The Rel subunit of NF-I?B-like transcription factors is a positive and negative regulator of macrophage gene expression: Distinct roles for Rel in different macrophage populations

George Grigoriadis, Yifan Zhan, Raelene Joy Grumont, Donald Metcalf, Emanuela Handman, Christina Cheers, Steven Demetrious Gerondakis

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The role of Rel in the monocyte/macrophage lineage was examined in mice with an inactivated c-rel gene. Although the frequency of monocytic cells was normal in Rel(-/-) mice, we show that Rel serves distinct roles in regulating gene expression and immune effector function in different mature macrophage populations. Stimulated Rel(-/-) resident peritoneal macrophages produced higher than normal levels of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), but tumour necrosis factor-I? (TNF-I?) production was not induced. Diminished cytotoxic activity exhibited by resident Rel(-/-) macrophages was consistent with reduced nitric oxide production resulting from impaired up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. While a similar altered pattern of IL-6 and TNF-I? expression was observed in stimulated Rel(-/-) peritoneal effusion macrophages, cytotoxic activity, nitric oxide, GM-CSF and G-CSF production by these cells was normal. The alternate regulation of certain genes in the two macrophage populations coincided with different patterns of nuclear Rel/NF-I?B complexes expressed in normal resident and elicited cells. Collectively, these results establish that Rel is a positive or negative regulator of transcription in macrophages and that Rel has distinct roles in different macrophage populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7099 - 7107
Number of pages9
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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