JAK/STAT pathway plays a critical role in the proinflammatory gene expression and apoptosis of RAW264.7 cells induced by trichothecenes as DON and T-2 toxin

Xu Wang, Qin Liu, Awais Ihsan, Lingli Huang, Menghong Dai, Haihong Hao, Guyue Cheng, Zhenli Liu, Yulian Wang, Zonghui Yuan
Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 2012, 127 (2): 412-24
Deoxynivalenol (DON) and T-2 toxin commonly affect cells of the immune system and cause inflammation and apoptosis. Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway is highly associated with inflammatory process and apoptosis and is worth investigating its role when cells were exposed to trichothecenes. The results showed that DON and T-2 upregulated the messenger RNA (mRNA) expressions of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, JAK1-2, STAT1-3, and suppressors of cytokine signaling members and activated the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3 with a dose-dependent manner in RAW264.7 cells. AG490 and Stattic, the specific inhibitors of JAK/STAT pathway, blocked the STAT1 and STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation and decreased the gene expressions of proinflammatory cytokines induced by trichothecenes. Interestingly, the time when the mRNA levels of STAT1 and STAT3 were significantly upregulated was at 12 h, which was much later than the time when mitogen-activated protein kinase was activated, indicating that STATs might be the downstream targets of the trichothecenes. With the intervention of AG490 and Stattic, DON and T-2 toxin induced apoptosis in a strengthened way, with the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and the decrease ratios of the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)/bcl-2-associated X (Bax) and B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL)/Bax. After exposing to DON and T-2 toxin, cells exhibited G2/M and G0/G1 phase arrest, respectively. The increased mRNA expressions of STAT target genes p21 and cyclin D1 for DON and the increases in p21 mRNA and the decreases in cyclin D1 for T-2 toxin were observed. These results demonstrated for the first time that the activation of JAK/STAT might be a critical mediator to induce the inflammatory response and apoptosis in macrophage in response to trichothecenes.

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