2017 Volume 42 Issue 6 Pages 763-771
In order to investigate the effects of RhoA/ROCK signaling in macrophage differentiation, we used 100 ng/mL PMA to induce macrophage differentiation from U937 cells in vitro. The observation of cell morphology and the expression of CD68 and SR-A were performed to confirm the differentiation induced by PMA. Western blot analysis showed that the expression of ROCK1 and ROCK2 and the phosphorylation of MYPT1 were significantly increased after PMA treatment. Pulldown assay showed that the activation of RhoA was obviously enhanced when U937 cells were treated with PMA. In order to further demonstrate whether RhoA/ROCK signaling could mediate the macrophage differentiation induced by PMA, we successfully suppressed the expression of RhoA, ROCK1 and ROCK2 by performing siRNA technology in U937 cells, respectively. The macrophage differentiation and the expression of CD68 and SR-A were significantly inhibited by the suppression of RhoA, ROCK1 or ROCK2 in PMA-induced U937 cells, indicating that the macrophage differentiation induced by PMA is associated with RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway. In addition, we pretreated U937 cells with Y27632 (ROCK inhibitor, 20 μM) for 30 min and then observed the macrophage differentiation induced by PMA. The result illustrated that Y27632 pretreatment obviously inhibited PMA-induced differentiation and the expression of CD68 and SR-A. In conclusion, the activation of RhoA/ROCK signaling is responsible for the macrophage differentiation induced by PMA.