Research ArticleInflammation

Mer signaling increases the abundance of the transcription factor LXR to promote the resolution of acute sterile inflammation

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Sci. Signal.  24 Feb 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 365, pp. ra21
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005864

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Resolving inflammation with Mer

Unchecked inflammatory responses in the body can do more harm than good; thus, the body has mechanisms for resolving inflammation and restoring normal tissue function. Choi et al. found that mice with impaired signaling by the receptor tyrosine kinase Mer had exacerbated inflammation in response to acute sterile tissue damage, as well as decreased abundance of liver X receptor (LXR) transcription factors (which are implicated in inhibiting macrophage responses) in their macrophages, spleens, and lungs. Conversely, treating macrophages in culture with an agonist of Mer increased LXR abundance and activity. Furthermore, an LXR agonist reduced inflammation in mice even in the context of reduced Mer signaling. The finding that Mer-dependent increases in LXR abundance lead to the resolution of inflammation might be exploited therapeutically.