American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

Transforming growth factor-β induces microRNA-29b to promote murine alveolar macrophage dysfunction after bone marrow transplantation.

PMID 25361568


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is complicated by pulmonary infections that manifest posttransplantation. Despite engraftment, susceptibility to infections persists long after reconstitution. Previous work using a murine bone marrow transplant (BMT) model implicated increased cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in promoting impaired alveolar macrophage (AM) responses. However, mechanisms driving COX-2 overexpression remained elusive. Previously, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling after BMT was shown to promote hypomethylation of the COX-2 gene. Here, we provide mechanistic insight into how this occurs and show that TGF-β induces microRNA (miR)-29b while decreasing DNA methyltransferases (DNMT)1, DNMT3a, and DNMT3b in AMs after BMT. De novo DNMT3a and DNMT3b were decreased upon transient transfection of miR-29b, resulting in decreased methylation of the COX-2 promoter and induction of COX-2. As a consequence, miR-29b-driven upregulation of COX-2 promoted AM dysfunction, and transfection of BMT AMs with a miR-29b inhibitor rescued the bacterial-killing defect. MiR-29b-mediated defects in BMT AMs were dependent on increased levels of PGE2, as miR-29b-transfected AMs treated with a novel E prostanoid receptor 2 antagonist abrogated the impaired bacterial killing. We also demonstrate that patients that have undergone HSCT exhibit increased miR-29b; thus these studies highlight miR-29b in driving defective AM responses and identify this miRNA as a potential therapeutic target.