The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective effects of subacute pre-treatment with chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) decoction extract (CDE) against stimulated neutrophils ROS production as well as ethanol (EtOH)-induced haematological changes and erythrocytes oxidative stress in rat.
Neutrophils were isolated and ROS generation was measured by luminol-amplified chemiluminescence. Superoxide anion generation was detected by the cytochrome c reduction assay. Adult male wistar rats were used and divided into six groups of ten each: control, EtOH, EtOH + various doses of CDE (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg, b.w.), and EtOH+ ascorbic acid (AA). Animals were pre-treated with CDE extract during 10 days.
We found that CDE inhibited (P ≤ 0.0003) luminol-amplified chemiluminescence of resting neutrophils and N-formyl methionylleucyl-phenylalanine (fMLF) or phorbolmyristate acetate (PMA) stimulated neutrophils, in a dose-dependent manner. CDE had no effect on superoxide anion, but it inhibited (P ≤ 0.0004) H2O2 production in cell free system. In vivo, CDE counteracted (P ≤ 0.0034) the effect of single EtOH administration which induced (P < 0.0001) an increase of white blood cells (WBC) and platelets (PLT) counts. Our results also demonstrated that alcohol administration significantly (P < 0.0001) induced erythrocytes lipoperoxidation increase and depletion of sulfhydryl groups (−SH) content as well as antioxidant enzyme activities as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). More importantly, we found that acute alcohol administration increased (P < 0.0001) erythrocytes and plasma hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), free iron, and calcium levels while the CDE pre-treatment reversed increased (P ≤ 0.0051) all these intracellular disturbances.
These findings suggest that CDE inhibits neutrophil ROS production and protects against EtOH-induced haematologiacal parameters changes and erythrocytes oxidative stress. The haematoprotection offered by chamomile might involve in part its antioxidant properties as well as its opposite effect on some intracellular mediators such as H2O2, free iron, and calcium.
Chamomile; Ethanol; Haematological parameters; Oxidative stress; Rat
Trichomonas vaginalis is a flagellated protozoan parasite that causes vaginitis and cervicitis in women and asymptomatic urethritis and prostatitis in men. Mast cells have been reported to be predominant in vaginal smears and vaginal walls of patients infected with T. vaginalis. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), activated by various stimuli, have been shown to regulate the transcriptional activity of various cytokine genes in mast cells. In this study, we investigated whether MAPK is involved in ROS generation and exocytotic degranulation in HMC-1 cells induced by T. vaginalis-derived secretory products (TvSP). We found that TvSP induces the activation of MAPK and NADPH oxidase in HMC-1 cells. Stimulation with TvSP induced phosphorylation of MAPK and p47phox in HMC-1 cells. Stimulation with TvSP also induced up-regulation of CD63, a marker for exocytosis, along the surfaces of human mast cells. Pretreatment with MAPK inhibitors strongly inhibited TvSP-induced ROS generation and exocytotic degranulation. Finally, our results suggest that TvSP induces intracellular ROS generation and exocytotic degranulation in HMC-1 via MAPK signaling.
Trichomonas vaginalis; secretory product; mast cell; MAPK; ROS generation; exocytotic degranulation
We aimed in the present study, at investigating the gastroprotective effect of carob pods aqueous extract (CPAE) against ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rats as well as the mechanism implicated.
Adult male wistar rats were used and divided into six groups of ten each: control, EtOH (80 % v/v, 4 g/kg b.w.), EtOH 80 % + various doses of CPAE (500, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg, b.w.) and EtOH + Famotidine (10 mg/kg, p.o.) Animals were perorally (p.o.) pre-treated with CPAE during 15 days and intoxicated with a single oral administration of EtOH (4 g/kg b.w.) for two hours.
The colorimetric analysis demonstrated that the CPAE exhibited an importance in vitro antioxidant activity against ABTS and DPPH radicals. We found that CPAE pretreatment in vivo, protected against EtOH-induced macroscopic and histological changes induced in stomach mucosa. Carob extract administration also protected against alcohol-induced volume gastric juice decrease. More importantly, We showed that CPAE counteracted EtOH-induced gastric lipoperoxidation, reversed the decrease of sulfhydryl groups (−SH) an hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels, and prevented the depletion of antioxidant enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx).
These findings suggest that CPAE exerted a potential gastro-protective effect against EtOH-induced oxidative stress in rats, due in part, to its antioxidants properties.
Gastric ulcer; Carob pods; Oxidative stress; Antioxidant capacity; Rat
The current study was performed to measure the chemical composition and the effects of dates pulp extract and palm sap on gastrointestinal transit (GIT) activity in healthy adult rats. In this respect, male Wistar rats fasted for 24 hours were used and received per orally (p.o.) sodium chloride (NaCl) (0,9%) (control group) or various doses of dates pulp extract (150 and 300 mg/kg, body weight [b.w.]) and palm sap (0.4 and 4 mL/kg, b.w.). Two other groups of rats (batch tests) received, respectively, clonidine (an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist, 1 mg/kg, b.w.) and yohimbine (an alpha-2 adrenergic antagonist, 2mg/kg, b.w.). Chemical analysis showed that the dates pulp extract is more rich in sugars and minerals, especially potassium and sucrose, as compared with palm sap composition. On the other hand, in vivo study showed that the aqueous dates pulp extract significantly, and dose dependently, increased the GIT activity while the palm sap slightly increased it. Moreover, a converse effect has been observed using clonidine (decreased 68%) and yohimbine (increased 33%) on the GIT activity. These findings suggest that dates pulp extract and palm sap have a stimulating effect on GIT activity in rats and confirm their use in traditional Tunisian medicine for the treatment of constipation.
dates pulp; GIT activity; minerals; palm sap; rat; sugars
Reactive oxygen species- (ROS-) mediated injury has been implicated in several inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). NADPH oxidases (NOXs) are the major source of endogenous ROS. Here, we investigated the role of NOXs derived-ROS in a mouse model of colitis induced by the proinflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Intraperitoneal injection of TNFα (10 μg · kg−1) induced an acute inflammation of the colon and a marked increase in expression of NADPH oxidase 1 (NOX1), a colon specific NADPH oxidase isoform. TNFα-induced colitis was also characterized by high production of keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) and mucosal infiltration of neutrophils, NOX2-expressing cells. Concomitantly, ROS production and lipid peroxidation were significantly enhanced while catalase activity and glutathione level were reduced indicating a redox imbalance in the colon. Furthermore, the redox-sensitive MAP kinases, ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK, were activated during TNFα-induced colitis. Pretreatment of mice with apocynin, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor with antioxidant properties, before TNFα challenge, prevented all these events. These data suggest that ROS derived from NADPH oxidases (mainly NOX1 and NOX2) and MAP kinase pathways could contribute to the induction and expansion of oxidative lesions characteristics of IBD and that apocynin could potentially be beneficial in IBD treatment.
Rheumatoid arthritis–associated (RA-associated) inflammation is mediated through the interaction between RA IgG immune complexes and IgG Fc receptors on immune cells. Polymorphisms within the gene encoding the human IgG Fc receptor IIA (hFcγRIIA) are associated with an increased risk of developing RA. Within the hFcγRIIA intracytoplasmic domain, there are 2 conserved tyrosine residues arranged in a noncanonical immunoreceptor tyrosine–based activation motif (ITAM). Here, we reveal that inhibitory engagement of the hFcγRIIA ITAM either with anti-hFcγRII F(ab′)2 fragments or intravenous hIgG (IVIg) ameliorates RA-associated inflammation, and this effect was characteristic of previously described inhibitory ITAM (ITAMi) signaling for hFcαRI and hFcγRIIIA, but only involves a single tyrosine. In hFcγRIIA-expressing mice, arthritis induction was inhibited following hFcγRIIA engagement. Moreover, hFcγRIIA ITAMi-signaling reduced ROS and inflammatory cytokine production through inhibition of guanine nucleotide exchange factor VAV-1 and IL-1 receptor–associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1), respectively. ITAMi signaling was mediated by tyrosine 304 (Y304) within the hFcγRIIA ITAM, which was required for recruitment of tyrosine kinase SYK and tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. Anti-hFcγRII F(ab′)2 treatment of inflammatory synovial cells from RA patients inhibited ROS production through induction of ITAMi signaling. These data suggest that shifting constitutive hFcγRIIA-mediated activation to ITAMi signaling could ameliorate RA-associated inflammation.
Effective major histocompatibility complex-II (MHC-II) antigen presentation from phagocytosed particles requires phagosome-intrinsic toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, but the molecular mechanisms underlying TLR delivery to phagosomes and how signaling regulates antigen presentation are incompletely understood. We show a requirement in dendritic cells (DCs) for adaptor protein-3 (AP-3) in efficient TLR recruitment to phagosomes and MHC-II presentation of antigens internalized by phagocytosis but not receptor-mediated endocytosis. DCs from AP-3-deficient pearl mice elicited impaired CD4+ T cell activation and Th1 effector function to particulate antigen in vitro and to recombinant Listeria monocytogenes infection in vivo. Whereas phagolysosome maturation and peptide:MHC-II complex assembly proceeded normally in pearl DCs, peptide:MHC-II export to the cell surface was impeded. This correlated with reduced TLR4 recruitment and proinflammatory signaling from phagosomes by particulate TLR ligands. We propose that AP-3-dependent TLR delivery from endosomes to phagosomes and subsequent signaling mobilize peptide:MHC-II export from intracellular stores.
major histocompatibility complex molecules; MHC-I; MHC-II; toll-like receptors; TLR4; adaptor protein-3; Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome; phagocytosis; dendritic cell maturation; Ag processing
The phagocyte NADPH oxidase (NOX2) is known to be expressed in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed human B lymphocytes. Phosphorylation of the NOX2 cytosolic subunit p47phox is required for phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-induced NOX2 activation in EBV-transformed B lymphocytes, however the role of this process in receptor-mediated NOX2 activation is not known. Here, we used pansorbin which acts by cross linking cell surface IgG and transfected cells with mutated p47phox to address if the phosphorylation of this subunit is required for receptor-mediated NOX2 activation. We show that pansorbin induced NOX2 activation in a time and concentration-dependent manner, albeit at levels only of 20% of those induced by PMA. GF109203X, a PKC selective inhibitor, inhibited pansorbin as well as PMA-induced NOX2 activation. Using specific anti-phospho serine antibodies we showed that pansorbin induced p47phox phosphorylation on Ser304, 315, 320, 328, and 345 and kinetics of these phosphorylations preceed NOX2 activation. To determine whether the phosphorylation of p47phox is required for pansorbin-induced NOX2 activation, we transfected EBV-transformed lymphocytes deficent in p47phox with a plasmid expressing wild type p47phox or p47phox with all the phosphorylated serines mutated to alanines, p47phoxS(303-379)A. Results show that pansorbin-induced NOX2 activation was greatly decreased in lymphocytes expressing the mutant as compared to the wild-type p47phox. These results show that pansorbin induced p47phox phosphorylation on multiple sites in EBV-transformed B lymphocytes and this process is required for pansorbin-induced NADPH oxidase activation in these cells.
NADPH oxidase; NOX2; p47phox; B lymphocytes; pansorbin; ROS; phosphorylation
In cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, pulmonary inflammation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to further investigate whether oxidative stress could be involved in the early inflammatory process associated with CF pathogenesis. We used a model of CFTR defective epithelial cell line (IB3-1) and its reconstituted CFTR control (S9) cell line cultured in various ionic conditions. This study showed that IB3-1 and S9 cells expressed the NADPH oxidases (NOXs) DUOX1/2 and NOX2 at the same level. Nevertheless, several parameters participating in oxidative stress (increased ROS production and apoptosis, decreased total thiol content) were observed in IB3-1 cells cultured in hypertonic environment as compared to S9 cells and were inhibited by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), a well-known inhibitor of NOXs; besides, increased production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 by IB3-1 cells was also inhibited by DPI as compared to S9 cells. Furthermore, calcium ionophore (A23187), which upregulates DUOX and NOX2 activities, strongly induced oxidative stress and IL-8 and IL-6 overexpression in IB3-1 cells. All these events were suppressed by DPI, supporting the involvement of NOXs in the oxidative stress, which can upregulate proinflammatory cytokine production by the airway CFTR-deficient cells and trigger early pulmonary inflammation in CF patients.
Francisella tularensis contains four putative acid phosphatases that are conserved in Francisella novicida. An F. novicida quadruple mutant (AcpA, AcpB, AcpC, and Hap [ΔABCH]) is unable to escape the phagosome or survive in macrophages and is attenuated in the mouse model. We explored whether reduced survival of the ΔABCH mutant within phagocytes is related to the oxidative response by human neutrophils and macrophages. F. novicida and F. tularensis subspecies failed to stimulate reactive oxygen species production in the phagocytes, whereas the F. novicida ΔABCH strain stimulated a significant level of reactive oxygen species. The ΔABCH mutant, but not the wild-type strain, strongly colocalized with p47phox and replicated in phagocytes only in the presence of an NADPH oxidase inhibitor or within macrophages isolated from p47phox knockout mice. Finally, purified AcpA strongly dephosphorylated p47phox and p40phox, but not p67phox, in vitro. Thus, Francisella acid phosphatases play a major role in intramacrophage survival and virulence by regulating the generation of the oxidative burst in human phagocytes.
TGFβ1 is one of the most potent endogenous immune modulators of inflammation. The molecular mechanism of its anti-inflammatory effect on the activation of the transcription factor NF-kB has been well studied, however, the potential effects of TGFβ1 on other pro-inflammatory signaling pathways is less clear. In this study, using the well-established lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-mediated models of Parkinson’s disease (PD), we demonstrate TGFβ1 exerts significant neuroprotection in both models via its anti-inflammatory properties. The neuroprotective effects of TGFβ1 are mainly attributed to its ability to inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from microglia during their activation or reactivation. Moreover, we demonstrate that TGFβ1 inhibited LPS-induced NADPH oxidase (PHOX) subunit p47phox translocation from the cytosol to the membrane in microglia within 10 min. Mechanistic studies show that TGFβ1 fails to protect dopaminergic neurons in cultures from PHOX knockout mice, and significantly reduced LPS-induced translocation of the PHOX cytosolic subunits p47phox to the cell membrane. In addition, LPS-induced ERK phosphorylation and subsequent serine345 (Ser345) phosphorylation on p47phox were significantly inhibited by TGFβ1 pretreatment. Taken together, our results show that TGFβ1 exerted potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, either through the prevention of the direct activation of microglia by LPS, or indirectly through the inhibition of reactive microgliosis elicited by MPP+. The molecular mechanisms of TGFβ1-mediated anti-inflammatory properties is through the inhibition of PHOX activity by preventing the ERK-dependent phosphorylation of Ser345 on p47phox in microlgia to reduce oxidase activities induced by LPS.
Monocytes/Macrophages; Neuroimmunology; Inflammation
Neutrophils play a major role in inflammation by releasing large amounts of ROS produced by NADPH-oxidase and myeloperoxidase (MPO). The proinflammatory cytokine TNFα primes ROS production through phosphorylation of the NADPH-oxidase subunit p47phox on Ser345. Conventional anti-inflammatory therapies remain partially successful and may have side effects. Therefore, regulation of neutrophil activation by natural dietary components represents an alternative therapeutic strategy in inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of punicic acid, a conjugated linolenic fatty acid from pomegranate seed oil on TNFα-induced neutrophil hyperactivation in vitro and on colon inflammation in vivo.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We analyzed the effect of punicic acid on TNFα-induced neutrophil upregulation of ROS production in vitro and on TNBS-induced rat colon inflammation. Results show that punicic acid inhibited TNFα-induced priming of ROS production in vitro while preserving formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)-induced response. This effect was mediated by the inhibition of Ser345-p47phox phosphorylation and upstream kinase p38MAPK. Punicic acid also inhibited fMLP- and TNFα+fMLP-induced MPO extracellular release from neutrophils. In vivo experiments showed that punicic acid and pomegranate seed oil intake decreased neutrophil-activation and ROS/MPO-mediated tissue damage as measured by F2-isoprostane release and protected rats from TNBS-induced colon inflammation.
These data show that punicic acid exerts a potent anti-inflammatory effect through inhibition of TNFα-induced priming of NADPH oxidase by targeting the p38MAPKinase/Ser345-p47phox-axis and MPO release. This natural dietary compound may provide a novel alternative therapeutic strategy in inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases.
Phagocytes such as neutrophils play a vital role in host defense against microbial pathogens. The anti-microbial function of neutrophils is based on the production of superoxide anion (O2•-), which generates other microbicidal reactive oxygen species (ROS) and release of antimicrobial peptides and proteins. The enzyme responsible for O2•- production is called the NADPH oxidase or respiratory burst oxidase. This multicomponent enzyme system is composed of two transmembrane proteins (p22phox and gp91phox, also called NOX2, which together form the cytochrome b558) and four cytosolic proteins (p47phox, p67phox, p40phox and a GTPase Rac1 or Rac2), which assemble at membrane sites upon cell activation. NADPH oxidase activation in phagocytes can be induced by a large number of soluble and particulate agents. This process is dependent on the phosphorylation of the cytosolic protein p47phox. p47phox is a 390 amino acids protein with several functional domains: one phox homology (PX) domain, two src homology 3 (SH3) domains, an auto-inhibitory region (AIR), a proline rich domain (PRR) and has several phosphorylated sites located between Ser303 and Ser379. In this review, we will describe the structure of p47phox, its phosphorylation and discuss how these events regulate NADPH oxidase activation.
CYBB protein, human; NADPH oxidase; neutrophil cytosolic factor 1; neutrophils; phosphorylation; reactive oxygen species; review
Activated microglia elicits a robust amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are implicated in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis in the central nervous system (CNS). However, little is known about the intracellular signaling mechanisms governing these inflammatory responses in microglia in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).
Murine microglial BV-2 cells and primary mixed glial cells were stimulated with sonicated Mtb (s-Mtb). Intracellular ROS levels were measured by staining with oxidative fluorescent dyes [2',7'-Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA) and dihydroethidium (DHE)]. NADPH oxidase activities were measured by lucigenin chemiluminescence assay. S-Mtb-induced MAPK activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine release in microglial cells were measured using by Western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively.
We demonstrate that s-Mtb promotes the up-regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the rapid activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, as well as the secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-12p40 in murine microglial BV-2 cells and primary mixed glial cells. Both NADPH oxidase and mitochondrial electron transfer chain subunit I play an indispensable role in s-Mtb-induced MAPK activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in BV-2 cells and mixed glial cells. Furthermore, the activation of cytosolic NADPH oxidase p47phox and MAPKs (p38 and ERK1/2) is mutually dependent on s-Mtb-induced inflammatory signaling in murine microglia. Neither TLR2 nor dectin-1 was involved in s-Mtb-induced inflammatory responses in murine microglia.
These data collectively demonstrate that s-Mtb actively induces the pro-inflammatory response in microglia through NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation, although the specific pattern-recognition receptors involved in these responses remain to be identified.
Mammalian 2-Cys peroxiredoxin II (Prx II) is a cellular peroxidase that eliminates endogenous H2O2. The involvement of Prx II in the regulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) signaling is poorly understood. In this report, we show that LPS induces substantially enhanced inflammatory events, which include the signaling molecules nuclear factor κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), in Prx II–deficient macrophages. This effect of LPS was mediated by the robust up-regulation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS)–generating nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases and the phosphorylation of p47phox. Furthermore, challenge with LPS induced greater sensitivity to LPS-induced lethal shock in Prx II–deficient mice than in wild-type mice. Intravenous injection of Prx II–deficient mice with the adenovirus-encoding Prx II gene significantly rescued mice from LPS-induced lethal shock as compared with the injection of a control virus. The administration of catalase mimicked the reversal effects of Prx II on LPS-induced inflammatory responses in Prx II–deficient cells, which suggests that intracellular H2O2 is attributable, at least in part, to the enhanced sensitivity to LPS. These results indicate that Prx II is an essential negative regulator of LPS-induced inflammatory signaling through modulation of ROS synthesis via NADPH oxidase activities and, therefore, is crucial for the prevention of excessive host responses to microbial products.
Neutrophil NADPH oxidase plays a key role in host defense and in inflammation by releasing large amounts of superoxide and other ROSs. Proinflammatory cytokines such as GM-CSF and TNF-α prime ROS production by neutrophils through unknown mechanisms. Here we used peptide sequencing by tandem mass spectrometry to show that GM-CSF and TNF-α induce phosphorylation of Ser345 on p47phox, a cytosolic component of NADPH oxidase, in human neutrophils. As Ser345 is located in the MAPK consensus sequence, we tested the effects of MAPK inhibitors. Inhibitors of the ERK1/2 pathway abrogated GM-CSF–induced phosphorylation of Ser345, while p38 MAPK inhibitor abrogated TNF-α–induced phosphorylation of Ser345. Transfection of HL-60 cells with a mutated p47phox (S345A) inhibited GM-CSF– and TNF-α–induced priming of ROS production. This event was also inhibited in neutrophils by a cell-permeable peptide containing a TAT-p47phox-Ser345 sequence. Furthermore, ROS generation, p47phox-Ser345 phosphorylation, and ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK phosphorylation were increased in synovial neutrophils from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, and TAT-Ser345 peptide inhibited ROS production by these primed neutrophils. This study therefore identifies convergent MAPK pathways on Ser345 that are involved in GM-CSF– and TNF-α–induced priming of neutrophils and are activated in RA. Inhibition of the point of convergence of these pathways might serve as a novel antiinflammatory strategy.
Using flow cytometry, we observed that interleukin-18 (IL-18) primed human neutrophils (PMNs) in whole blood to produce superoxide anion (O2°−) in response to N-formyl peptide (fMLP) stimulation, whereas IL-18 alone had no significant effect. In contrast to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), which is a cytokine known to strongly prime O2°− production, IL-18 did not induce either p47phox phosphorylation or its translocation from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. However, IL-18 increased PMN degranulation, as shown by increased levels of cytochrome b558 and CD11b expression at the PMN surface. Moreover, addition of IL-18 to whole blood for 45 min reduced the ability of PMNs to bind to fMLP, suggesting endocytosis of fMLP receptors, as visualized by confocal microscopy. 2,3-Butanedione 2-monoxime, which inhibits endosomal recycling of plasma membrane components back to the cell surface, concomitantly accentuated the diminution of fMLP binding at the PMN surface and increased IL-18 priming of O2°− production by PMNs in response to fMLP. This suggests that fMLP receptor endocytosis could account, at least in part, for the priming of O2°− production. In addition, genistein, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and SB203580, a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) inhibitor, completely reversed the decreased level of fMLP binding and increased the level of CD11b expression after IL-18 treatment. Flow cytometric analysis of intact PMNs in whole blood showed that IL-18 increased p38MAPK phosphorylation and tyrosine phosphorylation. In particular, IL-18 induced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (p125FAK), which has been implicated in cytoskeleton reorganization. Taken together, our findings suggest several mechanisms that are likely to regulate cytokine-induced priming of the oxidative burst in PMNs in their blood environment.