Lps Stimulation of TNF-Receptor Deficient Macrophages: A Differential Role for TNF-α Autocrine Signaling in the Induction of Cytokine and Nitric Oxide Production

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To evaluate the role of autocrine TNF-α signaling in macrophage activation, immortalized macrophages from normal mice (B6/J2) and from mice containing gene targeted disruptions of the type 1 and type 2 TNF-receptor genes (TRN) were stimulated under CD14-dependent or serum-free conditions. Although the B6/J2 and TRN clones mounted similar nitric oxide responses to LPS in the presence of serum, the TRN macrophages responded poorly when stimulated with LPS under serum free conditions. LPS stimulation of TRN and B6/J2 under serum-free conditions resulted in equivalent levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, and iNOS gene expression. However, Western blot analysis revealed that iNOS protein production by TRN was 2-fold lower than that produced by B6/J2. These results indicate that autocrine TNF-α stimulation contributes to the signaling pathways initiated by ligation of LPS receptors in the absence of LBP and is involved in iNOS post-transcriptional regulation.