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Fürst, Robert; Zahler, Stefan; Vollmar, Angelika M. (2008): Dexamethasone-Induced Expression of Endothelial Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatase-1 Involves Activation of the Transcription Factors Activator Protein-1 and 3',5'-Cyclic Adenosine 5'-Monophosphate Response Element-Binding Protein and the Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species. In: Endocrinology, Vol. 149, No. 7: pp. 3635-3642


We have recently identified the MAPK phosphatase (MKP)-1 as a novel mediator of the antiinflammatory properties of glucocorticoids (dexamethasone) in the human endothelium. However, nothing is as yet known about the signaling pathways responsible for the up-regulation of MKP-1 by dexamethasone in endothelial cells. Knowledge of the molecular basis of this new alternative way of glucocorticoid action could facilitate the identification of new antiinflammatory drug targets. Thus, the aim of our study was to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Using Western blot analysis, we found that dexamethasone rapidly activates ERK, c-jun Nterminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAPK in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. By applying the kinase inhibitors PD98059 (MAPK kinase-1) and SP600125 (JNK), ERK and JNK were shown to be crucial for the induction of MKP-1. Using EMSA and a decoy oligonucleotide approach, the transcription factors activator protein-1 (activated by ERK and JNK) and cAMP response element-binding protein (activated by ERK) were found to be involved in the up-regulation of MKP-1 by dexamethasone. Interestingly, dexamethasone induces the generation of reactive oxygen species (measured by dihydrofluorescein assay), which participate in the signaling process by triggering JNK activation. Our work elucidates a novel alternative mechanism for transducing antiinflammatory effects of glucocorticoids in the human endothelium. Thus, our study adds valuable information to the efforts made to find new antiinflammatory principles utilized by glucocorticoids. This might help to gain new therapeutic options to limit glucocorticoid side effects and to overcome resistance.