Veterinary Microbiology

Involvement of NF-κB in regulation of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae exotoxin ApxI-induced proinflammatory cytokine production in porcine alveolar macrophages

Volume : 195 Page : 128-135

Hsu CW, Li SC, Chang NY, Chen ZW, Liao JW, Chen TH, Wang JP, Lin JH, Hsuan SL

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is a crucial respiratory pathogen that causes fibrinous, hemorrhagic, necrotizing pleuropneumonia in pigs. A. pleuropneumoniae exotoxins (ApxI to IV) are the major virulence factors contributing to A. pleuropneumoniae pathogenesis. Previously, we demonstrated that ApxI induces the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) via the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) p38 and cJun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). Nonetheless, the role of nuclear factor (NF)-κB-a transcription factor widely implicated in immune and inflammatory responses-in ApxI-elicited cytokine production has yet to be defined. In the present study, we examined the involvement of NF-κB in ApxI-elicited production of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in PAMs and investigated the correlation between NF-κB and MAPK (p38 and JNK) pathways in this event. The results of Western blot analysis, confocal microscopy, and a DNA binding activity assay revealed that the classical NF-κB pathway was activated by ApxI, as evidenced by the decreased levels of IκB and subsequent NF-κB translocation and activation in ApxI-stimulated PAMs. Moreover, the blocking of ApxI-induced NF-κB activation significantly attenuated the levels of mRNA and protein secretion of IL-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α in PAMs. Notably, the attenuation of JNK activation by a specific inhibitor (SP600125) reduced ApxI-induced NF-κB activation, whereas a p38 blocker (SB203580) had no effect on the NF-κB pathway. Further examination revealed that the level of phosphorylation at serine 536 on the NF-κB p65 subunit was dependent on JNK activity. Collectively, this study, for the first time, demonstrates a pivotal role of NF-κB in ApxI-induced IL-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α production; JNK, but not p38, may positively affect the activation of the classical NF-κB pathway.