets to optimize GC therapy when treating inflammation.

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    • "Stimulation was done with PMA 10 ng/ml (16 nM) (Sigma Aldrich Chemie GmbH, Hamburg, Germany). For kinetic analyzes under hypoxia, monocytes were incubated in a water-jacket chamber sealed with a Clark-type oxygen electrode (Strathkelvin Instruments, North Lanarkshire, Scotland) as described previously [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Inflammatory arthritis is a progressive disease with chronic inflammation of joints, which is mainly characterized by the infiltration of immune cells and synovial hyperproliferation. Monocytes migrate towards inflamed areas and differentiate into macrophages. In inflamed tissues, much lower oxygen levels (hypoxia) are present in comparison to the peripheral blood. Hence, a metabolic adaptation process must take place. Other studies suggest that Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) may regulate this process, but the mechanism involved for human monocytes is not yet clear. To address this issue, we analyzed the expression and function of HIF-1α in monocytes and macrophages, but also considered alternative pathways involving nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells (NFκB). Methods Isolated human CD14+ monocytes were incubated under normoxia and hypoxia conditions with or without phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) stimulation, respectively. Nuclear and cytosolic fractions were prepared in order to detect HIF-1α and NFκB by immunoblot. For the experiments with macrophages, primary human monocytes were differentiated into human monocyte derived macrophages (hMDM) using human macrophage colony-stimulating factor (hM-CSF). The effects of normoxia and hypoxia on gene expression were compared between monocytes and hMDMs using quantitative PCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction). Results We demonstrate, using primary human monocytes and hMDM, that the localization of transcription factor HIF-1α during the differentiation process is shifted from the cytosol (in monocytes) into the nucleus (in macrophages), apparently as an adaptation to a low oxygen environment. For this localization change, protein kinase C alpha/beta 1 (PKC-α/β1 ) plays an important role. In monocytes, it is NFκB1, and not HIF-1α, which is of central importance for the expression of hypoxia-adjusted genes. Conclusions These data demonstrate that during differentiation of monocytes into macrophages, crucial cellular adaptation mechanisms are decisively changed.
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    • "A recent article suggests a positive-feedback loop of HIF-1α and the proinflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in human CD4+ T cells [36]. Hypoxia, and specifically HIF-1, is a potent and rapid inducer of MIF. "
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