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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 352371, 13 pages
Review Article

Functional Roles of p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase in Macrophage-Mediated Inflammatory Responses

1Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea
2Division of Gynecologic Oncology Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 158-710, Republic of Korea
3College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Republic of Korea
4Department of Herbal Crop Research, National Institutes of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-707, Republic of Korea
5Colorectal Cancer Branch, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Gyeonggi 410-769, Republic of Korea

Received 29 September 2013; Revised 27 November 2013; Accepted 11 February 2014; Published 20 March 2014

Academic Editor: Pham My-Chan Dang

Copyright © 2014 Yanyan Yang 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.


Inflammation is a natural host defensive process that is largely regulated by macrophages during the innate immune response. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are proline-directed serine and threonine protein kinases that regulate many physiological and pathophysiological cell responses. p38 MAPKs are key MAPKs involved in the production of inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). p38 MAPK signaling plays an essential role in regulating cellular processes, especially inflammation. In this paper, we summarize the characteristics of p38 signaling in macrophage-mediated inflammation. In addition, we discuss the potential of using inhibitors targeting p38 expression in macrophages to treat inflammatory diseases.