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We examined the role of redox signaling generated by NADPH oxidase in activation of NF-kappaB and host defense against Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. Using mice with an NF-kappaB-driven luciferase reporter construct (HIV-LTR/luciferase (HLL)), we found that intratracheal administration of P. aeruginosa resulted in a dose-dependent neutrophilic influx and activation of NF-kappaB. To determine the effects of reactive oxygen species generated by the NADPH oxidase system on activation of NF-kappaB, we crossbred mice deficient in p47(phox) with NF-kappaB reporter mice (p47(phox-/-)HLL). These p47(phox-/-)HLL mice were unable to activate NF-kappaB to the same degree as HLL mice with intact NADPH oxidase following P. aeruginosa infection. In addition, lung TNF-alpha levels were significantly lower in p47(phox-/-)HLL mice compared with HLL mice. Bacterial clearance was impaired in p47(phox-/-)HLL mice. In vitro studies using bone marrow-derived macrophages showed that Toll-like receptor 4 was necessary for NF-kappaB activation following treatment with P. aeruginosa. Additional studies with macrophages from p47(phox-/-) mice confirmed that redox signaling was necessary for maximal Toll-like receptor 4-dependent NF-kappaB activation in this model. These data indicate that the NADPH oxidase-dependent respiratory burst stimulated by Pseudomonas infection contributes to host defense by modulating redox-dependent signaling through the NF-kappaB pathway.