Macrolide antibiotics exert antiinflammatory effects; however, little is known regarding their immunomodulatory mechanisms. In this study, using 2 distinct mouse models of mucosal inflammatory disease (LPS-induced acute lung injury and ligature-induced periodontitis), we demonstrated that the antiinflammatory action of erythromycin (ERM) is mediated through upregulation of the secreted homeostatic protein developmental endothelial locus-1 (DEL-1). Consistent with the anti–neutrophil recruitment action of endothelial cell–derived DEL-1, ERM inhibited neutrophil infiltration in the lungs and the periodontium in a DEL-1–dependent manner. Whereas ERM (but not other antibiotics, such as josamycin and penicillin) protected against lethal pulmonary inflammation and inflammatory periodontal bone loss, these protective effects of ERM were abolished in Del1-deficient mice. By interacting with the growth hormone secretagogue receptor and activating JAK2 in human lung microvascular endothelial cells, ERM induced DEL-1 transcription that was mediated by MAPK p38 and was CCAAT/enhancer binding protein–β dependent. Moreover, ERM reversed IL-17–induced inhibition of DEL-1 transcription, in a manner that was dependent not only on JAK2 but also on PI3K/AKT signaling. Because DEL-1 levels are severely reduced in inflammatory conditions and with aging, the ability of ERM to upregulate DEL-1 may lead to a novel approach for the treatment of inflammatory and aging-related diseases.


Tomoki Maekawa, Hikaru Tamura, Hisanori Domon, Takumi Hiyoshi, Toshihito Isono, Daisuke Yonezawa, Naoki Hayashi, Naoki Takahashi, Koichi Tabeta, Takeyasu Maeda, Masataka Oda, Athanasios Ziogas, Vasileia Ismini Alexaki, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Yutaka Terao, George Hajishengallis


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