Activated protein C inhibits tumor necrosis factor and macrophage migration inhibitory factor production in monocytes

M Schmidt-Supprian, C Murphy, B While, M Lawler, A Kapurniotu, W Voelter, O Smith, J Bernhagen, Mark Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


The precise regulatory mechanisms of amplification and downregulation of the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the inflammatory response have not been fully delineated. Although activated protein C (APC) and its precursor protein C (PC) have recently been reported to be promising therapeutic agents in the management of meningococcal sepsis, direct evidence for the anti-inflammatory effect remains scarce. We report that APC inhibits in vitro the release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), two known cytokine mediators of bacterial septic shock, from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human monocytes. The THP-1 monocytic cell line, when stimulated with LPS and concomitant APC, exhibited a marked reduction in the release of TNF and MIF protein in a concentration-dependent manner compared to cells stimulated with LPS alone. This effect was observed only when incubations were performed in serum-free media, but not in the presence of 1-10% serum. Serum-mediated inhibition could only be overcome by increasing APC concentrations to far beyond physiological levels, suggesting the presence of endogenous serum-derived APC inhibitors. Inhibition of MIF release by APC was found to be independent of TNF, as stimulation of MIF release by LPS was unaltered in the presence of anti-TNF antibodies. Our data confirm that the suggested anti-inflammatory properties of APC are due to direct inhibition of the release of the pro-inflammatory monokine TNF, and imply that the anti-inflammatory action of APC is also mediated via inhibition of MIF release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-13
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean cytokine network
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2000


  • Cell Line
  • Culture Media
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Kinetics
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors
  • Models, Biological
  • Monocytes
  • Protein C
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


Dive into the research topics of 'Activated protein C inhibits tumor necrosis factor and macrophage migration inhibitory factor production in monocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this