Reasoning that suppression of inhibitory cytokine production might enhance hematopoiesis, we screened small molecules using TLR agonist-stimulated FANCC- and Fanconi anemia, complementation group A (FANCA)-deficient macrophages containing an NF-κB/AP-1-responsive reporter gene (SEAP). Of the 75 small molecules screened, the p38 MAPK inhibitor BIRB 796 and dasatinib potently suppressed TLR8-dependent expression of the reporter gene.
Fanconi anemia (FA) macrophages were hypersensitive to the TLR7/8 activator R848, overproducing SEAP and TNFα in response to all doses of the agonist.
Low doses (50nM) of both agents inhibited p38 MAPK-dependent activation of MAPKAPK2 (MK2) and suppressed MK2-dependent TNFα production without substantially influencing TNFα gene transcription.
Overproduction of TNFα by primary FA cells was likewise suppressed by these agents and involved inhibition of MK2 activation.
Because MK2 is also known to influence production and/or sensitivity to 2 other suppressive factors (MIP-1α and IFNγ) to which FA hematopoietic progenitor cells are uniquely vulnerable, targeting of p38 MAPK in FA hematopoietic cells is a rational objective for preclinical evaluation.
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.
Blood. 2012 Mar;119(9):1992-2002
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