Critical role of prostaglandin E2 overproduction in impaired pulmonary host response following bone marrow transplantation

Megan N. Ballinger, David M. Aronoff, Tracy R. McMillan, Kenneth R. Cooke, Krystyna Olkiewicz, Galen B. Toews, Marc Peters-Golden, Bethany B. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The success of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) as a therapy for malignant and inherited disorders is limited by infectious complications. We previously demonstrated syngeneic BMT mice are more susceptible to Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia due to defects in the ability of donor-derived alveolar macrophages (AMs), but not polymorphonudear leukocytes (PMNs), to phagocytose bacteria. We now demonstrate that both donor-derived AMs and PMNs display bacterial killing defects post-BMT. PGE2 is a lipid mediator with potent immunosuppressive effects against antimicrobial functions. We hypothesize that enhanced PGE2 production post-BMT impairs host defense. We demonstrate that lung homogenates from BMT mice contain 2.8-fold more PGE 2 than control mice, and alveolar epithelial cells (2.7-fold), AMs (125-fold), and PMNs (10-fold) from BMT animals all overproduce PGE2. AMs also produce increased prostacyclin (PGI2) post-BMT. Interestingly, the E prostanoid (EP) receptors EP2 and EP4 are elevated on donor-derived phagocytes post-BMT. Blocking PGE2 synthesis with indomethacin overcame the phagocytic and killing defects of BMT AMs and the killing defects of BMT PMNs in vitro. The effect of indomethacin on AM phagocytosis could be mimicked by an EP2 antagonist, AH-6809, and exogenous addition of PGE2 reversed the beneficial effects of indomethacin in vitro. Importantly, in vivo treatment with indomethacin reduced PGE2 levels in lung homogenates and restored in vivo bacterial clearance from the lung and blood in BMT mice. Genetic reduction of cyclooxygenase-2 in BMT mice also had similar effects. These data clearly demonstrate that overproduction of PGE2 post-BMT is a critical factor determining impaired host defense against pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5499-5508
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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