PXR Functionally Interacts with NF-κB and AP-1 to Downregulate the Inflammation-Induced Expression of Chemokine CXCL2 in Mice

Maya Okamura, Ryota Shizu, Taiki Abe, Susumu Kodama, Takuomi Hosaka, Takamitsu Sasaki, Kouichi Yoshinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a liver-enriched xenobiotic-responsive transcription factor. Although recent studies suggest that PXR shows anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), the detailed mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate this mechanism. Mice were treated intraperitoneally with the PXR agonist pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile (PCN) and/or carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Liver injury was evaluated, and hepatic mRNA levels were determined via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Reporter assays with wild-type and mutated mouse Cxcl2 promoter-containing reporter plasmids were conducted in 293T cells. Results showed that the hepatic expression of inflammation-related genes was upregulated in CCl4-treated mice, and PCN treatment repressed the induced expression of chemokine-encoding Ccl2 and Cxcl2 among the genes investigated. Consistently, PCN treatment suppressed the increased plasma transaminase activity and neutrophil infiltration in the liver. In reporter assays, tumor necrosis factor-α-induced Cxcl2 expression was suppressed by PXR. Although an NF-κB inhibitor or the mutation of an NF-κB-binding motif partly reduced PXR-dependent suppression, the mutation of both NF-κB and activator protein 1 (AP-1) sites abolished it. Consistently, AP-1-dependent gene transcription was suppressed by PXR with a construct containing AP-1 binding motifs. In conclusion, the present results suggest that PXR exerts anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing both NF-κB- and AP-1-dependent chemokine expression in mouse liver.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • AP-1
  • CXCL2
  • NF-κB
  • PXR
  • anti-inflammation
  • chemokine
  • gene regulation
  • liver injury model
  • nuclear receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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