Actin reorganization and morphological changes in human neutrophils stimulated by TNF, GM-CSF, and G-CSF: The role of MAP kinases

Haruo Kutsuna, Kenichi Suzuki, Noriko Kamata, Takayuki Kato, Fumihiko Hato, Kensaku Mizuno, Hiromi Kobayashi, Masamitsu Ishii, Seiichi Kitagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Stimulation of human neutrophils with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), or granulocyte CSF (G-CSF) resulted in decreased fluorescence intensity of FITC-phalloidin (actin depolymerization) and morphological changes. Cytokine-induced actin depolymerization was dependent on the concentration of cytokines used as stimuli. The maximal changes were detected at 10 min after stimulation with TNF or GM-CSF and at 20 min after stimulation with G-CSF. Cytokine-induced actin depolymerization was sustained for at least 30 min after stimulation. In contrast, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP) rapidly (within 45 s) induced an increase in the fluorescence intensity of FITC-phalloidin (actin polymerization) and morphological changes. TNF- and GM-CSF-induced actin depolymerization and morphological changes, but not FMLP-induced responses, were partially inhibited by either PD-98059, an inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase, or SB-203580, an inhibitor of p38 MAPK, and were almost completely abolished by these inhibitors in combination. G-CSF-induced responses were almost completely abolished by PD-98059 and were unaffected by SB-203580. These findings are consistent with the ability of these cytokines to activate the distinct MAPK subtype cascade in human neutrophils. Phosphorylated ERK and p38 MAPK were not colocalized with F-actin in neutrophils stimulated by cytokines or FMLP. Furthermore, FMLP-induced polarization and actin polymerization were prevented by cytokine pre-treatment. These findings suggest that TNF, GM-CSF, and G-CSF induce actin depolymerization and morphological changes through activation of ERK and/or p38 MAPK and that cytokine-induced actin reorganization may be partly responsible for the inhibitory effect of these cytokines on neutrophil chemotaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C55-C64
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1 55-1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jan


  • Actin reorganization
  • Cytokines
  • Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinase
  • Neutrophil
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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