The role of endogenous and exogenous ligands for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha) in the regulation of inflammation in macrophages

Concetta Crisafulli, Salvatore Cuzzocrea
Shock 2009, 32 (1): 62-73
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of endogenous and exogenous peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha), a nuclear receptor, on the regulation of inflammation in macrophages. To address this question, we have stimulated peritoneal macrophages from PPAR-alpha wild-type mice and PPAR-alpha knockout mice (PPAR-alpha) with 10 microg/mL LPS and 100 U/mL IFN-gamma. We report here that the absence of a functional PPAR-alpha gene in PPAR-alpha knockout mice resulted in a significant augmentation of various inflammatory parameters in peritoneal macrophages. In particular, we have clearly demonstrated that PPAR-alpha gene deletion increases (1) the mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation (extracellular signal-regulated kinase, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, and p38), (2) nuclear factor-kappaB activation, (3) IkappaB-alpha degradation, (4) iNOS expression and NO formation, and (5) cyclooxygenase 2 expression and prostaglandin E2 formation caused by LPS/IFN-gamma stimulation. On the contrary, the incubation of peritoneal macrophages from PPAR-alpha wild type with clofibrate (2 mM) at 2 h before the LPS and IFN-gamma stimulation significantly reduced the expression and the release of the proinflammatory mediators. To elucidate whether the protective effects of clofibrate is related to activation of the PPAR-alpha receptor, we also investigated the effect of clofibrate treatment on PPAR-alpha-deficient mice. The absence of the PPAR-alpha receptor significantly abolished the protective effect of the PPAR-alpha agonist against LPS/IFN-gamma-induced macrophage inflammation. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the endogenous and exogenous PPAR-alpha ligands reduce the degree of macrophage inflammation caused by LPS/IFN-gamma stimulation.

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