Lack of Transcription Factor p53 Exacerbates Elastase-Induced Emphysema in Mice

Sandra Chrusciel, Maéva Zysman, Philippe Caramelle, Arnaud Tiendrebeogo, Indoumady Baskara, Sabine Le Gouvello, François Chabot, Stéphane Giraudier, Jorge Boczkowski, Laurent Boyer
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 2016, 54 (2): 188-99
The transcription factor p53 is overexpressed in the lung of patients with emphysema, but it remains unclear if it has a deleterious or protective effect in disease progression. We investigated the role of p53 in the elastase-induced emphysema model and the molecular underlining mechanisms. Wild-type (WT) and p53(-/-) mice were instilled with pancreatic porcine elastase. We quantified emphysema (morphometric analysis), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), and TNF-α in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) (ELISA), oxidative stress markers [heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1 (NQO1), and quantitative RT-PCR], matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12) expression, and macrophage apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3, immunofluorescence). p53 gene expression was up-regulated in the lung of elastase-instilled mice. p53 deletion aggravated elastase-induced emphysema severity, pulmonary inflammation (macrophage and neutrophil numbers and CCL2 and TNF-α levels in BAL), and lung oxidative stress. These findings, except for the increase in CCL2, were reproduced in WT mice transplanted with p53(-/-) bone marrow cells. The increased number of macrophages in p53(-/-) mice was not a consequence of reduced apoptosis or an excess of chemotaxis toward CCL2. Macrophage expression of MMP12 was higher in p53(-/-) mice compared with WT mice after elastase instillation. These findings provide evidence that p53(-/-) mice and WT mice grafted with p53(-/-) bone marrow cells are more prone to developing elastase-induced emphysema, supporting a protective role of p53, and more precisely p53 expressed in macrophages, against emphysema development. The pivotal role played by macrophages in this phenomenon may involve the MMP12-TNF-α pathway.

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