TNF-α mediates PKCδ/JNK1/2/c-Jun-dependent monocyte adhesion via ICAM-1 induction in human retinal pigment epithelial cells

I. Ta Lee, Shiau Wen Liu, Pei Ling Chi, Chih Chung Lin, Li Der Hsiao, Chuen Mao Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

30 Scopus citations


Retinal inflammatory diseases induced by cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α(TNF-α) are associated with an up-regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in the retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPECs). Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a monolayer of epithelial cells that forms the outer blood-retinal barrier in the posterior segment of the eye, and is also implicated in the pathology of, such as neovascularization in agerelated macular degeneration (AMD). However, the detailed mechanisms of TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression are largely unclear in human RPECs. We demonstrated that in RPECs, TNF-α could induce ICAM-1 protein and mRNA expression and promoter activity, and monocyte adhesion. TNF-α-mediated responses were attenuated by pretreatment with the inhibitor of PKCs (Ro318220), PKCδ (Rottlerin), MEK1/2 (U0126), JNK1/2 (SP600125), or AP-1 (Tanshinone IIA) and transfection with siRNA of TNFR1, TRAF2, JNK2, p42, or c-Jun. We showed that TNF-α could stimulate the TNFR1 and TRAF2 complex formation. TNF-α-stimulated JNK1/2 was also reduced by Rottlerin or SP600125. However, Rottlerin had no effect on TNF-α-induced p42/p44 MAPK phosphorylation. We observed that TNF-α-induced c-Jun phosphorylation which was inhibited by Rottlerin or SP600125. On the other hand, TNF-α-stimulated ICAM-1 promoter activity was prominently lost in RPECs transfected with the point-mutated AP-1 ICAM-1 promoter plasmid. These results suggest that TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression and monocyte adhesion is mediated through a TNFR1/TRAF2/PKCδ/JNK1/2/c-Jun pathway in RPECs. These findings concerning TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression in RPECs imply that TNF-α might play an important role in ocular inflammation and diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0117911
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 12 02 2015

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© 2015 Lee et al.


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