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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 369693, 14 pages
Research Article

Anti-Inflammatory Cytokine Interleukin-4 Inhibits Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene Expression in the Mouse Macrophage Cell Line RAW264.7 through the Repression of Octamer-Dependent Transcription

Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Oral Biology and Tissue Engineering, Meikai University School of Dentistry, 1-1 Keyakidai, Sakado 350-0283, Saitama, Japan

Received 31 October 2013; Revised 30 November 2013; Accepted 2 December 2013

Academic Editor: Elisabetta Buommino

Copyright © 2013 Miki Hiroi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is a signature molecule involved in the classical activation of M1 macrophages and is induced by the Nos2 gene upon stimulation with Th1-cell derived interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Although the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 is known to inhibit Nos2 gene expression, the molecular mechanism involved in the negative regulation of Nos2 by IL-4 remains to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism of IL-4-mediated Nos2 transcriptional repression in the mouse macrophage-like cell line RAW264.7. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (Stat6) knockdown by siRNA abolished the IL-4-mediated inhibition of Nos2 induced by IFNγ/LPS. Transient transfection of a luciferase reporter gene containing the 5′-flanking region of the Nos2 gene demonstrated that an octamer transcription factor (OCT) binding site in the promoter region is required for both positive regulation by IFNγ/LPS and negative regulation by IL-4. Although IL-4 had no inhibitory effect on the DNA-binding activity of constitutively expressed Oct-1, IL-4-induced Nos2-reporter transcriptional repression was partially attenuated by overexpression of the coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP). These results suggest that a coactivator/cofactor that functionally interacts with Oct-1 is a molecular target for the IL-4-mediated inhibition of Nos2 and that IL-4-activated Stat6 represses Oct-1-dependent transcription by competing with this coactivator/cofactor.