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p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling is known to be increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) macrophages. We have studied the effects of the p38 MAPK inhibitor N-cyano-N'-(2-{[8-(2,6-difluorophenyl)-4-(4-fluoro-2-methylphenyl)-7-oxo-7,8-dihydropyrido[2,3-d]-pyrimidin-2-yl]amino}ethyl)guanidine (SB706504) and dexamethasone on COPD macrophage inflammatory gene expression and protein secretion. We also studied the effects of combined SB706504 and dexamethasone treatment. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated monocyte derived macrophages (MDMs) and alveolar macrophages (AMs) were cultured with dexamethasone and/or SB706504. MDMs were used for gene array and protein studies, whereas tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha protein production was measured from AMs. SB706504 caused transcriptional inhibition of a range of cytokines and chemokines in COPD MDMs. The use of SB706504 combined with dexamethasone caused greater suppression of gene expression (-8.90) compared with SB706504 alone (-2.04) or dexamethasone (-3.39). Twenty-three genes were insensitive to the effects of both drugs, including interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-18, and chemokine (CC motif) ligand (CCL) 5. In addition, the chromosome 4 chemokine cluster members, CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL3, and CXCL8, were all glucocorticoid-resistant. SB706504 significantly inhibited LPS-stimulated TNFalpha production from COPD and smoker AMs, with near-maximal suppression caused by combination treatment with dexamethasone. We conclude that SB706504 targets a subset of inflammatory macrophage genes and when used with dexamethasone causes effective suppression of these genes. SB706504 and dexamethasone had no effect on the transcription of a subset of LPS-regulated genes, including IL-1beta, IL-18, and CCL5, which are all known to be involved in the pathogenesis of COPD.

Original publication




Journal article


J Pharmacol Exp Ther

Publication Date





458 - 468


Cell Culture Techniques, Chemokines, Dexamethasone, Drug Interactions, Gene Expression, Guanidines, Humans, JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Lipopolysaccharides, Macrophages, Protein Kinase Inhibitors, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Pyrimidinones, p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases