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The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor reduces pro-oxidative stress-induced apoptosis

: Nguyen, M.T.; Lue, H.; Kleemann, R.; Thiele, M.; Tolle, G.; Finkelmeier, D.; Wagner, E.; Braun, A.; Bernhagen, J.

The Journal of immunology 170 (2003), Nr.6, S.3337-3347
ISSN: 0022-1767
ISSN: 1048-3233
ISSN: 1047-7381
ISSN: 1550-6606
Fraunhofer IGB ()

The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) exhibits pro- and anti-inflammatory activities and regulates cell proliferation and survival. We investigated the effects of MIF on apoptosis. As MIF exhibits oxidoreductase activity and participates in regulating oxidative cell stress, we studied whether MIF could affect oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. We demonstrated that MIF exhibits antiapoptotic activity in various settings. MIF suppressed camptothecin-induced apoptosis in HeLa and Kym cells and HL-60 promyeloblasts. Both,exogenous MIF and endogenous MIF, induced following overexpression through tetracycline (tet) gene induction, led to significant suppression of apoptosis. Apoptosis reduction by MIF was also observed in T cells. A role for MIF in redox stress-induced apoptosis was addressed by comparing the effects of rMIF with those of the oxidoreductase mutant C60SMIF. Endogenous overexpression of C60SMIF was similar to that of MIF, but C60SMIF did not suppress apoptosis. Exogenous rC60SMIF inhibited apoptosis. A role for MIF in oxidative stress-induced apoptosis was directly studied in HL-60 leukocytes and tet-regulated HeLa cells following thiol starvation or diamide treatment. MIT protected these cells from redox stress-induced apoptosis and enhanced cellular glutathione levels. As overexpressed C60SMIF did not protect tet-regulated HeLa cells from thiol starvation-induced apoptosis, it seems that the redox motif of MIT is important for this function. Finally, overexpression of MIF inhibited phosphorylation of endogenous c-jun induced by thiol starvation, indicating that MIF-based suppression of apoptosis is mediated through modulation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity. Our findings show that MIF has potent antiapoptotic activities and suggest that MIT is a modulator of pro-oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.