A selective inhibitor of p38 MAP kinase, SB202190, induced apoptotic cell death of a lipopolysaccharide-treated macrophage-like cell line, J774.1

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Oct 18;1502(2):207-23. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4439(00)00045-4.


A selective p38 MAP kinase (p38 MAPK) inhibitor, SB202190, induced apoptotic cell death of a macrophage-like cell line, J774.1, in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), as judged by DNA nicks revealed by terminal deoxy transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), activation of caspase-3, and subsequent release of lactate dehydrogenase. This cytotoxicity was dependent on both LPS and SB202190, and such inhibitors of the upstream LPS-signaling cascade as polymyxin B and TPCK blocked this macrophage cell death. SB202190 suppressed the kinase activity of p38, leading to inhibition of activation of MAPKAPK2 and then the subsequent phosphorylation of hsp27 in LPS-treated macrophages both in vitro and in vivo, but an inactive analog of SB202190, SB202474, did not. There was a threshold of the time of addition of SB202190 to LPS-treated macrophages to induce apoptosis, which was before full transmission of p38 activity to a direct downstream kinase, MAPKAPK2. Besides, localization of phosphorylated hsp27 in Golgi area of the LPS-treated macrophages was suppressed by SB202190, while it was not by SB202474. These results suggest that selective inhibition of p38 MAPK activity in LPS-induced MAP kinase cascade leads to apoptosis of macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins*
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Hsbp1 protein, mouse
  • Imidazoles
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Pyridines
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Casp3 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases
  • 4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)imidazole