• Authors: Ko, H. K., Lee, H. F., Lin, A. H., Liu, M. H., Liu, C. I., Lee, T. S., Kou, Y. R.
  • Year: 2015
  • Journal: J Cell Physiol 230 1781-93
  • Applications: in vitro / siRNA / INTERFERin
  • Cell type: THP-1
    Description: Human acute monocytic leukaemia cells
    Known as: THP1, THP 1


50 nM of siRNA.


Inhaled cigarette smoke (CS) causes persistent lung inflammation in smokers. Interleukin 8 (IL-8) released from macrophages is a key chemokine during initiation and progression of CS-induced lung inflammation, yet its regulation is largely unknown. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a crucial energy homeostasis regulator, may modulate inflammation. Here we report that CS extract (CSE) increased the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), activating AMPK, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and NF-kappaB, as well as inducing IL-8, in human macrophages. N-acetyl-cysteine (ROS scavenger) or hexamethonium [nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist] attenuated the CSE-induced increase in intracellular ROS, activation of AMPK and NF-kappaB, as well as IL-8 induction, which suggests that nAChRs and ROS are important. Prevention of AMPK activation by compound C or AMPK siRNA reduced CSE-induced IL-8 production, confirming the role of AMPK. Compound C or AMPK siRNA also inhibited the activation of MAPKs and NF-kappaB by CSE, which suggests that these molecules are downstream of AMPK. Additionally, exposure of human macrophages to nicotine activated AMPK and induced IL-8 and that these effects were lessened by hexamethonium or compound C, implying that nicotine in CS may be causative. Furthermore, chronic CS exposure in mice promoted AMPK phosphorylation and expression of MIP-2 (an IL-8 homolog) in infiltrated macrophages and in lung tissues, as well as induced lung inflammation, all of which were reduced by compound C treatment. Thus, we identified a novel nAChRs-dependent, ROS-sensitive, AMPK/MAPKs/NF-kappaB signaling pathway, which seems to be important to CS-induced macrophage IL-8 production and possibly to lung inflammation.