LPS induces hypoxia-inducible factor 1 activation in macrophage-differentiated cells in a reactive oxygen species-dependent manner

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2008 May;10(5):983-95. doi: 10.1089/ars.2007.1825.


A prominent feature of various inflamed and diseased tissue is the presence of low oxygen tension (hypoxia). Effector cells of the innate immune system must maintain their viability and physiologic functions in a hypoxic microenvironment. Monocytes circulating in the bloodstream differentiate into macrophages. During this process, cells acquire the ability to exert effects at hypoxic sites of inflammation. The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) mediates adaptive responses to reduced oxygen availability. In this study, we demonstrated that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces HIF-1 activation by enhancing both HIF-1alpha protein expression through a translation-dependent pathway and HIF-1alpha transcriptional activity in THP-1 human myeloid cells that have undergone macrophage differentiation but not in undifferentiated monocytic THP-1 cells. LPS-induced HIF-1 activation was blocked by treatment with antioxidant (N-acetylcysteine or thioredoxin-1), NADPH oxidase inhibitor (diphenyleneiodonium), indicating that reactive oxygen species generated in response to LPS are essential in this process. LPS-mediated activation of HIF-1 was independent of NF-kappaB activity. LPS-induced ROS generation and HIF-1 activation required the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 or myeloid differentiation factor (MyD) 88, thus providing a molecular basis for the selective activation of HIF-1 in differentiated THP-1 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / genetics
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88 / genetics
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88 / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • HIF1A protein, human
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • MYD88 protein, human
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
  • NF-kappa B
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • TLR2 protein, human
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester
  • Acetylcysteine