MAPKs and NF-κB differentially regulate cytokine expression in the diaphragm in response to resistive breathing: The role of oxidative stress

Ioanna Sigala, Panayiotis Zacharatos, Dimitris Toumpanakis, Tatiana Michailidou, Olga Noussia, Stamatios Theocharis, Charis Roussos, Andreas Papapetropoulos, Theodoros Vassilakopoulos

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Inspiratory resistive breathing (IRB) induces cytokine expression in the diaphragm. The mechanism of this cytokine induction remains elusive. The roles of MAPKs and NF-κB and the impact of oxidative stress in IRB-induced cytokine upregulation in the diaphragm were studied. Wistar rats were subjected to IRB (50% of maximal inspiratory pressure) via a twoway nonrebreathing valve for 1, 3, or 6 h. Additional groups of rats subjected to IRB for 6 h were randomly assigned to receive either solvent or N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) or inhibitors of NF-κB (BAY- 11-7082), ERK1/2 (PD98059), and P38 MAPK (SB203580) to study the effect of oxidative stress, NF-κB, and MAPKs in IRB-induced cytokine upregulation in the diaphragm. Quietly breathing animals served as controls. IRB upregulated cytokine (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, IL-2, IL-1β) protein levels in the diaphragm and resulted in increased activation of MAPKs (P38, ERK1/2) and NF-κB. Inhibition of NF-κB and ERK1/2 blunted the upregulation of all cytokines except that of IL-6, which was further increased. P38 inhibition attenuated all cytokine (including IL-6) upregulation. Both P38 and ERK1/2 inhibition decreased NF-κB/p65 subunit phosphorylation. NAC pretreatment blunted IRB-induced cytokine upregulation in the diaphragm and resulted in decreased ERK1/2, P38, and NF-κB/p65 phosphorylation. In conclusion, IRB-induced cytokine upregulation in the diaphragm is under the regulatory control of MAPKs and NF-κB. IL-6 is regulated differently from all other cytokines through a P38-dependent and NF-κB independent pathway. Oxidative stress is a stimulus for IRB-induced cytokine upregulation in the diaphragm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Exercise
  • Inflammation
  • Respiratory muscles
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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