Author(s): Rand L, Green JA, Saraiva L, Friedland JS, Elkington PT
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Abstract Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) must cause lung disease to spread. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade the extracellular matrix and are implicated in tuberculosis-driven tissue destruction. We investigated signaling pathways regulating macrophage MMP-1 and -7 in human pulmonary tuberculosis and examine the hypothesis that the antimycobacterial drug p-aminosalicylic acid acts by inhibiting such pathways. In primary human macrophages, M. tb up-regulates gene expression and secretion of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase) and MMP-7 (matrilysin). In tuberculosis patients, immunohistochemical analysis of lung biopsies demonstrates that p38 MAPK is phosphorylated in macrophages surrounding granulomas. In vitro, M. tb drives p38 phosphorylation. p38 inhibition suppresses M. tb-dependent MMP-1 secretion by 57.8\% and concurrently increases secretion of its specific inhibitor TIMP-1 by 243.7\%, demonstrating that p38 activity regulates matrix degradation by macrophages. p38 signals downstream to the cyclooxygenase 2/PGE(2) pathway. p-Aminosalicyclic acid, an agent used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis, inhibits M. tb-driven MMP-1 but not MMP-7 gene expression and secretion. PAS acts by blocking PGE(2) production without affecting M. tb growth. In summary, p-aminosalicyclic acid decreases MMP-1 activity by inhibiting a p38 MAPK-PG signaling cascade, suggesting that this pathway is a therapeutic target to reduce inflammatory tissue destruction in tuberculosis.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology