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TNF-alpha mediated suppression of tissue type plasminogen activator expression in vascular endothelial cells is NF-kappaB- and p38 MAPK-dependent

Journal article
Authors Erik Ulfhammer
Pia Larsson
Lena Karlsson
Thordis Hrafnkelsdottir
Maria Bokarewa
Andrej Tarkowski
Sverker Jern
Published in J Thromb Haemost
Volume 4
Issue 8
Pages 1781-9
ISSN 1538-7933 (Print)
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Medicine, Department of Emergeny and Cardiovascular Medicine
Pages 1781-9
Language en
Keywords Binding Sites, Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism, Cells, Cultured, Endothelium, Vascular/cytology/*metabolism, Fibrinolysis, *Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Inflammation, NF-kappa B/*metabolism, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Signal Transduction, Tissue Plasminogen Activator/*biosynthesis, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism/*physiology, Umbilical Veins/cytology, p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/*metabolism
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: Several proatherothrombotic conditions are associated with enhanced levels of circulating proinflammatory cytokines, which are believed to impair endothelial fibrinolytic capacity. Objective: This study aims at investigating how tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha regulates endothelial gene expression of the key fibrinolytic enzyme tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA). METHODS: Cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells were pretreated with selective inhibitors of the three major inflammatory signaling pathways activated by TNF-alpha; the nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappaB), the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), and the c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways. Following TNF-alpha stimulation, effects on t-PA gene expression were evaluated with real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and interactions of nuclear proteins with potential gene regulatory elements were studied with electrophoretic mobility shift assays. RESULTS: Approximately 50% suppression of t-PA gene expression was observed after prolonged stimulation with TNF-alpha (> or =24 h). The repression was shown to be preferentially dependent on NF-kappaB activation, but also on p38 MAPK signaling. Further, we provide evidence for a TNF-alpha induced binding of NF-kappaB to the recently described kappaB site in the t-PA gene and of cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding protein (CREB) to the t-PA CRE-like site. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that TNF-alpha impairs fibrinolytic capacity in vascular endothelial cells by a NF-kappaB and p38 MAPK-dependent suppression of t-PA. This mechanism sheds a light on how inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases.

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