Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) is involved in innate immune responses to peptidoglycan degradation products. Peptidoglycans are important mediators of organic dust-induced airway diseases in exposed agriculture workers; however, the role of NOD2 in response to complex organic dust is unknown. Monocytes/macrophages were exposed to swine facility organic dust extract (ODE), whereupon NOD2 expression was evaluated by real-time PCR and Western blot. ODE induced significant NOD2 mRNA and protein expression at 24 and 48 h, respectively, which was mediated via a NF-κB signaling pathway as opposed to a TNF-α autocrine/paracrine mechanism. Specifically, NF-κB translocation increased rapidly following ODE stimulation as demonstrated by EMSA, and inhibition of the NF-κB pathway significantly reduced ODE-induced NOD2 expression. However, there was no significant reduction in ODE-induced NOD2 gene expression when TNF-α was inhibited or absent. Next, it was determined whether NOD2 regulated ODE-induced inflammatory cytokine production. Knockdown of NOD2 expression by small interfering RNA resulted in increased CXCL8 and IL-6, but not TNF-α production in response to ODE. Similarly, primary lung macrophages from NOD2 knockout mice demonstrated increased IL-6, CXCL1, and CXCL1, but not TNF-α, expression. Lastly, a higher degree of airway inflammation occurred in the absence of NOD2 following acute (single) and repetitive (3 wk) ODE exposure in an established in vivo murine model. In summary, ODE-induced NOD2 expression is directly dependent on NF-κB signaling, and NOD2 is a negative regulator of complex, organic dust-induced inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production in mononuclear phagocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L296-L306
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Airway
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Grampositive components
  • Inflammation
  • Monocyte/macrophage
  • Organic dust extract
  • Pathogen-associated molecular patterns
  • Pattern recognition receptor
  • Swine/hog/pig
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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