Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases have been implicated as important mediators of the inflammatory response. Here we report that c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38 MAP kinase activities are reprogrammed during the IL-6 induced macrophage-like differentiation of the murine myeloid M1 cell line. Moreover, p38 inhibition upregulates JNK and ERK activity in M1 cells and in thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal exudate macrophages. IL-6-induced M1 differentiation also induces expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and p38 inhibition potentiates this increase in IL-10 expression in an ERK-dependent manner. Thus, we speculate that during inflammatory conditions in vivo macrophage p38 may regulate JNK and ERK activity and inhibit IL-10 expression. These data highlight the importance of p38 in the molecular mechanisms of macrophage function.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.