Inflammatory mediators orchestrate the host immune and metabolic response to acute bacterial infections and mediate the events leading to septic shock. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has long been identified as one of the proximal mediators of endotoxin action. Recent studies have implicated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) as a potential target to modulate regulation of the immune response. Since PPARα activators, which are hypolipidemic drugs, are being prescribed for a significant population of older patients, it is important to determine the impact of these drugs on the host response to acute inflammation. Therefore, we examined the role of PPARα activators on the regulation of TNF expression in a mouse model of endotoxemia. CD-1 mice treated with dietary fenofibrate or Wy-14,643 had fivefold-higher lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced TNF plasma levels than LPS-treated control-fed animals. Higher LPS-induced TNF levels in drug-fed animals were reflected physiologically in significantly lower glucose levels in plasma and a significantly lower 50% lethal dose than those in LPS-treated control-fed animals. Utilizing PPARα wild-type (WT) and knockout (KO) mice, we showed that the effect of fenofibrate on LPS-induced TNF expression was indeed mediated by PPARα. PPARα WT mice fed fenofibrate also had a fivefold increase in LPS-induced TNF levels in plasma compared to control-fed animals. However, LPS-induced TNF levels were significantly decreased and glucose levels in plasma were significantly increased in PPARα KO mice fed fenofibrate compared to those in control-fed animals. Data from peritoneal macrophage studies indicate that Wy-14,643 modestly decreased TNF expression in vitro. Similarly, overexpression of PPARα in 293T cells decreased activity of a human TNF promoter-luciferase construct. The results from these studies suggest that any anti-inflammatory activity of PPARα in vivo can be masked by other systemic effects of PPARα activators.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases