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Blood

Inhibition of mTOR blocks the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids in myeloid immune cells.


PMID 21368289

Abstract

A central role for the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in innate immunity has been recently defined by its ability to limit proinflammatory mediators. Although glucocorticoids (GCs) exert potent anti-inflammatory effects in innate immune cells, it is currently unknown whether the mTOR pathway interferes with GC signaling. Here we show that inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin or Torin1 prevented the anti-inflammatory potency of GC both in human monocytes and myeloid dendritic cells. GCs could not suppress nuclear factor-κB and JNK activation, the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, and the promotion of Th1 responses when mTOR was inhibited. Interestingly, long-term activation of monocytes with lipopolysaccharide enhanced the expression of TSC2, the principle negative regulator of mTOR, whereas dexamethasone blocked TSC2 expression and reestablished mTOR activation. Renal transplant patients receiving rapamycin but not those receiving calcineurin inhibitors displayed a state of innate immune cell hyper-responsiveness despite the concurrent use of GC. Finally, mTOR inhibition was able to override the healing phenotype of dexamethasone in a murine lipopolysaccharide shock model. Collectively, these data identify a novel link between the glucocorticoid receptor and mTOR in innate immune cells, which is of considerable clinical importance in a variety of disorders, including allogeneic transplantation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

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