Role of early growth response-1 (Egr-1) in interleukin-13-induced inflammation and remodeling.
IL-13 is an important stimulator of inflammation and tissue remodeling at sites of Th2 inflammation, which plays a key role in the pathogenesis of a variety of human disorders. We hypothesized that the ubiquitous transcription factor, early growth response-1 (Egr-1), plays a key role in IL-13-induced tissue responses. To test this hypothesis we compared the expression of Egr-1 and related moieties in lungs from wild type mice and transgenic mice in which IL-13 was overexpressed in a lung-specific fashion. We simultaneously characterized the effects of a null mutation of Egr-1 on the tissue effects of transgenic IL-13. These studies demonstrate that IL-13 stimulates Egr-1 via an Erk1/2-independent Stat6-dependent pathway(s). They also demonstrate that IL-13 is a potent stimulator of eosinophil- and mononuclear cell-rich inflammation, alveolar remodeling, and tissue fibrosis in mice with wild type Egr-1 loci and that these alterations are ameliorated in the absence of Egr-1. Lastly, they provide insights into the mechanisms of these processes by demonstrating that IL-13 stimulates select CC and CXC chemokines (MIP-1alpha/CCL-3, MIP-1beta/CCL-4, MIP-2/CXCL2/3, MCP-1/CCL-2, MCP-2/CCL-8, MCP-3/CCL-7, MCP-5/CCL-12, KC/CXCL-1, and Lix/CXCL-5), matrix metalloproteinase-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, and apoptosis regulators (caspase-3, -6, -8, and -9 and Bax) and activates transforming growth factor-beta1 and pulmonary caspases via Egr-1-dependent pathways. These studies demonstrate that Egr-1 plays a key role in the pathogenesis of IL-13-induced inflammatory and remodeling responses.