Product(s) used in this publication: Custom Peptide Synthesis
Nerve injury-induced protein (Ninjurin [Ninj]) 1 is an adhesion molecule originally identified in Schwann cells after nerve injury, whereas it is also expressed in leukocytes, epithelium, endothelium, and various organs, and is induced under inflammatory conditions. Its contribution to inflammation was so far restricted to the nervous system and exclusively attributed to its role during leukocyte migration. We hypothesized a proinflammatory role for Ninj1 also outside the nervous system. To elucidate its impact during inflammation, we analyzed expression levels and its contribution to inflammation in septic mice and studied its effect on inflammatory signaling in vitro. The effect on inflammation was analyzed by genetic (only in vitro) and pharmacologic repression in septic mice (cecal ligation and puncture) and cell culture, respectively. Repression of Ninj1 by an inhibitory peptide or small interfering RNA attenuated LPS-triggered inflammation in macrophages and endothelial cells by modulating p38 phosphorylation and activator protein-1 activation. Inhibition of Ninj1 in septic mice reduced systemic and pulmonary inflammation as well as organ damage, and ameliorated survival after 24 hours. Ninj1 is elevated under inflammatory conditions and contributes to inflammation not only by mediating leukocyte migration, but also by modulating Toll-like receptor 4-dependent expression of inflammatory mediators. We assume that, owing to both mechanisms, inhibition reduces systemic inflammation and organ damage in septic mice. Our data contribute to a better understanding of the complex inflammatory mechanisms and add a novel therapeutic target for inflammatory conditions such as sepsis.
Toll-like receptor; cecal ligation and puncture; signaling; systemic inflammatory response syndrome