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Tissue-type plasminogen activator neutralizes LPS but not protease-activated receptor-mediated inflammatory responses to plasmin.

  • Author(s): Zalfa, Cristina
  • Azmoon, Pardis
  • Mantuano, Elisabetta
  • Gonias, Steven L
  • et al.

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Tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) activates fibrinolysis and also suppresses innate immune system responses to LPS in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) and in vivo in mice. The objective of this study was to assess the activity of tPA as a regulator of macrophage physiology in the presence of plasmin. Enzymatically active and enzymatically inactive (EI) tPA appeared to comprehensively block the response to LPS in BMDMs, including expression of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β and anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 and IL-1 receptor antagonist. The activity of EI-tPA as an LPS response modifier was conserved in the presence of plasminogen. By contrast, in BMDMs treated with tPA and plasminogen or preactivated plasmin, in the presence or absence of LPS, increased proinflammatory cytokine expression was observed and tPA failed to reverse the response. Plasmin independently activated NF-κB, ERK1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in BMDMs, which is characteristic of proinflammatory stimuli. Plasmin-induced cytokine expression was blocked by ε-aminocaproic acid, aprotinin, and inhibitors of the known plasmin substrate, Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1), but not by N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor inhibitor, which blocks the effects of tPA on macrophages. Cytokine expression by BMDMs treated with the PAR-1 agonist, TFLLR, was not inhibited by EI-tPA, possibly explaining why EI-tPA does not inhibit macrophage responses to plasmin and providing evidence for specificity in the ability of tPA to oppose proinflammatory stimuli. Regulation of innate immunity by the fibrinolysis system may reflect the nature of the stimulus and a balance between the potentially opposing activities of tPA and plasmin.

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