Bruce D. Levy, M.D.

Specialty: Pulmonary Medicine

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Clinics 3
15 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115


The following is a list of recent publications for which this Partners Asthma Center physician has been cited as an author in PubMed databases. Study abstracts have been provided for your convenience.

Levy, B. D. and C. N. Serhan (2003). "Exploring new approaches to the treatment of asthma: Potential roles for lipoxins and aspirin-triggered lipid mediators." Drugs Today (Barc) 39(5): 373-384.

The prevalence of asthma continues to increase and its optimal treatment remains a challenge. During asthma, leukotrienes and prostaglandins are generated in human airways, leading to bronchoconstriction and airway inflammation. Several pharmaceutical agents are currently available to inhibit the formation or action of these lipid mediators, but asthmatic individuals have heterogeneous and often incomplete therapeutic responses. Lipoxins are a class of eicosanoids distinct from leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Temporal analyses in experimental models of acute inflammation reveal early coordinate appearance of leukotrienes and prostaglandins followed by delayed lipoxin biosynthesis concurrent with resolution of the inflammatory response. Of interest, lipoxins display unique antiinflammatory actions and, in an experimental model of asthma, administration of a stable analog of 15-epi-lipoxin A(4) markedly decreased both airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation. In addition, overexpression of human lipoxin A(4) (LXA(4)) receptors in murine leukocytes also protected animals from the development of airway inflammation. Inhibition of airway hyperresponsiveness and allergic airway inflammation with a LXA(4) stable analog highlights a unique counterregulatory profile for LXA(4) and its leukocyte receptor in airway responses and suggests that lipoxins and related pathways present novel multipronged therapeutic approaches for consideration in airway inflammation and human asthma. (c) 2003 Prous Science. All rights reserved.

Levy, B. D., G. T. De Sanctis, et al. (2003). "Lipoxins and aspirin-triggered lipoxins in airway responses." Adv Exp Med Biol 525: 19-23.

Here, we have demonstrated potent inhibition of allergen-mediated pulmonary inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness by a novel dual-pronged action of LX's. Moreover, these results indicate that LX's play pivotal and previously unappreciated roles in regulating allergy and pulmonary inflammation.

Ejima, K., M. D. Layne, et al. (2003). "Cyclooxygenase-2-deficient mice are resistant to endotoxin-induced inflammation and death." Faseb J 17(10): 1325-7.

Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to a blood-borne infection that is associated with an extremely high rate of morbidity and mortality. The present study investigates the role of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in host responses to bacterial endotoxemia. After administration of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, 50% of wild-type mice die within 96 h. COX-2 deficient mice displayed a dramatic improvement in survival with reduced leukocyte infiltration into critical organs (kidneys and lungs) and a blunted and delayed induction of the cytokine inducible genes nitric oxide synthase 2 and heme oxygenase-1. Translocation and activation of transcription factors important for signaling events during an inflammatory response, such as nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB, were also markedly reduced. While the absence of COX-2 did not alter the induction of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in tissue macrophages, induction of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was exaggerated. Administration of IL-10 to wild-type mice reduced NF-kappaB activation. Taken together, our data suggest that COX-2 deficient mice are resistant to many of the detrimental consequences of endotoxemia. These beneficial effects occur, in part, by a compensatory increase in IL-10 that counterbalances the pro-inflammatory host response to endotoxemia.

Levy, B. D., G. T. De Sanctis, et al. (2002). "Multi-pronged inhibition of airway hyper-responsiveness and inflammation by lipoxin A(4)." Nat Med 8(9): 1018-23.

The prevalence of asthma continues to increase and its optimal treatment remains a challenge. Here, we investigated the actions of lipoxin A(4) (LXA(4)) and its leukocyte receptor in pulmonary inflammation using a murine model of asthma. Allergen challenge initiated airway biosynthesis of LXA(4) and increased expression of its receptor. Administration of a stable analog of LXA(4) blocked both airway hyper-responsiveness and pulmonary inflammation, as shown by decreased leukocytes and mediators, including interleukin-5, interleukin-13, eotaxin, prostanoids and cysteinyl leukotrienes. Moreover, transgenic expression of human LXA(4) receptors in murine leukocytes led to significant inhibition of pulmonary inflammation and eicosanoid-initiated eosinophil tissue infiltration. Inhibition of airway hyper-responsiveness and allergic airway inflammation with a stable LXA(4) analog highlights a unique counter-regulatory profile for the LXA(4) system and its leukocyte receptor in airway responses. Moreover, our findings suggest that lipoxin and related pathways offer novel multi-pronged therapeutic approaches for human asthma.

Levy, B. D. and C. N. Serhan (2002). "Polyisoprenyl phosphates: natural antiinflammatory lipid signals." Cell Mol Life Sci 59(5): 729-41.

Lipoxins (LX) and aspirin-triggered 15-epimer LX are leukocyte-derived eicosanoids generated during host defense that serve as down-regulatory signals. The specific intracellular events that govern cellular responses to inhibitory extracellular signals are of wide interest in order to understand pivotal intracellular events in diseases characterized by enhanced inflammatory responses, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. We recently uncovered a novel role for polyisoprenyl phosphates, in particular presqualene diphosphate (PSDP), as natural down-regulatory signals in human neutrophils that directly inhibit phospholipase D and superoxide anion generation. Activation of LXA4 receptors (ALXR) reverses proinflammatory receptor-initiated decrements in PSDP and inhibits cellular responses. These findings represent evidence for a novel paradigm for lipid-protein interactions in the control of cellular responses, namely receptor-initiated degradation of repressor lipids that is subject to regulation by aspirin treatment via the actions of aspirin-triggered 15-epimer LX at the ALXR, and identify new templates for antiinflammatory drugs by design.

Levy, B. D., C. B. Clish, et al. (2001). "Lipid mediator class switching during acute inflammation: signals in resolution." Nat Immunol 2(7): 612-9.

Leukotrienes (LTs) and prostaglandins (PGs) amplify acute inflammation, whereas lipoxins (LXs) have unique anti-inflammatory actions. Temporal analyses of these eicosanoids in clinical and experimental exudates showed early coordinate appearance of LT and PG with polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) recruitment. This was followed by LX biosynthesis, which was concurrent with spontaneous resolution. Human peripheral blood PMNs exposed to PGE2 (as in exudates) switched eicosanoid biosynthesis from predominantly LTB4 and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO)-initiated pathways to LXA4, a 15-LO product that "stopped" PMN infiltration. These results indicate that first-phase eicosanoids promote a shift to anti-inflammatory lipids: functionally distinct lipid-mediator profiles switch during acute exudate formation to "reprogram" the exudate PMNs to promote resolution.

Serhan, C. N., B. D. Levy, et al. (2000). "Lipoxins, aspirin-triggered 15-epi-lipoxin stable analogs and their receptors in anti-inflammation: a window for therapeutic opportunity." Ernst Schering Res Found Workshop(31): 143-85.

LXs and 15-epimer LXs are generated during cell-cell interactions that occur during multicellular host response to inflammation, tissue injury or host defense. Results indicate that they are present in vivo during human illness and carry predominantly counter-regulatory biological actions opposing the action of well-characterized mediators of inflammation that appear to lead to resolution of the inflammatory response or promotion of repair and wound healing. The first selective receptor of LXA4 was identified by direct ligand binding and was cloned and characterized. Its signaling involves a novel polyisoprenyl-phosphate pathway that directly regulates PLD (Levy et al. 1999a). LX- and 15-epimer-LX-stable analogs that resist metabolic inactivation were designed, synthesized and shown to be potent LX mimetics and novel topically active anti-inflammatory agents in animal models. These new investigational tools enable structure-function studies of LX signal transduction, further elucidation of the role of LX and 15-epimer LX in host responses and exploitation of their potent bioactions in the design of novel pharmacologic agents.

Sanak, M., B. D. Levy, et al. (2000). "Aspirin-tolerant asthmatics generate more lipoxins than aspirin-intolerant asthmatics." Eur Respir J 16(1): 44-9.

Asthma is characterized by chronic airway inflammation resulting from overproduction of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as leukotrienes (LT). The authors questioned the biosynthetic capacity of asthmatic patients for lipoxins (LX) and 15-epimer lipoxins (15-epi-LX), endogenous regulators of inflammatory responses that inhibit pro-inflammatory events. Levels of LXA4, 15-epi-LXA4 and LTC4 were determined in 14 clinically characterized aspirin-intolerant asthmatics (AIA), 11 aspirin-tolerant asthmatics (ATA) and eight healthy volunteers using a stimulated whole blood protocol. Both LXA4 and 15-epi-LXA4 were generated in whole blood activated by the divalent cation ionophore, A23187. Higher levels of LXA4 were produced in ATA than either AIA or healthy volunteers. Exposure of AIA whole blood to interleukin-3 prior to A23187 did not elevate their reduced capacity to generate LXA4. Generation of a bronchoconstrictor, LTC4, was similar in both AIA and ATA. Consequently, the ratio of LXA4:LTC4 quantitatively favoured the bronchoconstrictor for AIA and differed from both ATA and healthy subjects. In addition, the capacity for 15-epi-LXA4 generation was also diminished in AIA, since whole blood stimulated in the presence of aspirin gave increased levels only in samples from ATA. The present results indicate that asthmatics possess the capacity to generate both lipoxins and 15-epimer-lipoxins, but aspirin-intolerant asthmatics display a lower biosynthetic capacity than aspirin-tolerant asthmatics for these potentially protective lipid mediators. This previously unappreciated, diminished capacity for lipoxin formation by aspirin-intolerant asthmatic patients may contribute to their more severe clinical phenotype, and represents a novel paradigm for the development of chronic inflammatory disorders.

Levy, B. D. and C. N. Serhan (2000). "Polyisoprenyl phosphate signaling: topography in human neutrophils." Biochem Biophys Res Commun 275(3): 739-45.

To determine the relationship of polyisoprenyl phosphate (PIPP) remodeling and signaling to the activation state of human neutrophils (PMN), we examined the impact of leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) on the conversion of a unique bioactive isoprenoid (presqualene diphosphate: PSDP), recently identified as a novel endogenous signaling molecule. LTB(4) initiated rapid decrements in total PSDP that were concurrent with the respiratory burst (e.g., O(-2) formation). PSDP was identified in nuclear (39%)-, granule (36%)-, and plasma membrane (16%)-containing fractions of PMN. LTB(4) receptor (BLT) activation led to a decrease in nuclear PSDP and concomitant increase in granule-associated PSDP. In addition, PMN nuclei displayed PSDP associated with chromatin as established by mass spectrometry. Together, these results indicate that PSDP is present in membranes and receptor activation rapidly initiates subcellular PIPP remodeling (i.e., conversion) and distribution predominantly to granule membranes. Moreover, identification of nuclear PSDP provides the basis for novel roles for PIPP and PSDP in nuclear-associated signaling events.

Levy, B. D. and C. N. Serhan (2000). "A novel polyisoprenyl phosphate signaling cascade in human neutrophils." Ann N Y Acad Sci 905: 69-80.

Activation of neutrophil (PMN) surface receptors can evoke inflammation and tissue injury via aberrant release of excess effectors. The molecular mechanisms involved in host protection and control of PMN responses have yet to be defined. As Billah and coworkers (1989), and Exton (1997), for example, have pointed out, phospholipase D (PLD) signaling is known to play a pivotal role in PMN activation. Here, we determined the relationship between polyisoprenyl phosphate (PIPP) remodeling and PLD signaling and their impact in activation of PMN receptors by "pro-inflammatory" (leukotriene B4), and "anti-inflammatory" (aspirin-triggered lipoxinA4) ligands. Activation of the leukotriene B4 receptor initiated a rapid (within seconds) decrement in presqualene disphosphate (PSDP), activation of PLD and production of superoxide anions. This contrasts with activation of the LXA4 receptor by an aspirin-triggered lipoxin A4 mimetic that before leukotriene B4 gave an inverse relationship with rapidly increasing PSDP levels, and inhibition of both PLD activity and superoxide generation. PSDP proved to be a potent and direct-acting inhibitor of PLD (rhPLD1b:Ki = 5.9 nM), a property not shared by structurally related endogenous lipids. This PIPP also interacted with Src homology domains, selectively targeting SH2 and not SH3 domains. These results indicate a role for ligand-driven rapid PIPP remodeling as an early switch and "stop" signaling event that controls PMN. Moreover, they indicate that PSDP directly down-regulates PMN signaling events via select protein-target interactions controlling intracellular responses relevant in inflammation.

Kitch, B. T., B. D. Levy, et al. (2000). "Late onset asthma: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment." Drugs Aging 17(5): 385-97.

Asthma is common among older persons, affecting approximately 4 to 8% of those above the age of 65 years. Despite its prevalence, late onset asthma may be misdiagnosed and inadequately treated, with important negative consequences for the patient's health. The histopathology of late onset disease appears to be similar to that of asthma in general, with persistent airway inflammation a characteristic feature. It is less clear, however, that allergic exposure and sensitisation play the same role in the development of disease in adults as they do in children. Atopy is less common among those with late onset asthma, and the prevalence of elevated immunoglobulin E levels is lower among those aged over 55 years of age than younger patients. Occupational asthma is an aetiological consideration unique to adult onset disease, with important implications for treatment. The differential diagnosis for cough, wheeze, and dyspnoea in the elderly is broad, and includes chronic obstructive bronchitis, bronchiectasis, congestive heart failure, lung cancer with endobronchial lesion and vocal cord dysfunction. Keys to accurate diagnosis include a good history and physical examination, the demonstration of reversible airways obstruction on pulmonary function tests and a favorable response to treatment. Inhaled corticosteroid therapy is recommended for patients with persistent disease, and careful instruction in the use of metered-dose inhalers is particularly important for the elderly.

Clish, C. B., B. D. Levy, et al. (2000). "Oxidoreductases in lipoxin A4 metabolic inactivation: a novel role for 15-onoprostaglandin 13-reductase/leukotriene B4 12-hydroxydehydrogenase in inflammation." J Biol Chem 275(33): 25372-80.

The lipoxins (LX) are autacoids that act within a local inflammatory milieu to dampen neutrophil recruitment and promote resolution. 15-Hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) and 15-oxoprostaglandin 13-reductase, also termed leukotriene B(4) 12-hydroxydehydrogenase (PGR/LTB(4)DH), are two enzymatic activities appreciated for their roles in the metabolism of prostaglandins and LTB(4). Here, we determined whether these oxidoreductases also catalyze the conversion of lipoxin A(4) (LXA(4)) and assessed the activities of these LXA(4) metabolites. 15-Oxo-LXA(4) was generated by incubating LXA(4) with 15-PGDH and NAD(+) for studies of its further conversion. PGR/LTB(4)DH catalyzed the NADH-dependent reduction of 15-oxo-LXA(4) to yield 13,14-dihydro-15-oxo-LXA(4). With NADH as a cofactor, 15-PGDH acted as a 15-carbonyl reductase and catalyzed the conversion of 13,14-dihydro-15-oxo-LXA(4) to 13, 14-dihydro-LXA(4). Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) exposed to native LXA(4), 15-oxo-LXA(4), or 13,14-dihydro-LXA(4) did not produce superoxide anions. At concentrations where LXA(4) and a metabolically stable LXA(4) analog potently inhibited leukotriene B(4)-induced superoxide anion generation, the further metabolites were devoid of activity. Neither 15-oxo-LXA(4) nor 13, 14-dihydro-LXA(4) effectively competed with (3)H-labeled LXA(4) for specific binding to recombinant LXA(4) receptor (ALXR). In addition, introducing recombinant PGR/LTB(4)DH into a murine exudative model of inflammation increased PMN number by approximately 2-fold, suggesting that this enzyme participates in the regulation of PMN trafficking. These results establish the structures of LXA(4) further metabolites and indicate that conversion of LXA(4) to oxo- and dihydro- products represents a mode of LXA(4) inactivation in inflammation. Moreover, they suggest that these eicosanoid oxidoreductases have multifaceted roles controlling the levels of specific eicosanoids involved in the regulation of inflammation.

Levy, B. D., V. V. Fokin, et al. (1999). "Polyisoprenyl phosphate (PIPP) signaling regulates phospholipase D activity: a 'stop' signaling switch for aspirin-triggered lipoxin A4." Faseb J 13(8): 903-11.

It is of wide interest to understand how opposing extracellular signals (positive or negative) are translated into intracellular signaling events. Receptor-ligand interactions initiate the generation of bioactive lipids by human neutrophils (PMN), which serve as signals to orchestrate cellular responses important in host defense and inflammation. We recently identified a novel polyisoprenyl phosphate (PIPP) signaling pathway and found that one of its components, presqualene diphosphate (PSDP), is a potent negative intracellular signal in PMN that regulates superoxide anion generation by several stimuli, including phosphatidic acid. We determined intracellular PIPP signaling by autocoids with opposing actions on PMN: leukotriene B4 (LTB4), a potent chemoattractant, and lipoxin A4 (LXA4), a 'stop signal' for recruitment. LTB4 receptor activation initiated a rapid decrease in PSDP levels concurrent with activation of PLD and cellular responses. In sharp contrast, activation of the LXA4 receptor reversed LTB4-initiated PSDP remodeling, leading to an accumulation of PSDP and potent inhibition of both PLD and superoxide anion generation. Thus, an inverse relationship was established for PSDP levels and PLD activity with two PMN ligands that evoke opposing responses. In addition, PSDP directly inhibited both isolated human recombinant (Ki = 6 nM) and plant (Ki = 20 nM) PLD. Together, these findings link PIPP remodeling to intracellular regulation of PMN function and suggest a role for PIPPs as lipid repressors in signal transduction, a novel mechanism that may also explain aspirin's suppressive actions in vivo in cell signaling.

Levy, B. D., B. Kitch, et al. (1998). "Medical and ventilatory management of status asthmaticus." Intensive Care Med 24(2): 105-17.

Despite improved understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying asthma, morbidity and mortality remain high, especially in the "inner cities." The treatment of choice in status asthmaticus includes high doses of inhaled beta 2-agonists, systemic corticosteroids, and supplemental oxygen. The roles of theophylline and anticholinergics remain controversial, although in general these agents appear to add little to the bronchodilator effect of inhaled beta-agonists in most patients. Anti-leukotriene medications have not yet been evaluated in acute asthma. Other therapies, such as magnesium sulfate and heliox, have their advocates but are not recommended as part of routine care. If pharmacological therapy does not reverse severe airflow obstruction in the asthmatic attack, mechanical ventilation may be temporarily required. Based on our current understanding of ventilator-induced lung injury, optimal ventilation of asthmatic patients avoids excessive lung inflation by limiting minute ventilation and prolonging expiratory time, despite consequent hypercapnia. Unless respiratory function is extremely unstable, the use of paralytic agents is discouraged because of the increased risk of intensive care myopathy. Patients who have suffered respiratory failure due to asthma are at increased risk for subsequent death due to asthma (14% mortality at 3 years) and should receive very close medical follow-up. In general, severe asthmatic attacks can best be prevented by early intervention in the outpatient setting. In the words of Dr. Thomas Petty, "... the best treatment of status asthmaticus is to treat it three days before it occurs".

Levy, B. D., J. M. Drazen, et al. (1997). "Agonist-induced lipoxin A4 generation in vitro and in aspirin-sensitive asthmatics: detection by a novel lipoxin A4-ELISA." Adv Exp Med Biol 400B: 611-5.

Levy, B. D., N. A. Petasis, et al. (1997). "Polyisoprenyl phosphates in intracellular signalling." Nature 389(6654): 985-90.

In response to environmental stimuli, leukocyte membrane remodelling generates biologically active lipids that can serve as both intra- and extracellular mediators. There are several classes of lipids that can mediate inflammatory reactions. We report here on a new intracellular lipid signal that regulates oxygen-radical formation in neutrophils, a key response in microbial killing, inflammation and tissue injury. Screening of neutrophil-derived extracts rich in phosphorylated, non-saponifiable lipids revealed a potent inhibitor of superoxide anion (O2-) production. Structural analysis of biologically active fractions gave four major phosphorylated lipids: most abundant was presqualene diphosphate (PSDP). Upon activation of neutrophil receptors, PSDP and its monophosphate form, presqualene monophosphate (PSMP), undergo rapid remodelling. At submicromolar concentrations, PSDP but not PSMP inhibit O2- production by human neutrophil cell-free oxidase preparations. We prepared PSDP and PSMP by total organic synthesis and matched both the physical properties and biological activity of the neutrophil-derived compounds. Our results indicate that PSDP, a recognized intermediate of cholesterol biosynthesis, is present in immune effector cells and is a potent regulator of the cellular response in host defence.

Serhan, C. N., S. Fiore, et al. (1994). "Cell-cell interactions in lipoxin generation and characterization of lipoxin A4 receptors." Ann N Y Acad Sci 744: 166-80.

Winkenwerder, W., B. D. Levy, et al. (1993). "Variation in physicians' decision-making thresholds in management of a sexually transmitted disease." J Gen Intern Med 8(7): 369-73.

OBJECTIVE: To gain insight into the variation in physicians' clinical decisions and further understand the factors that influence physicians' thresholds for testing and treating. DESIGN: Written clinical scenarios were mailed to two groups of physicians who were asked to provide probability estimates of syphilis, how these estimates might change with new information, and when a diagnostic test would be ordered or treatment begun. A model was then used to calculate the probabilities at which physicians ordered tests or initiated treatment. PARTICIPANTS: Group 1 comprised 126 board-certified internists from metropolitan Philadelphia responding from a sample of 360 such physicians randomly selected from a directory. Group 2 consisted of 31 experts in sexually transmitted disease responding from a sample of 50 experts selected by the authors. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Experts were willing to obtain a serologic screening test at a lower likelihood of syphilis (0.013%) than were internists (0.034%), and they were willing to obtain a lumbar puncture at a lower likelihood of neurosyphilis (0.165%) than were internists (0.393%). The difference in the groups' thresholds to begin neurosyphilis treatment was not significant. A multivariate model showed that group differences were created by individual characteristics (years in practice, subspecialty board certification, and full-time nonacademic practice) that were associated with higher thresholds for serologic screening. CONCLUSIONS: There are differences in the diagnostic testing practices for syphilis between national experts and internists. Although status in one of these groups alone did not predict the threshold for obtaining syphilis tests, certain individual characteristics were predictive. Examination of physician characteristics helps to explain the variation observed in their practice patterns, and determination of physicians' thresholds aids in analyzing these variations.

Levy, B. D., S. Bertram, et al. (1993). "Agonist-induced lipoxin A4 generation: detection by a novel lipoxin A4-ELISA." Lipids 28(12): 1047-53.

Lipoxin A4 (LXA4) possesses potent bioactions. To facilitate its detection, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed that proved sensitive and selective. Quantitation by ELISA of LXA4 generated from cellular sources strongly correlated (r = 0.99) with values obtained by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). We used this LXA4-ELISA to examine parameters influencing LXA4 generation from endogenous substrates during human platelet-neutrophil (PLT-PMN) interactions in vitro. Agonist-induced LXA4 production was clearly evident at a PLT-PMN ratio of 10:1, and recombinant human granulocyte/monocyte colony stimulating factor-priming of PMN augmented LXA4 generation 5-6 fold. The chemotactic peptide formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine, platelet-derived growth factor and arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) each stimulated formation of immunoreactive LXA4 (iLXA4) in these co-incubations. The presence of iLXA4 was also evaluated in vivo in aspirin-sensitive asthmatic patients who, in a randomized, double-blind crossover design, underwent nasal lavage after they each ingested a predetermined threshold dose of aspirin or placebo. Aspirin challenge provoked statistically significant increases in iLXA4 in each patient (P < 0.005). These results validate the use of a solid-phase ELISA for detection of LXA4. Furthermore, the use of this ELISA has allowed the first documentation of iLXA4 formation in human subjects with aspirin-sensitive asthma following specific antigenic challenge.

Levy, B. D., M. Romano, et al. (1993). "Human alveolar macrophages have 15-lipoxygenase and generate 15(S)-hydroxy-5,8,11-cis-13-trans-eicosatetraenoic acid and lipoxins." J Clin Invest 92(3): 1572-9.

Eicosanoids derived from lipoxygenase (LO)-catalyzed reactions play important roles in pulmonary inflammation. Here, we examined formation of LO-derived products by human alveolar macrophages (HAM). HAM converted [1-14C]-arachidonic acid to a product carrying 14C-radiolabel that was identified as 15(S)-hydroxy-5,8,11-cis-13-trans-eicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) by physical methods. 15-LO mRNA was demonstrated in HAM by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Incubation of HAM for 3 d with interleukin 4(IL-4) before exposure to [1-14C]arachidonic acid led to both increased mRNA for 15-LO and a 4-fold increase in 15-HETE formation. In contrast, 5(S)-hydroxy-6-trans-8,11,14-cis-eicosatetraenoic acid generation was not significantly altered by prior exposure to IL-4. Additionally, lipoxins (LXA4 and LXB4) were detected from endogenous substrate, albeit in lower levels than leukotriene B4 (LTB4), in electrochemical detection/high performance liquid chromatography profiles from HAM incubated in the presence and absence of the chemotactic peptide (FMLP) or the calcium ionophore (A23187). Exposure of HAM to leukotriene A4 (LTA4) resulted in a 2-fold increase in LXA4 and 10-fold increase in LXB4. These results demonstrate the presence of 15-LO mRNA and enzyme activity in HAM and the production of LXA4 and LXB4 by these cells. Along with 5-LO-derived products, the biosynthesis of 15-LO-derived eicosanoids by HAM may also be relevant in modulating inflammatory responses in the lung.

Mecham, R. P., B. D. Levy, et al. (1985). "Increased cyclic GMP levels lead to a stimulation of elastin production in ligament fibroblasts that is reversed by cyclic AMP." J Biol Chem 260(6): 3255-8.

The effects of cyclic nucleotides on elastin synthesis were studied in ligamentum nuchae fibroblasts by adding exogenous cyclic nucleotide derivatives or beta-adrenergic agents to cell culture medium. Elastin synthesis was enhanced (approximately 80%) by dibutyryl cGMP (Bt2cGMP) in concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 100 nM. Two other cGMP derivatives, 8-bromoguanosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP) and 2'-deoxy-cGMP, were also potent stimulators of elastin synthesis. In the absence of calcium, basal elastin production was substantially decreased (40% of control) and cGMP analogs no longer stimulated elastin synthesis, suggesting a role for calcium in the cGMP response. Bt2cAMP had no demonstrable effect on elastin production except at high concentrations which produced a nonspecific decrease equivalent to the decrease in total protein synthesis. Similarly, elevation of endogenous cellular cAMP levels by beta-adrenergic stimulation produced no change in elastin production. When 8-Br-cGMP was added to cells together with Bt2cAMP, cGMP-dependent stimulation of elastin production was abolished by cAMP in a dose-dependent fashion. These results suggest a coordinated means by which elastin production is controlled in ligament cells, i.e. increased cGMP levels lead to a stimulation of elastin production that is reversed by cAMP.

Mecham, R. P., S. L. Morris, et al. (1984). "Glucocorticoids stimulate elastin production in differentiated bovine ligament fibroblasts but do not induce elastin synthesis in undifferentiated cells." J Biol Chem 259(20): 12414-8.

Glucocorticoid treatment of fibroblasts from late gestation fetal bovine ligamentum nuchae resulted in a time- and dose-dependent selective increase in elastin production. Tropoelastin levels increased 2-3-fold in the presence of 10 nM dexamethasone while total protein synthesis and the rate of cell division decreased with glucocorticoid exposure. Two tropoelastin bands of molecular weights 64,500 and 61,000 were identified by immunoprecipitation and sodium dodecyl sulfate gradient-gel electrophoresis and both bands increased to an equal extent in the presence of dexamethasone. Undifferentiated cells from early-gestation animals did not synthesize elastin after hormone exposure, even though glucocorticoid receptors were demonstrated by nuclear-translocation experiments. These results indicate that glucocorticoids stimulate elastin production in elastin-producing ligament cells but do not induce elastin synthesis (differentiation) in undifferentiated cells.