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Glucocorticoids target suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) and type 1 interferons to regulate Toll-like receptor-induced STAT1 activation.

Bhattacharyya S., Zhao Y., Kay T.W., Muglia L.J.

Endogenous and pharmacologic glucocorticoids (GCs) limit inflammatory cascades initiated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation. A long-standing clinical observation has been the delay between GC administration and the manifestation of GC's anti-inflammatory actions. We hypothesized that the GCs would have inhibitory effects that target late temporal pathways that propagate proinflammatory signals. Here we interrogated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) regulation by GC and its consequences for cytokine production during activation of macrophages with TLR-specific ligands. We found that robust STAT1 activation does not occur until 2-3 h after TLR engagement, and that GC suppression of STAT1 phosphorylation first manifests at this time. GC attenuates TLR4-mediated STAT1 activation only through induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1), which increases throughout the 6-h period after treatment. Inhibition of TLR3-mediated STAT1 activation occurs via two mechanisms, impairment of type I IFN secretion and induction of SOCS1. Our data show that SOCS1 and type I interferons are critical GC targets for regulating STAT1 activity and may account for overall GC effectiveness in inflammation suppression in the clinically relevant time frame.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108:9554-9559(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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