Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Ischemia exists in many diseased tissues, including arthritic joints, atherosclerotic plaques, and malignant tumors. Macrophages accumulate in these sites and up-regulate hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) 1 and 2 in response to the hypoxia present. Here we show that the gene expression profile in primary human and murine macrophages changes markedly when they are exposed to hypoxia for 18 hours. For example, they were seen to up-regulate the cell surface receptors, CXCR4 and GLUT1, and the potent, tumor-promoting cytokines, vascular endothelial growth factor A, interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-8, adrenomedullin, CXCR4, and angiopoietin-2. Hypoxia also stimulated their expression and/or phosphorylation of various proteins in the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling pathway. We then used both genetic and pharmacologic methods to manipulate the levels of HIFs-1alpha and 2alpha or NF-kappaB in primary macrophages to elucidate their role in the hypoxic induction of many of these key genes. These studies showed that both HIF-1 and -2, but not NF-kappaB, are important transcriptional effectors regulating the responses of macrophages to such a period of hypoxia. Further studies using experimental mouse models are now warranted to investigate the role of such macrophage responses in the progression of various diseased tissues, such as malignant tumors.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





844 - 859


Animals, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Hypoxia, Cells, Cultured, Female, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, Macrophages, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, NF-kappa B, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Transcription Factors