Stimulation of monocytic cells by inflammatory agents such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide or tumour necrosis factor-alpha leads to the rapid and transient expression of tissue factor, the major cellular initiator of the extrinsic coagulation cascade in both haemostasis and tissue inflammation. In this study we investigated whether the synthetic anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, would inhibit agonist induction of tissue factor expression in both monocytes and endothelial cells. Surprisingly, dexamethasone significantly enhanced the induction of tissue factor expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells and an established monocytic cell line, THP-1, in response to lipopolysaccharide or tumour necrosis factor-alpha. However, unlike monocytic cells, dexamethasone did not enhance agonist induction of tissue factor in endothelial cells. Synergistic enhancement of tissue factor expression by dexamethasone was also reflected in tissue factor mRNA levels in THP-1 cells, but was not the result of improved TF mRNA stability. Synergism between bacterial lipopolysaccharide and glucocorticoid in the induction of monocyte effector function is extremely unusual and may help to explain the variable outcome of glucorticoid treatment of septic shock.
- Tissue factor
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