Author(s): Munder M, Eichmann K, Morn JM, Centeno F, Soler G,
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Abstract Activated murine macrophages metabolize arginine by two alternative pathways involving the enzymes inducible NO synthase (iNOS) or arginase. The balance between the two enzymes is competitively regulated by Th1 and Th2 T helper cells via their secreted cytokines: Th1 cells induce iNOS, whereas Th2 cells induce arginase. Whereas the role of macrophages expressing iNOS as inflammatory cells is well established, the functional competence of macrophages expressing arginase remains a matter of speculation. Two isoforms of mammalian arginases exist, hepatic arginase I and extrahepatic arginase II. We investigated the regulation of arginase isoforms in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMPhi) in the context of Th1 and Th2 stimulation. Surprisingly, in the presence of either Th2 cytokines or Th2 cells, we observe a specific induction of the hepatic isoform arginase I in BMMPhi. Induction of arginase I was shown on the mRNA and protein levels and obeyed the recently demonstrated synergism among the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10. Arginase II was detectable in unstimulated BMMPhi and was not significantly modulated by Th1 or Th2 stimulation. Similar to murine BMMPhi, murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells, as well as a dendritic cell line, up-regulated arginase I expression and arginase activity upon Th2 stimulation, whereas arginase II was never detected. In addition to revealing the unexpected expression of arginase I in the macrophage/monocyte lineage, these results uncover a further intriguing parallelism between iNOS and arginase: both have a constitutive and an inducible isoform, the latter regulated by the Th1/Th2 balance.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology