Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor blockade enables dexamethasone to inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced murine lung neutrophils

Jesus Banuelos, Yun Cao, Soon Cheon Shin, Bruce S. Bochner, Pedro Avila, Shihong Li, Xin Jiang, Mark W. Lingen, Robert P. Schleimer, Nick Z. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoids promote neutrophilic inflammation, the mechanisms of which are poorly characterized. Using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute murine lung injury model, we determined the role of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in mouse lung neutrophil numbers in the absence and presence of dexamethasone, a potent glucocorticoid. G-CSF was blocked using a neutralizing antibody. Airway neutrophil numbers, cytokine levels, and lung injury parameters were measured. Glucocorticoid treatment maintained LPS-induced airway G-CSF while suppressing TNF and IL-6. The addition of anti-G-CSF antibodies enabled dexamethasone to decrease airway G-CSF, neutrophils, and lung injury scores. In LPS-challenged murine lungs, structural cells and infiltrating leukocytes produced G-CSF. In vitro using BEAS 2B bronchial epithelial cells, A549 lung epithelial cells, human monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophils, we found that dexamethasone and proinflammatory cytokines synergistically induced G-CSF. Blocking G-CSF production in BEAS 2B cells using shRNAs diminished the ability of BEAS 2B cells to protect neutrophils from undergoing spontaneous apoptosis. These data support that G-CSF plays a role in upregulation of airway neutrophil numbers by dexamethasone in the LPS-induced acute lung injury model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0177884
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this